Park Mission, Purpose and Significance Statements
Chickasaw National Recreation Area exists as a part of the National Park System to provide for the protection of the park's unique resources, springs, streams, lakes and other natural features, its cultural history and structures, as well as its recreational resources and built facilities; and to provide for the public education, appreciation, and recreational use and enjoyment of these resources. We will strive to give each visitor an enjoyable and memorable experience.
Purpose statements are based on Chickasaw National Recreation Area’s legislation and legislative history and NPS policies. The statements reaffirm the reasons for which the area was set aside as a park unit, and provide the foundation for the area’s management and use.
The purpose of Chickasaw National Recreation Area is to:
protect the springs and waters; preserve areas of archeological or ethnological interest; provide outdoor recreation; protect scenic, scientific, natural, and historic values; and memorialize the Chickasaw Indian Nation.
Significance statements capture the essence of Chickasaw National Recreation Area’s importance to our country’s natural and cultural heritage. Significance statements do not inventory an area’s resources; rather, they describe the area’s distinctiveness and help place Chickasaw National Recreation Area within its regional, national, and international contexts. Significance statements answer questions such as: Why are Chickasaw National Recreation Area resources distinctive? What do they contribute to our natural/cultural heritage? Defining the area’s significance helps managers make decisions that preserve the resources and values necessary to accomplish Chickasaw National Recreation Area’s purpose.
The significance of Chickasaw National Recreation Area is as follows:
- Chickasaw National Recreation Area contains mineral and fresh water, which comes from one of the most complex geological and hydrological features in the United States.
- The cultural landscape of the proposed Platt National Park Historic District in Chickasaw National Recreation Area reflects the primary era of 1933–1940, when the Civilian Conservation Corps implemented National Park Service “rustic” designs. This is one of the most intact landscapes of that period.
- Recreational opportunities are available to experience a wide range of outdoor activities — swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, observing nature, hunting, camping, bicycling, horseback riding, family reunions, and picnicking — all of which remind us of the rural character in the history of the American people.
- Chickasaw National Recreation Area is home to a transition zone where the eastern deciduous forest meets the western prairies, which is unique to the central part of the United States.
- The long history of Chickasaw National Recreation Area exemplifies the evolution of the American conservation movement and the national park system. The significance of naming the area “Chickasaw” is meant to memorialize the foresight that this Indian tribe showed when they agreed to protect the natural freshwater and mineral water resources of this area through public government ownership over private ownership.