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Cleanup begins at Antietam re-enactment site

September 17, 2002|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

The 140th anniversary re-enactment of the Battle of Antietam may be over but the clean-up work has only begun.

Bags of trash, empty tents and boxes, golf carts and dozens of portable toilets remained Monday at the site off Rench Road where the re-enactment took place Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Now Site Manager Don Warlick is looking for volunteers to help with the cleanup.

Warlick said he promised to leave the 700 acres used for the re-enactment in better condition than before it was used by about 13,000 re-enactors and more than 25,000 spectators. That will be accomplished by making improvements, including repairing a fence, that were needed prior to the events, he said.

Frank Artz, who loaned 500 acres of his family's Rench Road farm for the re-enactment, said Monday he would be satisfied if the land is returned to the condition it was prior to the re-enactment.

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Another 200 or so acres of the re-enactment site belongs to Allegheny Energy.

Five years ago, when the same property was used, Warlick said, it took about two weeks to do clean-up and he expects it will take the same amount of time this year.

More than 400 volunteers helped with the weekend events but only a few were there Monday afternoon doing clean-up efforts. When the event ends, so does the help of many volunteers, Warlick said.

If anyone has ever wanted to do volunteer work, now would be a great time to start, Warlick said.

The first priority with the clean-up work is removing trash, he said.

Washington County Planning Director Robert Arch, who was co-chairman of the Antietam Commemoration Committee, the event's organizing sponsor and Warlick discussed the cleanup while sitting in a tent that served as the command center. Nearby, employees of a tent company were taking down tents.

Crews of inmates from the Maryland Correctional Training Center helped set up for the event and helped with the cleanup Monday.

About five vendors of Civil War-related products remained at the site Monday afternoon but most were packing up by noon.

Donna Fowler of Fargo, Fla., said that her family did not pack up their business, Donna Lee's Sutlery, on Sunday because they ran out of time. The business sells Civil War-era clothing for women, she said.

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