Selma to Montgomery Trail office opens here

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 7, 2003

Aug. 6 marks the anniversary of the federal Voting Rights Act. It is now also the date the Selma Friends of the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail office opened.

The office, located at 816 Selma Ave., Suite No. 2, is the first facility for the 54-mile trail, according to Catherine F. Light, superintendent of the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail.

Light said the office would serve as a station for people wanting to volunteer as guides. &uot;It’s more of an administrative, coordination office,&uot; she said.

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Light was quick to add that the office is open to the public.

Visitors to the office will be greeted by a volunteer, receive a brochure and brief history of the trail if they desire. Those interested can also accompany a guide on a tour of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Trail.

Guides will also bring visitors to Selma’s Slavery and Civil War Museum, the Voting Rights Museum, and the Old Depot Museum.

Light said she hoped the new office would eventually be moved into the trail’s interpretive center, which is slated to occupy the old People’s Bank building at Broad Street and Water Avenue. Light said that the building is ready to be purchased by the Alabama Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration before being handed over to the City of Selma.

Reese said the collaboration between his group and the National Park Service is important because the park service will lend its resources to the office as the Friends look into sites along the trail.

Reese added that together the groups would gather information on historic sites around the city.

That’s something Carla Cowles appreciates.

Cowles, park ranger with the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, said her duties include setting up exhibits and disseminating trail information. &uot;With any information, I’m the person that gets it out there,&uot; she said.

Cowles will also coordinate trail volunteers.

Anyone interested in volunteering should check the office or contact Cowles at 875-3359.