National Park Partners has received an Open OutDoors for Kids grant from the National Park Foundation, designed to enable NPP to connect area students and families to the rich history of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. More than 9,000 acres of National Park land surrounds Chattanooga, including Missionary Ridge, Orchard Knob, Lookout Mountain Battlefield, Chickamauga Battlefield, Signal Point and Moccasin Bend National Archeological District.
The Open OutDoors for Kids project kicked off with NPP hosting a free “Legends of Chattanooga” Fall Break camp for area 4th grade students in October, followed by a MAINX24 float and community engagement activity. Barbara Palko commented on the lasting impression the camp made on her granddaughters, remarking that “my girls are still talking about the experiences they had and the things that they learned.”
Upcoming outreach activities funded through the grant include innovative, interactive experiences and classroom lessons in Hamilton, Catoosa and Walker counties, virtual field trips, and National Park-based learning expeditions. To connect a school, organization, club, or family to these opportunities, please visit nppcha.org or email email@example.com.
“Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park is the largest preserved public landscape in our area, a place belonging to everyone and a place where everyone belongs,” said NPP Executive Director Tricia Mims. “The Open OutDoors for Kids program is a wonderful way to engage the next generation with a sense of ownership and stewardship of the places and the stories that shaped out city and our nation.”
Since 2011, the National Park Foundation has engaged more than one million students in educational programs connecting them with national parks across the country. NPF’s goal is to connect another one million students to parks by 2024. The NPF Open OutDoors for Kids program is made possible by private philanthropy, including support from Youth Engagement and Education premier partner Union Pacific Railroad. Additional support is provided by Apple, Sierra, Columbia Sportswear, Parks Project, The Batchelor Foundation, Inc., Humana and many individual donors.