Things have really been happening here at Fort Frederica National Monument. Split rail fences going up. Dead trees taken down. Things being built and fixed. We may not have many rangers here, but the volunteers and maintenance staff are really going to town on different projects.
This last week volunteers Denise and Bob Verba put up three separate split rail fences in various areas of the monument. Denise and Bob are maintenance volunteers and spend most of their time outside working hard. Even though they are in their 70’s, they keep going all day.
The split rail fences are up in places where people were walking through and we didn’t want them walking through. One of them blocks off the maintenance “boneyard” from the nature trail. The boneyard is where things go to die, so it looks like a well-organized scrap heap. You don’t really want people walking through there when they are enjoying a walk through the coastal maritime forest.
Another fence blocks off the beginning of the nature trail from the volunteer RV housing. We have four volunteer couples living in the RV village here and the area is supposed to be off-limits to visitors to the park. But, once we put in the nature trail, people wandered through the RV sites regularly. The split rail fence keeps them out better than the “authorized personnel only” sign.
The final split rail fence is across the side of the parking lot that abuts the historic grounds. We would often have people walk through there instead of coming through the breezeway of the Visitors Center. Most troubling was the cyclists who rode their bikes through it. By going that direction, they missed the sign that said “No bicycles on the historic grounds.” Now they can’t get their bicycles through so we won’t have to chase them down and yell at them.
Of course, some of the people who come here regularly are accustomed to going through that way and they are just climbing over the fence instead of walking the little distance around on the sidewalk. Not much we can do about that. But most people are getting the hang of going around – including the volunteers. We have to walk a longer path to get in the Visitors Center from the RVs. More steps! Yay!
We really appreciate Denise and Bob and the good work they do around Fort Frederica National Monument. They work really hard and are cheerful and help out wherever needed. Their split rail fences will help direct foot traffic at the monument for years to come.