Two TN Valley National Park partners merging
Two Tennessee Valley National Park partners announced Tuesday that they are becoming one.
According to a press release, Friends of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park and Friends of Moccasin Bend said "they are merging to streamline operations and support for the national park."
The two groups unveiled the new organization brand name will be National Park Partners. The mission of the organization is "to support the National Park Service in preserving, protecting and interpreting the nationally significant resources associated with the Northwest Georgia/Southeast Tennessee Civil War Campaign for Chattanooga and the 12,000 years of American Indian presence on Moccasin Bend."
“Our park represents important segments of American history from Moccasin Bend’s complicated legacy of American Indian settlement and removal to the lengthy campaign for Chattanooga, a turning point in the Civil War ,” said Tricia Mims, Executive Director of National Park Partners. “Through our united efforts, National Park Partners will support the National Park Service in educating the public about the significance of these resources and promoting the Park as a national treasure.”
There are six national park areas that makeup Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. They span across North Georgia and Southeast Tennessee. Those areas include the Chickamauga Battlefield, Lookout Mountain Battlefield (including Point Park), Missionary Ridge, Moccasin Bend National Archeological District, Orchard Knob and Signal Point.
“The National Park Service has benefitted greatly over the years from the public and private partnerships formed with the two friends groups,” said Brad Bennett, Superintendent of Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park. “By joining forces into National Park Partners, the new organization creates a single point of contact as our philanthropic partner and clears up the potential for confusion within the National Park Service and the general public.”
A spokesperson explained that by merging the two partners, the group's operations will be streamlined. How resources are dributed and how the public and parks communicate will also be improved.
“The groundswell of community support that led to Moccasin Bend becoming part of our National Park system was tremendously effective,” recalls former congressman Zach Wamp, who oversaw the legislation that expanded the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park boundary to include Moccasin Bend in 2003. “We need that same community spirit to rally behind our park, that welcomes one million visitors annually and is a huge asset to our local economy. Let’s all do our part to take this to the next level."
For more information about the National Park Partners, visit their website.