The public is invited to attend National Park Week celebrations at Reconstruction Era National Monument April 21 through April 28, 2018. Stories of Reconstruction will be highlighted through special programs offered at Darrah Hall and the Penn Center on St. Helena Island and the park’s visitor center located at 706 Craven Street in downtown Beaufort. All programs and exhibits will be open to the public and free of charge.
The week will start on Saturday, April 21, 2018 with National Junior Ranger Day at the park visitor center in downtown Beaufort. At 10 am and 2 pm, Artist Sonja Griffin Evans will present art and stories of Reconstruction for kids of all ages. Participants will have the opportunity to create their own artwork and to be sworn in as official Junior Rangers.
A museum exhibit entitled Reconstruction Beaufort: Islands of Hope in a Sea of Distress will be on display at the park’s visitor center throughout the week. The exhibit is offered in partnership with the Beaufort County Museum. The exhibit provides an in depth look at the challenges and successes of Reconstruction.
National Park Week festivities will conclude on Saturday, April 28 with National Military and Veteran Recognition Day. Military members, past and present, will be honored through music and stories at Darrah Hall and Penn Center on St. Helena Island at 10 am and 2 pm.
Reconstruction Era National Monument, established in January 2017, is moving forward with plans to eventually open to the public. While some of the park facilities are in development, visitors can access some of the park sites in Beaufort and on St. Helena Island. “While the monument is not officially open or fully staffed, we are excited to celebrate National Park Week as one of the newest units of the national park system,” said Acting Superintendent Scott Teodorski, “This is a great opportunity for the public to experience the new national monument and learn about Reconstruction.”