Thursday, April 24, 2008
by Lee White
On Monday we had a ceremony to celebrate the addition of 382 acres to the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, this land is located on the western side of Lookout Mountain near the base, and includes land that figured prominently in the Battle of Lookout Mountain. I must also add that the park has done some historic scene restoration and the view from the western slope is now something to behold, being able to view Sunset Rock from point park is particularly impressive, as well as now being able to see the fields which Gen. Geary's Division crossed before moving up the mountain. The following article was published earlier this week:
Lookout Mountain: Officials applaud addition to military park
By: Chloé Morrison
Chattanooga News Free Press.
About 100 people gathered atop Lookout Mountain at Point Park this morning to celebrate a 382-acre expansion of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.
At a time when many Civil War battlefields and national parks are squeezed by outside development, the acquisition from CSX Railroad Co. represents an important milestone for the nation’s first and largest national military park, officials said at the event.
“This does not happen every day, especially in urbanized areas,” said Rick Wood, Chattanooga director of the Trust for Public Land.
U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander and U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, both R-Tenn., spoke of their dedication to land preservation.
“Growing up in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, I’ve appreciated the beauty of our great American outdoors my entire life,” Sen. Alexander said.
Sen. Alexander and Rep. Wamp supported the addition, which was acquired with $4.8 million in congressional appropriations over three years.
The park’s new land flanks the Wauhatchie area in Lookout Valley west of Lookout Mountain and up to the western bank of Lookout Creek. It reaches almost to the CSX rail lines on the floor of the valley and stretches south to the Georgia line.
Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield, Hamilton County Mayor Claude Ramsey and Chickamauga, Ga., City Manager and historian John Culpepper also attended the event.
Park Superintendent Shawn Benge said the Point Park ceremony was a great way to celebrate National Park Week, which runs through April 27. Rep. Wamp also linked the importance of land preservation with Earth Day, which is Tuesday.
Some tourists were also on site, and officials said historic preservation is key to tourism development.
A rifle demonstration and walking tour, led by park historian Jim Ogden, concluded the ceremony.