Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park Receives America’s Best Idea Grant

Monday, September 30, 2013

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park is one of 34 national parks across the country selected to receive a 2013 America’s Best Idea grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. Inspired by the critically acclaimed Ken Burns’ documentary “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” the America’s Best Idea program funds park activities designed to connect diverse, underserved and under-engaged populations throughout the United States with their national parks in innovative and meaningful ways. 

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park’s America’s Best Idea grant, entitled “Diversifying History: Bringing a New Connections to an Old Park,” will allow the park to provide local Title I schools funds to assist with transportation to the park. The Friends of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park will provide assistance in ensuring schools will receive these funds, allowing schools to bring their students to participate in the programs.  Without the Friends’ assistance, the park would not have the ability to reach so many schools.

Once students arrive, they will participate in curriculum-based education programs where they will learn of the causes of the Civil War, including focuses on abolition and emancipation related to soldiers who fought in the Civil War and the Battle of Chickamauga. Upon arrival to the park, some schools will be asked to join in creating quilt squares to create a contemporary “freedom quilt” that will be displayed at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. As schools arrive, teachers will be provided information concerning this special project and be provided the needed materials to participate.  

Also, as long as supplies last, teachers will receive classroom resource materials focused on the meanings of “Freedom Quilts” and the institution of slavery by being provided copies of Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl and Jacqueline Tobin’s Hidden in Plain View.  It is the park’s hope that these works will help teachers as they instruct their students about the causes of the Civil War and the fight for freedom it entailed. 

Schools are already reserving times and receiving transportation funds for their students. If you are interested in bringing students to the park, please complete the reservation form and the Title I funding request form located at and email them to Park Ranger Christopher Young at or fax them to 


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