Appomattox NHP marks national park centennial

Published 5:25 am Thursday, May 12, 2016

This year marks the 100th birthday for the National Park Service and Appomattox Court House National Historical Park and the Appomattox 1865 Foundation have announced an exciting schedule of events for the month of May.

On May 13-15, The third annual Joel Sweeney & the Banjo Festival will kick off for the Sweeney summer concert series. The festival, presented by the National Park Service, the Appomattox 1865 Foundation and the North Carolina School of Traditional Music, kicks off Friday at 5 p.m. in the park visitor center. with a showing of the film, “Music Matters: The Roots of Rhythm in Lynchburg Virginia” that features Joel Sweeney and other local Historical Musicians.” The weekend will include a tour of Sweeney sites in the park and a chance to hear from and purchase books from some of today’s foremost banjo historians. The free Sweeney summer concert series will kick off Saturday at 6 p.m. the McLean House. Bring a blanket or chair and enjoy the music of the banjo. In recognition of the festival, the park is releasing a new podcast about Joel Sweeney; to download any of the park’s podcasts in the “Appomattox Reflections” series, visit

On May 21, Bio Blitz — a family fun day of discovering the natural resources located with the 1,700 acres of Appomattox Court House NHP will be held. Scheduled activities include: 7:30-9 a.m. — bird watching walk; meet at Lee’s Headquarters pull off on Highway 24; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. — tree Identification in the historic village. Check in at the table outside the visitor center to get supplies and learn how to ID trees; 10-11:30 a.m. — discover biodiversity; toss hula hoops and inventory what you find inside the circle; all supplies provided. Check in at the table on Gordon Lane (near the Confederate Cemetery); 12:30-2 p.m. — water!!; come get wet by walking the stream to discover what lives in water; learn about non-point and point source pollution and how to keep water assets healthy.

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May Photo Contest – Amateur photographers of all ages are invited to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service by participating in this creative contest sponsored by the Appomattox 1865 Foundation.

For more information about these events, visit the parks website at or the friend’s group at or call the park at 434-352-8987 ext. 226.