Parks in Focus 2016 Program Summary Report

In September 2016, the National Park Service teamed up with the Udall Foundation to launch a new Parks in Focus® initiative in Tennessee to introduce Oak Ridge youth to their nearby national parks through digital photography.

In its first year, the program put cameras in the hands of 21 girls, age 8-10, from Girls Incorporated® of Oak Ridge and guided them on 19 fun and educational outings, including visits to various sites of Manhattan Project National Historic Park. The program culminated in June 2017, with a three-day camping trip for the most involved participants to explore and photograph Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area and Obed Wild and Scenic River.
Parks in Focus images

Photos from left to right: SE’DAYJA, age 9, RAINES, age 8, MARY, age 9

Led by National Park Service staff, this Parks in Focus® initiative has allowed the girls to experience the rich history of Oak Ridge and learn about the National Park Service role in preserving that history.
Program Highlights
  • Photography lessons from the Parks in Focus® curriculum on subjects, focus, perspective, composition, macro photography and more.
  • Exploration of various sites of MAPR in and around Oak Ridge, including Jackson Square, the University of Tennessee Arboretum, the Graphite Reactor, Bethel Valley Church and the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge.
  • Guided tours of the Department of Energy facilities.
  • Numerous guest speakers, photographers and educators.
  • A three-day, culminating trip where participants camped and hiked at BISO and went rock climbing at OBRI.
  • Photographs taken by the participants were exhibited at the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge and the Oak Ridge Public Library. See highlights here:
PIF Curriculum Workshops
PIF Program Impact
Program Impact -- By the numbers
For More Information
The Parks in Focus® program in Oak Ridge will resume in fall 2017 with a new cohort of participants from Girls Incorporated®. For more information about the Oak Ridge initiative, contact Veronica Greear at e-mail us or 423.346.6294. For more information about the Parks in Focus® program, contact Bret Muter at e-mail us or 520.901.8569

Last updated: August 4, 2017

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208 N. Maiden Street
Wartburg, TN 37887


(423) 346-6294

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