Join volunteers across the nation on Saturday, Sept. 28 taking part in National Public Lands Day - the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands in the United States. This year’s activities at Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park will focus on removing vegetation around the area of historic Camp Demaray. The park asks that participants meet at 8:30 a.m. at the Craven’s House, 1060 Cravens Terrace in Chattanooga, to sign up.
In 1933, a Civil Works Administration facility was founded on the west side of Lookout Mountain and was named Camp Demaray. This camp soon became CCC Camp MP-6. Crews from this and other camps planted bushes, dogwood and other shrubbery along the roads on the mountain, laid sidewalks and built benches, picnic tables and trails. A retaining wall was built around Point Park, gutters and flagstone sidewalks were also placed there. Today only the ruins of Camp Demaray remain.
National Public Land’s Day participants should wear clothes they do not mind getting dirty. For safety reasons and due to the nature of the work, clothing should include long pants, long-sleeve shirt and closed toed boots or shoes, NO open toed shoes. Participants are asked to bring a water bottle as a water cooler will be provided. The park will provide all necessary tools and personal protective equipment, but if a participant wants to bring their own set of gloves or protective eye-wear, they may do so.
After completion of the project, participants are invited to attend Living History demonstrations honoring the CCC in Point Park on top of Lookout Mountain. Entrance to Point Park will be free for National Public Lands Day.
National Public Lands Day began in 1994 and is organized each year by the National Environmental Education Foundation. NPLD promotes the connection between people and the environment by inviting everyone to get outside. NPLD brings together hundreds of thousands of individual and organizational volunteers to help restore the country’s public lands. "These are the places Americans use for outdoor recreation, education and just plain enjoyment. These lands encompass national parks, monuments, wildlife refuges, forests, grasslands, marine sanctuaries, lakes and reservoirs, as well as state, county and city parks that are managed by public agencies, but that belong to and are enjoyed by all of us," officials said.