How we got here

National Park Partners was born out of a desire to  do more for the incredible asset we have in our backyard—our Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.

In 1986, Friends of the Park was established and immediately began helping the National Park Service prepare for the rapidly approaching 100th anniversary of the preservation of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. Following the success of those initial fundraising efforts, the Friends continued in their role as the Park's official philanthropic partner, leveraging support from residents, businesses, and visitors to generate the type of public-private partnership that is the hallmark of our Chattanooga area.

In 1995, Friends of Moccasin Bend was formed to advocate for the inclusion of 750 acres of historically and culturally significant land on Moccasin Bend into National Park Service protection. This goal was achieved in 2003, as the boundary of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park was expanded and Moccasin Bend was named the country's first - and only - National Archeological District.  Friends of Moccasin Bend then turned its focus to supporting the National Park in the creation of a General Management Plan, adopted in 2017, to develop a world-class visitor experience at this newest Park unit.

Today, we have combined these two nonprofits to create National Park Partners. We are passionate about preserving the features of these unique park units, promoting events and learning opportunities, and enhancing the overall guest experience. 


What People Are Saying

I love history, and Moccasin Bend represents the opportunity to explore 12,000 years of our past. I love my community, and Moccasin Bend represents something very exciting for us: a developing national park area that is highly accessible by local and regional school buses. The National Park Service’s interpretive rangers have already developed curriculum-based learning programs and are sharing them with teachers. And that’s only the beginning, because there are plans on the horizon for an archeological interpretive center in the park, special tours, living history events and more. Plus, Moccasin Bend is a developing national park area that is highly accessible to large numbers of underserved inner-city youth. I envision school break camps and summer camps, after-school programs, and youth work projects designed for young Chattanoogans who might not otherwise ever find themselves in a setting that can offer healing quiet and peace, and learning experiences under the wing the National Park Service: America’s most trusted agency for giving us authentic access to the land and what it has to teach.
— John Edwards, III - Publisher, Chattanooga News Chronicle


Meet our board members