The National Park Service will be replacing one of its broken historical tablets, thanks to the efforts of two local elementary schools, Graysville and West Side.
The two schools conducted their annual “March for Parks” walks on the Chickamauga Battlefield and raised over $3,000 which they donated to the Park.
March for Parks is a nationwide phenomenon designed to promote public awareness of the need to preserve national, state, and local parks.
Thousands of people across the country have participated in these walks where park supporters solicit contributions and then donate the funds to help benefit their local park.
Both Catoosa County Schools hold March for Parks events as part of their Partnership 2000 program, in which they are partnered with the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. It’s a way the students can make a positive impact in their local community, and because it’s a National Park, this program makes a difference to visitors from all over the country. Before the march, participating students gather donations that are used specifically to help the Park recast one of its missing or broken historical tablets.
On April 2, during Civil War Preservation Trust Park Day, volunteers helped park staff install Calvert’s Arkansas Battery tablet back to its original position on the Chickamauga Battlefield. This historic marker had been missing from the commemorative landscape for more that 15 years, and was re-cast using the funds raised from last year’s March for Parks.
This year’s funds will be used to replace Van Cleve’s Division tablet. This historical marker has been missing from its position along the LaFayette Road for more than 20 years.
Park Resource Manager Jim Szyjkowski reported that over the past ten years, March for Parks has raised over $27,000, and as a result, the Park has been able to cast nine different historic tablets. The cost of casting just one of these historic tablets is $5,000. The Park would not be able to restore these tablets, if not for the help of the Partnership Schools.
To learn more about March for Parks, please contact one of the participating schools, or call the Park at (706) 866-9241.