Volunteers From Across the U.S. Help Maintain Ellis Island and Other Sites in NY Harbor

Published on : Saturday, November 5, 2016

unnamedThree hundred travel and tourism professionals from 80 companies across the country volunteered in New York Harbor today in celebration of the 100th birthday of the National Park Service.

“The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are a major tourist destination attracting 4.3 million visitors last year from all across the United States and from around the globe,” said John Piltzecker, superintendent of Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty National Monument. “We are pleased to host Tourism Cares and to highlight the important role volunteerism plays in parks everywhere. Volunteering is an American tradition that has made immeasurable contributions to our National Parks over the years, and we are thankful to Tourism Cares for having such a positive impact on Liberty and Ellis Islands.”


The National Park Service maintains the iconic Ellis Island — once the gateway for over 12 million immigrants to the United States as the nation’s busiest immigrant inspection station — and depends on volunteer assistance to complete projects from their long to-do list.


Volunteers also focused on Liberty State Park, overlooking Ellis Island and Liberty Island, which has also served a vital role in the development of New Jersey’s metropolitan region and the history of the nation. ­The island is home to the Central Railroad of New Jersey terminal —where immigrants transferred after processing at Ellis Island.


Volunteers at Ellis Island assisted on Islands Two and Three—which are currently closed to the public—in a number of projects to clean and maintain the buildings and grounds to prevent further disrepair. Meanwhile, volunteers at the Statue of Liberty mulched and raked debris that accumulated during the fall season while volunteers at Liberty State Park improved the grounds by planting and mulching tree and flower beds. Collectively, volunteers donated more than 1,800 hours at a value of more than $40,000 to state and national parks.


“We are proud to support the work of Tourism Cares and we thank them for including New York Harbor as a site in their National Park Service volunteer series,” said Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company. “As a supporter since Tourism Cares’ inception, we know that fortifying our destinations for future generations of travelers is a noble mission and we applaud Tourism Cares for their continued perseverance.”


This project was made possible by a partnership between Tourism Cares and the National Park Service and by the following sponsors: American Express, Delta Air Lines, NYC & Company, Planet Hollywood, Booking.com, Entertainment Cruises, Amadeus, Broadway Inbound, Collette, Crum & Forster, Entertainment Benefits Group, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Metis Consulting Group, National Tour Association, Courier, Faith Travel Association, Rovia, Tauck, Travel + Leisure, Travel Bound, Trip Mate, United States Tour Operators Association, U.S. Travel Association, Valerie Wilson Travel, Inc., Viking Cruises, WorldVentures, CheapOair, The PEW Charitable Trusts, NYU, MaCher and Halo Branded Solutions.

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