by Sandy Kristiansson, Fort Adams Trust Board Member

The Fort Adams Trust is seeking volunteers to assist with keeping Historic Fort Adams open to the public for tours.  Currently the Fort Adams Trust is offering daily self-guided tours, 10am-3pm, and continues to partner with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management to expand guided tours as regulations are lifted.  Under the theme of “Holding Down the Fort,” the Trust wants to augment the year round staff’s efforts to offer visitors self-guided tours throughout the week, as well as guided tours that include the fort’s secret underground tunnels during weekends. 

Like many other local non-profits, the earlier mandated health related shutdowns, have caused the Fort Adams Trust to furlough many paid seasonal staff.  Since re-opening on May 9th, the Trust has been relying on year round staff and a skeleton crew of volunteers to help visitors enjoy and learn about this National Historic Landmark.  Thankfully the demand for fort tours has increased beyond what was originally anticipated. As the weather warms and regulations are being lifted, the Trust staff is therefore increasing the outreach for volunteer assistance. 

“Current and anticipated tour volume necessitates the Trust reaching out to the public for help,” offered Robert McCormack, Director of Visitors Experience for the Fort Adams Trust.  “Volunteer assistance will allow staff to focus on the operations and maintenance of the fort, as well as some of the other new programs and events we are working on for this summer.”

“Holding Down the Fort” volunteer duties are easy.   Prior knowledge of the fort, the tours or even Newport is not needed as that can be taught. Primarily we are in need of friendly volunteers to meet and greet visitors upon arrival and remind them to adhere to social distancing and other safety requirements.  Volunteering creates a sense of pride and ownership of Fort Adams and as an added incentive we are offering volunteers ‘behind-the-scenes’ tours of areas not typically accessible to the general public,” McCormack further imparted.

“Fort Adams tours are integral to the on-going successful preservation of the fort,“ stated Executive Director for the Fort Adams Trust, Joe Dias.  “Holding Down the Fort” for all to enjoy through volunteerism will assuredly help extend preservation efforts through revenue despite the health crisis’ impact on year round and seasonal paid staff. It’s an enjoyable and rewarding experience with the added bonus of volunteering right on the Newport waterfront during the best part of the year, “he added.

Fort Adams’s tour volunteers can sign up for either morning 10 A.M. – 1 P.M. or afternoon 1 P.M. – 3 P.M. gate duty.  Any shifts are welcome and there is no required commitment.  In addition to volunteering to aid with tours, the Fort Adams Trust is always looking for new members for the Saturday Volunteer Maintenance Crew to aid in the efforts to clear brush and restore areas in the Fort long since overgrown. Anyone interested in volunteering is encouraged to contact Robert McCormack at or 401-619-5802 

About the Fort Adams Trust:

The Fort Adams Trust is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit responsible for preservation, programming, and promoting the National Historic Landmarks in Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island. Over 100,000 people tour the Fort and attend events in the Park annually. The Trust accepts donations to support its preservation and programming missions.