Blakeley Celebrates Earth Day
With April 18 Delta Boat Tour
Blakeley State Park will honor the annual Earth Day observance Saturday, April 18 with a special two-hour boat tour of the Tensaw-Mobile Delta aboard the park's Delta Explorer.
The April 18 Blakeley tour of the environmentally sensitive Delta recognizes the global observance officially set for April 22 but honored on different dates and in different manners around the world.
The narrated tour leaves from the Blakeley Park dock on the Tensaw River at 9:30 a.m. aboard the 50-passenger U.S. Coast Guard inspected, covered boat. The tour goes north up the Tensaw, crosses over part of the Delta, goes south to the Mobile Bay Causeway and loops back to the Blakeley dock.
Cost of the tour is $25 for adults and $15 for children 6-12. Kids under 6 are free. The ticket cost includes all day access to the 2,000-acre Blakeley State Park, a nature and historic park.
Tickets can be reserved in advance by calling 251-626-5581 and paying with major credit cards or visitors can “walk on” the day of the tour with seating on a first come-first serve basis. Seating is limited to 50. The boat is also available for charter.
Blakeley State Park is located on State Hwy. 225 about 4.5 miles north of its intersection with U.S. 31 at Spanish Fort. For more information go to www.blakeleypark.com.
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150th Anniversary of Last Battle of the Civil War
to be observed by Blakeley State Park March 27-29
Historic Blakeley State Park will provide the public with a unique opportunity March 27-29 to experience the authentic sights and sounds of the last major battle of the Civil War reenacted on the original battlefield.
To commemorate the 150 th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Blakely, which led two days later to the unopposed capture of the city of Mobile, the park is staging a special living history weekend.
Reenactors experienced in providing authentic representations of the lives of Civil War soldiers will be on hand to guide visitors in exploring the campgrounds of both Confederate defenders and attacking Federal forces throughout the day Saturday, March 28. A reenactment of the pivotal battle fought on the park's grounds on April 9, 1865 will occur at 4 p.m.
Throughout the weekend visitors will have an opportunity to tour the battlefield, which features some of the best-preserved Civil War earthen fortifications in the nation.
The battle occurred just hours after the surrender of Gen. Robert E. Lee's army in Virginia and followed days of siege of Confederate fortifications at Blakeley and nearby Spanish Fort. While many people assume Lee's surrender to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant marks the end of the Civil War, large Confederate and Union armies remained in the field.
Following the fall of Fort Blakely April 9, Federal troops met little or no opposition as they marched through lower Alabama. With the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln days later, the nation's attention turned from the war to focus on occupation of the former Confederate states.
Gen. Richard Taylor's formal surrender of remaining Confederate forces east of the Mississippi in ceremonies under the branches of a tree in Citronelle May 8, 1865 went practically unnoticed.
“This educational event will authentically portray the military history of America's most tragic war”, said Jo Ann Flirt, director, in announcing the anniversary commeration. “Fort Blakely is recognized by the National Park Service as a Class A Civil War battlefield acknowledging that the battle had a direct impact on the course of the war.”, she said.
The battlefield has been saved by 40 years of dedication and work by many people and agencies, public and private. It is now preserved by Blakeley State Park and opened daily to the public.
“The living history units selected by Blakeley to reenact the conditions, weapons, tactics and camp life of the soldiers here 150 years ago will be portraying factual representations. Hopefully, it will enrich understanding of the amazing history preserved at Blakeley Park.” she said.
Special demonstrations are planned for throughout the day Saturday, March 28. A living history demonstration will be offered Friday, March 27 to handicapped and senior citizens at an area of the park on which Civil War activities took place but which is more accessible to them than the battlefield. School groups also will be admitted that day.
Qualified reenactors are invited to register in advance for selection to participate in the event. For more information go to www.blakeleypark.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 251-626-0798.
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Blakeley Residents Spotted
Visitors to Blakeley State Park with patience can see wildlife like this young mother raccoon and two of her four babies exploring the Washington Square picnic area this week (Aug. 24) She is leading them down from one of the park's huge, old oak trees. Click here to view the photo. (Photo by Jo Ann Flirt)
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