Friends of the Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park
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National Treasures 2016: Centennial Picnic in the Park - August 25, 2016

The Friends of Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park are excited to announce plans for the eighth annual “National Treasures” event.  On Thursday, August 25th the iconic gates of Point Park will be thrown open for a casual evening of music, activities, and dinner to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. 

This year’s party at Point Park marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Park Service on August 25, 1916 and celebrates the importance of our local national park.  From 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm, guests will gather atop Lookout Mountain to stroll along the park’s breathtaking paths along the brow, enjoy the music of the Power Players underneath the iconic New York Peace Monument, and toast the centennial of the National Park Service.  Chattanooga’s first tourist destination – Umbrella Rock – will again be open for photographs and “selfies.”

            National Treasures Chair Becky Browder notes, “This year’s National Treasures event is even more special as it is occurring on the National Park Service’s Founders Day – the day the agency is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its establishment.  Each year, National Treasures honors our local national park and commemorates the important role it plays in our community but this year we will also celebrate the importance of the agency that manages 407sites maintaining America’s natural and historic treasures.”

            Along with the great music, the Centennial Picnic promises to be an evening of food, fun, and facts about our national parks as guests enjoy “trip around Point Park” to various trivia stations.  This special evening in Point Park only happens once a year and the Friends of the Park invite all National Park Service fans and supporters to attend the special Centennial Picnic. Click HERE to purchase tickets!

Marines from Mike Battery at the M Battery Monument on Chickamauga Battlefield (photo supplied by Chattanooga Track Club)

48th Chickamauga Chase remembering

July 16, 2015

Editor’s Note: Chickamauga Chase Race Director George Skonberg wrote this article for the Chattanooga Track Club magazine.  The Friends appreciate all George and the Track Club do each year to make the Chase such a great running event.  This year's race is especially meaningful as it is honoring the servicemen and women of Chattanooga's Navy & Marine Corps Reserve Center and the Armed Forces Career Center and remembering those servicemen who lost their lives on July 16, 2015. 

We hope that you will join us on April 16th for the 48th running of The Chickamauga Chase.  I think you will agree that this year's event will be special in deeply meaningful way. We have invited all members of the Navy & Marine Corps Reserve Center and the Armed Forces Career Center in Chattanooga - and their immediate family members, to participate in The Chickamauga Chase as our guests (complimentary entry, no fees).  


Our invitation is simple and without strings.  We simply want to honor and show our respect to our servicemen, women and their families - and offer a simple memorial to those that lost their lives last summer.   The idea began when I read the article in the Chattanooga Times Free Press about the Marines from Mike Battery following the attacks, making a retreat and pilgrimage to the M Battery monument at the Chickamauga Battlefield.  The Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park was established in 1890 as our country's first national military park, commemorating the sacrifices and heroism of Civil War soldiers.  It has often been written that the dedication of the Park brought much needed closure of the tragedy of war to many veterans of the battle. In the words of former Union General William Rosecrans, "It took great men to win that battle, but it takes greater men still to wipe away all the ill feeling which naturally grows out of such conflict." I was moved to see in that photo, the same search for closure from the Marines from Mike Battery.  The 14th Corps, Ohio, Battery M monument serves to anchor this year's artwork, and we memorialize the sacrifice of the five servicemen who were lost on July 16th, 2015. We have no idea how many will avail themselves of our invitation, but deeply hope that you will do your part to be there as a tribute.  The Chase needs your support to make this work.  Please, please, try to help us.


Last year we reintroduced the Trail Race to the event.  Our inaugural year in 2013 was successful, but we had some logistical and planning issues to work out before we were able to continue with this option.  With the great help from Randy Whorton and Wild Trails, we were back in operation in 2015, and hope to continue to offer this option going forward.  The Trail Race is approximately 8 miles, and offers seasoned trail runners and novices alike a great venue.  There are some slight technical stretches and occasional boggy sections – but for the most part the course is easy to moderate with predominantly good footing and no significant elevation gain.  Give it a try!


Wet weather during race week over the past few years has forced us to use off-park parking areas and shuttle buses.  We don't like this any more than you do, but please be assured the process is well planned and orderly (thank you Rick Loggins!).  If wet conditions preclude us from parking at the recreation field in the park, you will be directed to Oakwood Baptist Church just south of the race location and be shuttled to the staging area.   It is hassle free, and our permit from the National Park Service requires this contingency.  Please don’t let this keep you away.


As always, the net proceeds from The Chickamauga Chase go to the Friends of Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military, a not for profit organization that helps to preserve, enhance, and promote the Park in perpetuity. Please or


Please visit our  for complete details, or refer to a race brochure for general information.  Special thanks for years of generous support from our presenting sponsor, Chattem's Icy Hot, and supporting sponsor UBS. If you have any registration questions contact Rita Fanning at  or 423-309-1278, or race director George Skonberg at or 423-757-7633.

December 2015 newsletter

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park and Friends of the Park Announce Find Your Park Signage Project

Funding provided through the NPS Centennial Challenge Program


Fort Oglethorpe, GA:  The National Park Service has announced $15 million in support of 69 projects in 63 parks, including $24,500 at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park to replace outdated entrance signs at 12 major areas of the national park in Georgia and Tennessee, and to build a new primary entrance sign designed for group photographs.  The funding will be matched with $49,200 from the Friends of Chickamauga and Chattanooga NMP.


Funding for the project is provided through the National Park Service’s Centennial Challenge Program to leverage partnerships to improve visitor services, support outreach to new audiences, and reinvigorate national parks while foraging connections with communities.  Congress provided $15 million for the Centennial Challenge projects, which will be matched by almost $33 million more from more than 90 park partners.  The 69 projects total almost $48 million and are located at 63 parks in 38 states, the District of Columbia, and the U. S. Virgin Islands.


“As the National Park Service enters its centennial year in 2016, Congress and generous partners across the country are making exceptional investments to improve park facilities, enhance their accessibility and help more visitors – especially young people – discover our nation’s inspiring places and stories,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.


Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park Superintendent Brad Bennett is pleased to be able to implement this project:  “This private-public partnership project will help the park replace several damaged and outdated signs while providing a fresh welcome to the public during the 100th anniversary celebration of the National Park Service. With the support of the Friends, we invite local residents and visitors to discover and experience the many special places throughout this national park – from Chickamauga Battlefield to Lookout Mountain Battlefield, from Signal Point to Orchard Knob, and from Missionary Ridge to Moccasin Bend.”


Friends of the Park president Anthony Hodges said, "During the Centennial of the National Park Service, the Friends of the Park are pleased to assist with placing new signs at many of the units of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park and to create a photo-worthy entrance in front of the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center."  President Hodges noted that this project is being funded through a generous gift from the estate of Shawn Johns who volunteered as a living historian in the national park for many years. Hodges continued, "Mr. Johns enjoyed sharing the stories of the soldiers who fought at Chickamauga and Chattanooga with visitors, and because of his gift, the Friends can assist the park in improving entrances to welcome the next generation of visitors."   

The signs at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park have marked the way for visitors for many years.  In this Centennial year visitors will truly be able to find their park and the many units associated throughout the area.  In addition, a marquee sign will be produced and will serve as a great place to take photos as a lasting reminder of your park experience.

(CHCH press release 2-3-2016)



Unveiling of the Restored Ohio State Monument on


Missionary Ridge –


Efforts Led By Ohio School Students



The National Park Service and the Friends of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park announce the unveiling of the newly restored Ohio State Monument on the Missionary Ridge Battlefield. Restored through a partnership with twenty-six 5th grade students from Waggoner Road Middle School in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, the monument will be unveiled on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 11 am at the Ohio Reservation, South Crest Road, Missionary Ridge


Placed on Missionary Ridge in 1903, the Ohio monument features four life size granite statues.  Three of the figures represent the infantry, artillery and cavalry. The fourth figure is a drummer boy. After more than 110 years, the monument required some repairs, specifically to the drummer boy. Led by teacher Derek Hinkle, the 5th grade students from Ohio raised $6,000 to restore the monument.  The public is invited to join the students in rededicating the Ohio State Monument.


Please note there is no parking at the Ohio Reservation.  All guests MUST park at the McCallie School, 500 Dodds Avenue for a shuttle service to the event.  Please enter McCallie off Dodds Avenue and turn right into the first parking lot (follow special event signs).  A bus will leave the McCallie parking lot at 10:45 am for a one time shuttle to the event site.  The shuttle will return guests to their cars following the event. 


CCNMP Seeks Public Comment on Amended General Management Plan

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park Superintendent Cathy Cook announces that a general management planning effort focused on Lookout Mountain Battlefield is now underway. The planning effort will amend the 1988 General Management Plan to provide guidance for making informed decisions about the future of park resource conditions and visitor experiences within the Lookout Mountain
Battlefield unit of the park.


The National Park Service has developed two preliminary alternative management concepts for the battlefield for public review, comment, suggestions, and advice. The preliminary alternatives and proposed changes to management zoning for Lookout Mountain can be viewed at: Comments can be submitted electronically through the website between February 8 and April 8, 2013.


The park will host an open house on February 28, 2013 between 3:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at the St. Elmo Fire Hall: 4501 St. Elmo Avenue, Chattanooga TN. The purpose of the open house is for the National Park Service to describe alternatives and hear your ideas, concerns and thoughts about this special place. 
Formal presentations will be at 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.  Comment forms will be available at the open house.

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000
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Friends of the Park

P.O. Box 748

Chattanooga, TN 37401

Phone 423.648.5623
FAX 423.648.5624

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