Category Archives: Fort Scott National Historic Site

The Fort’s Survey: Needs, Motivations and Evaluation of NPS Digital Media

The bike rack at Fort Scott National Historic Site.

The fort at the end of Main Street that has given Fort Scott its’ name, is reaching out to National Park Service visitors who want an online experience.

“Fort Scott National Historic Site is participating in a nationwide survey to characterize the NPS virtual visitor population so we can better meet their virtual needs, describe visitors’ motivations, and evaluate the effectiveness of NPS digital media products,” Carl Brenner, FSNHS Program Manager for Interpretation and Resource Manager, said.

“We are part of a pilot/pre-test program consisting of a handful of National Park sites nationwide,” he said. “This survey will run four weeks, February 16 through March 14, 2021. These National Parks are making weekly posts, on each social media platform they support, to invite virtual visitors to participate in the survey once they have completed their virtual visit.”

 

“The virtual tour of the park is a series of 360-degree images from all of the rooms here at the site,” Brenner said. “The Virtual Visit, as it is called in the survey, is browsing the posts on each of the social media platforms to gain a deeper connection and understanding of the park.”

 

To take the virtual tour:

http://www.nps.gov/fosc/learn/photosmultimedia/360tours.htm

 

Fort Scott NHS participates on the following social media platforms:

www.facebook.com/FortScottNPS

www.instagram.com/fortscottnps

https://twitter.com/FortScottNPS

Fortscott.biz interviewed Brenner by email.

Here are the questions and responses.

What is it designed to do?

“The public expects nearly all desired information to be found quickly and easily through websites and social media channels. They also expect that organizations frequently update these assets. The National Park Service (NPS) directly manages thousands of digital media web pages, mobile app pages, and social media channels. They also supply content, directly or indirectly, for third-party providers that share digital media information with the public. Within this large digital ecosystem, millions of online users from around the world rely on these resources for a wide range of information. While NPS has an established program for measuring and monitoring physical visitation to its park units, the program for describing and evaluating virtual visitors to its online resources is still being developed.

This study is part of that development. It aims to characterize the NPS virtual visitor population so we can better meet their virtual needs, describe visitors’ motivations, and evaluate the effectiveness of NPS digital media products.”

 

What will be done with the results?

“Through this program, the NPS, and specifically Fort Scott NHS, can better understand and meet the needs of our virtual visitors. We will be able to better evaluate the effectiveness of our digital media products in terms of the virtual visitor experience. With this information we can better prepare visitors for future visits,  increase resource protection, build a deeper understanding of the history and stories of our nation’s heritage, and build better connections to and stewards of National Park Service resources. Additionally, NPS will determine if the current allocation of resources for digital media is generating congruent virtual visitor value, and the NPS will be positioned to more strategically deploy resources where digital information needs are not being sufficiently met and/or where the highest value is being provided.”

 

When will the survey results be collected and analyzed?

“The evaluation of the virtual visitors’ experiences and digital media effectiveness will begin immediately following the close of the survey and we are hoping to receive results by the end of the summer.”

 

 

The fort’s contact info:

Office – 620-223-0310

www.facebook.com/FortScottNPS

www.instagram.com/FortScottNPS

http://twitter.com/FortScottNPS

Water Line Breakage Closes Dragoons Barracks at FSNHS

 

 

Fort Scott Kan. – Fort Scott National Historic was impacted by the sub-zero temperatures last week when a fire suppression line valve and pipe failed and ruptured on Saturday, February 20, 2021 around 6:30pm in the Dragoons Barracks. The rupture caused flooding in the attic space, the exhibit area on the second floor, and the Laundress, Married Non-Commissioned Officer’s quarters, and the mechanical room on the first floor.

 

“The park is currently assessing the damages and undergoing a thorough inspection of the building, its fire suppression system, and electrical systems,” said Betty Boyko, Superintendent, Fort Scott National Historic Site. “We are also working closely with the regional Museum Curator and Harpers Ferry Center’s Museum Curation staff on how to best conserve and store affected museum objects and artifacts.” The Dragoons Barracks monitoring system has been restored but the building will remain closed through the assessment and rehabilitation process.

 

From November 1-March 31, Fort Scott National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park Service, will be open for its winter hours of operation. The site exhibit areas and historic buildings are open daily from 8:30 am-4:30 pm. The park grounds are open daily from ½ hour before sunrise until ½ hour after sunset. To find out more or become involved in activities at the Fort, please contact the park at 620-223-0310 or visit our website at www.nps.gov/fosc.

 

DEADLINE FOR 2021 FLAG SUBSCRIPTIONS NEARS

 

The deadline to sign up for the Friends of Fort Scott National Historic Site’s Fly the Flag project is quickly approaching. Applications for new subscriptions must be postmarked by March 1st. Subscribers renewing for 2021 must submit a renewal application and payment by March 31st.

The project provides homeowners and businesses, within the city limits of Fort Scott, the opportunity to fly the Stars and Stripes, hassle free, on five different flag holidays. For $35 annually, the Friends will install a 3’x5′ flag on a 12 foot staff at your home or business on Memorial Day, Flag Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, and Veteran’s Day.

Application forms can be obtained at the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce or can be requested by phone or text by calling Kelley Collins at 417-684-2484. Renewals notices have been mailed/emailed to all 2020 subscribers. Questions can be directed to Kelley or Martha Scott at 620-224-9924.

All proceeds support programs at Fort Scott National Historic Site. These include: Symbols of Sacrifice, a Citizenship Ceremony, Candlelight Tour, Youth Engagement, and many others.

Show your patriotism and help our local National Park by lining the streets of Fort Scott with our nation’s symbol!

The Fly the Flag project is a yearly project sponsored by the Friends of Fort Scott National Historic Site. Once signed up, you will receive the option to renew annually.

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FSNHS Bird Walk For Saturday Cancelled Because of Sub-Zero Temps

“Our bird walk scheduled for this Saturday has been canceled for the safety of our visitors and staff,” Carl Brenner, Fort Scott National Historic Site Program Manager for Interpretation and Resource Management said. ” With the potential for low single-digit temperatures and wind chills in the -the 20s, we felt asking people to be outside for extended periods of time would be unsafe.”

 

“If people would still like to personally participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count at the fort or elseware, they can go to www.birdcount.org to learn more.”

 

Great Backyard Bird Count at Fort Scott NHS 

 

Fort Scott Kan. – Fort Scott National Historic Site and Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge will host a free guided bird walk Saturday, February 13, at the Fort from 10 am to noon for the Great Backyard Bird Count.

 

Join a Ranger on an easy, one-mile, two-hour birdwatching walk starting from the National Park Visitor Center. Rangers and participants will record all bird sightings and upload the data to the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). This walk is for birders of all skill levels and you don’t have to stay for the entire program to make a difference. Birders are encouraged to bring binoculars and warm, layered, clothing. A free Pocket Guide to Common Kansas Backyard Birds is available courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

 

Since 1998, “The Backyard Bird Count has been an opportunity for citizen scientists around the world to contribute to the understanding of wild birds, their environment, and numbers,” said Betty Boyko, Superintendent, Fort Scott National Historic Site. “We encourage everyone to join us each month for additional bird walks and programs.” Watch for scheduled bird walks in the park throughout the year on Facebook or at the Fort Scott NHS Website www.nps.gov/fosc.

 

For more information about the Great Backyard Bird Count, contact Fort Scott National Historic Site by calling 620-223-0310. If you can’t make it to the program, but wish to participate in the bird count, find out more at the Great Backyard Bird Count’s ‘How to Participate’ page.

 

Each checklist submitted during the GBBC helps researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society learn more about how birds are doing, and how to protect them and the environment we share. Last year, more than 268,674 estimated participants identified 6,942 species of birds. You can make the difference this year. The results of these bird counts are available at www.birdcount.org.

 

-NPS-

 

Credit Photo as: NPS Photo: A. Schauer

2021 Flag Project

The Fort Scott Area Chamber
of CommerceAnnounces for Chamber Member “Friends of the Fort”
“2021 Flag Project”
ACCEPTING NEW SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR 2021!
Click HEREto download the application. You can also pick up a printed application at
The Fort Scott Chamber Area Chamber of Commerce
Fly the U.S. Flag Project!

Prairie Prescribed Fire Planned at Fort Scott National Historic Site 

Fort Scott Kan. – Park managers at Fort Scott National Historic Site, in coordination with Fire Managers with the US Fish and Wildlife Service from Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge, plan to burn the five acre restored prairie Thursday, December 10, 2020.  The ignition will depend upon weather conditions and the burn may be postponed or canceled if conditions are unfavorable.

 

“We were very excited to be able to implement this prescribed fire (Rx) project with the assistance of our interagency neighbors. Our ability to treat the tallgrass prairie at a time of year enhances the resilience of the ecosystem and results in a more diverse prairie with more cool-season grasses.” said Betty Boyko, Superintendent, Fort Scott National Historic Site. Like all prescribed fires, the plans for the tallgrass prairie Rx contain a set of parameters which define (among other things) the expected weather and fuel conditions under which the fire can be initiated. Prior to implementing the burn, fire managers will evaluate current conditions and will only ignite the fire if all of the prescribed conditions are within those parameters.

 

During typical prescribed fire activity, daytime smoke disperses to the northwest, up and over the highway.  Coordination with the City of Fort Scott, Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office, Kansas State Highway Patrol, and Kansas Department of Transportation is already underway for this prescribed fire.  Smoke impacts or traffic delays on Highway 69 should not occur during the burn.

Virtual Fort Scott National Historic Site Candlelight Tour, Dec. 4

From the Fort Scott National Historic Site Facebook page.

The COVID-19 Pandemic has affected many local events, but one annual event, the Fort Scott National Historic Site Candlelight Tour has created an online opportunity for the community to enjoy.

“Last spring we began expanding park programming by creating virtual opportunities for visitors including online programs/events and virtual visits,” Carl Brenner, FSNHS Program Manager for Interpretation and Resource Management,  said.  “As we moved into the fall and began planning for the 39th annual Candlelight Tour, we understand that not everyone is ready to travel. We want to have alternative opportunities and provide an event that was safe and available to those who have traditionally participated and for those who are unable to travel to the park. We hope everyone enjoys our virtual rendition of the Fort Scott Candlelight Tour, Friday, December 4, 2020, at 7 pm on the park’s web page (www.nps.gov/fosc).”

 

 Brenner described the six vignettes that comprise the tour.

  • Scene 1-Hospital – Health and Care of the Soldiers. This scene is a depiction of healthcare and hospital conditions on the frontier. Actors in this scene are Skip Thomas and Reed Hartford, with a depiction of sick patients by Aiden Mann and Daxson Ruggero
The hospital scene at the Fort. Submitted photo.
  • Scene 2- Stables – Health and Care of the Horses. Horses were one of the most important tools of the Dragoon soldier.  Sometimes horses were treated better than the soldiers. Actors are Brett Dawson, Jericho Jones, and Jesse Dineen.
The stable at the Fort Scott. Submitted photo.

 

  • Scene 3- Mess Hall – Lifestyle, Comfort, Camaraderie. Enlisted soldiers had a less formal or private life. They ate, slept, and worked in crowded conditions. Actors are Wayne, Dee, and Barrett Young.
The Fort Scott Mess Hall depiction. Submitted photo.
  • Scene 4-Officers’ Quarters – Lifestyle, Wealth, Comfort. With greater responsibility came greater space, freedoms, and comfort. Actors are George and Diane Bernheimer.

    Scene 6: a depiction of the officers quarters at Fort Scott. Submitted photos.
  • Scene 5- Quartermaster Storehouse – Supplies, Preparedness, struggles. The Quartermaster, and his staff, kept all aspects of the fort running. They also knew what was really happening on the post. Actors are Barry Geertsen and Frankie Ruggero.
The quartermaster scene. Submitted photo.

 

  • Scene 6-Guardhouse – Discipline, Law and Order, Punishment. To ensure their soldiers were ready for whatever task they were assigned, discipline was a frequently used motivational tool on the frontier. Actors are Lucas Leininger and Casey Gomez.

The scenes and their introductions are being filmed by Barry Geertsen, Laura Abbott, and Abby Schauer from the park staff.

 

Brenner gave a little background of how the pandemic is affecting the NPS and Fort Scott in particular.

“We, like many Park Service sites, have experienced a reduction in visitation,” he said. ” We have taken this time to reach out to a broader audience. We continue to develop virtual opportunities for visitors and content for teachers to engage their students. Two such projects include: working with educators to develop curriculum around the Missouri Compromise; and to engage students to research and develop videos around African American heroes from the Fort Scott area.”

The park staff has increased their online presence during the pandemic, Brenner said.

“Sharing park stories through Facebook and Instagram is not new,” he said.  “However, we have been increasing these opportunities to share more of the park’s stories and connect with a broader audience.”

 

Fort Scott NHS’s 38th Annual Candlelight Tour Goes Virtual

Fort Scott National Historic Site glows during a past annual candlelight tour event.

 

 

Fort Scott Kan. – Enjoy Fort Scott National Historic Site’s 38th Annual Candlelight Tour from the warmth and comfort of your own home. The virtual tour will air on the park’s web page (www.nps.gov/fosc) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/FortScottNPS) at 7pm central time on Friday, December 4, 2020. There is no cost or fee for participating and Rangers will answer questions during and immediately following the program

 

This year’s virtual tour will share images of the traditional 1,000 candle lanterns around the parade ground and will feature six stops exploring 1840s health and safety, law and order, and equal treatment. Was there equality between officers, enlisted soldiers, and even, their horses?

 

1840’s soldiers at Fort Scott lived in isolation because of being distant from towns, other outposts, families, and friends. They also faced inequality because Officers were paid more and had nicer, more spacious, living quarters. If officers were sick, they could be treated in their quarters and if in trouble, they were subject to house arrest. Enlisted soldiers were paid a fraction of an officer’s salary, and they shared bunks in a room with 25 other soldiers. If they were sick, they were treated at the hospital in an open group setting and if in trouble they were sent to a cell in the guardhouse. Both also enjoyed the holidays differently.

 

Fort Scott was an active military post from 1842-1853, which was a time of rapid growth and change in the country. As Fort Scott was being built, the nation grew west. With this growth, Fort Scott changed, the mission of its soldiers changed, the environment changed, and the nation changed. However, the soldiers at Fort Scott continued to serve faithfully, despite the constant change.

 

Fort Scott National Historic Site hopes you enjoy our virtual Candlelight Tour as much as our other virtual events this year (all available on www.nps.gov/fosc) and we hope to see you in person for all of our on-site events in 2021.

 

From November 1-March 31, Fort Scott National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park Service, will be open for its winter hours of operation. The site exhibit areas and historic buildings are open daily from 8:30 am-4:30 pm. The park grounds are open daily from ½ hour before sunrise until ½ hour after sunset. To find out more or volunteer at the Fort, please contact the park at 620-223-0310 or visit our website at www.nps.gov/fosc.

 

Winter Hours of Operation for Fort Scott National Historic Site 

Fort Scott, Kan. – The leaves are changing for fall and winter, so are the hours of operation at Fort Scott National Historic Site. Beginning Sunday, November 1, the park historic structures will be open daily from 8:30 am–4:30 pm through March 31, 2021. The buildings are closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. The park grounds, walkways, and parking lot continue to be open from ½ hour before sunrise until ½ hour after sunset daily.

 

Fort Scott National Historic Site is a fee-free park that offers a glimpse into the growth of our nation through a short film, interactive audio-visual programs, displays, the museum, and historic objects. A walk through the fort reveals the significant role it played in the opening of the West, as well as, the Civil War and the strife in the State of Kansas that preceded it.

 

Park Rangers are on hand and happy to help you learn more about the area and plan your visit. For more information about Fort Scott National Historic Site programs or other activities, please call the park at 620-223-0310, or visit our website at www.nps.gov/fosc.

 

 

www.nps.gov

 

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 421 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.

 

Roofing Replacement Begins at Fort Scott NHS

Officer’s duplex at Fort Scott National Historic Site. Submitted by Carl Brenner.

 

Fort Scott Kan. – Fort Scott National Historic Site has contractors beginning work next week to remove and replace the cedar shake shingles, eave troughs, and downspouts on seven (7) restored and reconstructed buildings. To allow the work to proceed as quickly and safely as possible, no more than one building will be temporarily closed at one time and the entire project will last approximately eight (8) months. Beginning with the Guard House, all three Officer’s Duplexes, both Infantry Barracks, and the Dragoon Barracks will be included.

 

Much of the funding for these projects is from park entrance fees collected at other National Parks. Additional federal monies are specifically identified for deferred maintenance projects around the country.

 

Information about the building closures will be available on www.nps.gov/fosc, on signs and park bulletin boards, shared with local media outlets, and posted on park social media outlets in advance of building closures. These schedules are subject to change with limited notice due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances.

 

From April 1-October 31, Fort Scott National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park Service, will be open for its summer hours of operation.  The site exhibit areas are open daily from 8:00 am-5:00 pm. The park grounds are open daily from ½ hour before sunrise until ½ hour after sunset. To find out more or become involved in activities at the Fort, please contact the park at 620-223-0310 or learn more at www.nps.gov/fosc.

 

Friends of the Fort Flag Project

The Fort Scott Area Chamber
of CommerceAnnounces for Chamber Member “Friends of the Fort”
“2021 Flag Project”
ACCEPTING NEW SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR 2021!
Click HEREto download the application. You can also pick up an printed application at the Chamber
Fly the U.S. Flag Project!