May 30, 2013

Columbia State Students Volunteer For Park Day 2013

Photo Caption:
Columbia State Assistant Professor Thomas Flagel and several of his history students take a short break from working on historic Fort Granger. (Left to right): Flagel, Marlene Garcia of Franklin, Guadalupe Garcia of Franklin, Devin Spann of Nashville, Whitley Chamberlain of Brentwood, Chelsea Chamberlain of Brentwood, Megan Van Driel of Thompson's Station and Brian McDonnell of College Grove.

Photo Caption: Columbia State history student Steve King of Franklin (standing) and Franklin City Arborist Todd Snackenberg (crouched) prepare to plant a tree near the entrance of Fort Granger Park.

Photo Caption: Columbia State students and other volunteers created several hundred yards of mulch pathways around the perimeter of Fort Granger.

Photo Caption: Columbia State student Cody Blonder of Brentwood helps haul straw to protect a newly-seeded grass field near the entrance of Fort Granger Park.

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. - April 24, 2013) - - - Columbia State Community College students recently volunteered in a hands-on preservation event held at Fort Granger in Franklin, Tenn. as part of Park Day 2013. Under the direction of Franklin City Parks, 14 Columbia State students worked on Fort Granger planting trees, creating mulch pathways and removing invasive shrubs.

"The Columbia State students were amazing," stated Deanna Scheffel, program specialist with the City of Franklin. "We accomplished so much. The best part was the multi-generational dynamic, the interaction of young and old alike working for a common cause - the preservation of a historic site. That is what Park Day is all about."

This year, the Civil War Trust in Washington, D.C., designated April 6 as Park Day, calling on volunteers to help protect, preserve and restore hallowed sites across the country. This year, Columbia State students played a vital role in making Park Day in Franklin, Tenn., a success.

"In many ways, the moment was historic," said Thomas Flagel, assistant professor of history at Columbia State. "Not only did Columbia State students represent nearly half of all volunteers who were involved on the project, April 2013 also marked the 150th anniversary of when the Civil War fortress was built."

Fort Granger served as a major Federal stronghold in 1863, when the front lines of the Civil War cut right through Middle Tennessee. During the massive Battle of Franklin on November 30, 1864, Union artillery fired scores of shells from the fort into the charging Confederate Army of Tennessee, causing severe damage upon their ranks. Today, the fort is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Columbia State students participating in this event were Cody Blonder, Chelsea Chamberlain and Whitley Chamberlain of Brentwood; Guadalupe Garcia, Marlene Garcia, Steven King, Dominic Nanni and Nathaniel Nichols of Franklin; Elizabeth Jones and Devin Spann of Nashville; Jayne Fuller of Spring Hill; Brian McDonnell of College Grove; Hunter Oyharcabal of Kingston Springs; and Meghan Van Driel of Thompson's Station.

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee's first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the sixth largest higher education system in the nation. For more information, please visit