The Butts Hill Fort Restoration Committee has announced that it will host a spring cleaning of Butts Hill Fort.

Accordingly, the Battle of Rhode Island  Association and the Butts Hill Fort Restoration Committee is asking for volunteers to participate in the spring cleanup. It is scheduled for 8 am to 3 p. on Saturday, April 23. The rain date is  Saturday, 30 April.

The purpose of this volunteer cleanup is to remove the debris remaining from previous clearings and from storm damage, according to organizers. 

“We have a lot of dead trees and limbs that have come down over the years,” said Steve Larson,  chair of the Restoration  Committee’s sub-committee for  Land Management, “There is also debris from last November because our eager volunteers cut so much vegetation that we ran out of dumpster space! As a result, we have extended the hours until  3 p.m. and ordered additional dumpsters. Now we really need a  lot of energetic volunteers with  rakes to finish the job.”  

Parking is available behind the tennis courts at Portsmouth High School or on Dyer St. Organizers ask that participants and volunteers do not park on Butts St. It must remain clear to allow vehicles with equipment to access the  Fort. Upon arrival, volunteers will be asked to sign a waiver of liability for the Town of  Portsmouth. Volunteers will also receive instructions on what to do based on the requirements of the Town.  

Volunteers are asked to bring rakes and shovels. Weedwhackers would also be helpful.  Please be alert to the presence of ticks and poison ivy. 

Contact Nancy Crawford (redhatscrapper@cox.net) to sign up and to receive additional information.  

The largest Revolutionary War earthwork still standing in southern New England, Butts Hill  Fort. It was started by Patriot militia in 1776, then enlarged and completed by British troops occupying Rhode (Aquidneck) Island. It served as the headquarters for General John Sullivan  during the Rhode Island Campaign in 1778 and was occupied by allied French troops under  General comte de Rochambeau 1780-81. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and  on the National Park Service’s Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route. 

The Fort has for years been inaccessible to the public and largely forgotten. The goal of the  Restoration Committee is to return it to public use as a historical, educational, and recreational asset.

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