|Subscribe | What is RSS|
Contact: Kim Coons, 423-752-5213 x139
Fort Oglethorpe, GA: On July 22, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced that the National Park Service is teaming up with partners across the nation to distribute more than $50 million in high priority maintenance and infrastructure projects at 42 parks in 29 states, including $143,733 at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park to construct an orientation plaza and park trails at Moccasin Bend National Archeological Distric. The funding for Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park will be matched with $287,546 from the Friends of Moccasin Bend.
Congress provided $20 million for the projects as part of the Centennial Challenge program which will be matched by $33 million from more than 50 park partners to improve trails, restore buildings, and increase visitor access to parks.
“Our national parks span twelve time zones and attract more than 330 million visitors every year. This puts an incredible stress on the aging infrastructure at our parks and thanks to Centennial Challenge Grants and the generosity of public-private partners, we are able to distribute funds to rebuild our parks,” said Secretary Zinke. “Using public-private partnerships to help address the deferred maintenance backlog remains a priority for the Department and the Trump Administration. Park infrastructure includes trails, signage, restrooms, lodges, roads, bridges and waterlines. These funds will help us continue to provide a world-class experience to visitors and ensure that these amazing places are around for future generations.” “Many of the national parks that Americans treasure today would simply not exist without the strong partnerships and philanthropy that have benefited the national park idea for over a century,” said Acting National Park Service Director Michael T. Reynolds. “The Centennial Challenge program continues that proud tradition by matching dollars from Congress with generous donations from dedicated partners to make high-impact improvements in parks.”
“The construction of an orientation plaza and park trails at Moccasin Bend is one of many ways Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, is working closely with the Friends of Moccasin Bend to ensure that our visitors have a safe and enjoyable experience said acting park superintendent Barbara Judy. “We are very excited to move forward with development on Moccasin Bend and connecting this vast archeological resource and its stories with the greater Chattanooga community.”
Friends of Moccasin Bend Executive Director Tricia Mims said that “through the generous support of the Benwood Foundation, Lyndhurst Foundation, Tucker Foundation and the City of Chattanooga and their contribution of local funds they were able to make the federal match a reality. Their leadership and vision will create tremendous return on investment, as the planned enhancements will improve access to Moccasin Bend National Archeological District; increase visitation and tourism revenue; and bring heightened awareness to the incredible natural and cultural resources of this urban park.”
In 2003 when Moccasin National Archeological District became part of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park the goal has always been to connect these resources with the visitors. Since that time improvements have been made at the Blue Blazes Trail and the Federal Road property and now this project will connect people, in an even more tangible way, to an incredible resource located in the middle of a downtown area. Visitors will get a glimpse into the past of this amazing place with over 10,000 years of human occupation.
Since 2015 the National Park Service has leveraged over $45 million in funding from congress through the Centennial Challenge program to attract more than $77 million from partner organizations to support over hundreds of projects across the country that have improved visitor services and strengthened partnerships to reinvigorate national parks.
For a complete list of centennial challenge projects and partners please visit http://www.nps.gov/subjects/centennial/nps-centennial-challenge-projects.htm