|Monday, Aug 8, 2005|
Superintendent Connie Rudd is pleased to announce the arrival of nine new exhibits. During the week of August 8, 2005, seven exhibits will be installed at the Travertine Nature Center and two at the new Visitor Information Station located in the Sulphur Chamber of Commerce Office (717 West Broadway). Superintendent Rudd and Chief of Interpretation Ron Parker invite the public to stop by at either or both locations to view the new exhibits that will enrich visitors' experiences at Chickasaw National Recreation Area.
Each movable exhibit is approximately four feet wide and seven and a half feet high with different centerpieces and content displayed on both sides. The subject matter of each panel reflects the primary interpretive themes of Chickasaw National Recreation Area: the park's 500-million-year record of sedimentary deposition, complex hydro geological system, diverse flora and fauna, the wide range of recreational opportunities, the history of the freshwater and mineral springs, the rustic built environment, and the Eastern woodlands meets the Western plains ecotone.
Additional, a ten foot long photomural of the hydro-geologic story will illustrate the region's rock strata depicting layering, upheavals, and faulting overlaid with three panels giving background on the area's geologic and hydrologic history.
Recently the Long Range Interpretive Plan was completed. This management document will serve as the long-range vision of the park's interpretive program for the next five-ten years.
"I'm as excited as a kid on Christmas morning!" expressed Ron Parker. "These new exhibits will tell park stories and introduce park resources quickly to the visitor. They are handsome in design and construction, high quality products, and a great step forward for interpretive exhibits at the park!"
Travertine Nature Center and Visitor Information Station are open seven-days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. There will be an opportunity to photograph the next exhibits on Friday, August 12, 2005 during business hours. Additional information on the topics of each panel: 1. The Ever-Changing Earth - complex geological processes, which began more than 500 million years ago (and continue today), formed the foundation for the freshwater and mineral springs found here. 2. The Water Beneath Your Feet - along with rainfall and runoff, the underground water supply, or aquifer, is the life source of the park's springs, streams, and lakes 3. Elemental Differences - the difference between freshwater and mineral springs is the concentration of minerals in the water. The mineral content comes from the rocks which the water passes through on its way to the surface
4. Those Who Were Here First - People have been attracted to this oasis of shade and water for thousands of years. The abundance of wildlife and plants provided a rich resource for their survival. 5. From the Land of Their Fathers - Tribes from the southeastern United States were forcibly removed to Indian Territory, which is today part of the State of Oklahoma. Among them were the Choctaw and Chickasaw, who made their new home on lands that would later become the park
6. The Pioneer Spirit - As pioneers moved west into Indian Territory, the landscape was transformed by farming, ranching, and fencing the prairie. The springs attracted settlers, who formed a town
7. Emerging Development - with the flurry of development around the springs, the Chickasaw and Choctaw wished to ensure access to the springs for everyone. They sold the land to the Federal Government. It was then protected as Sulphur Springs Reservation. 8. Birth of a National Park - The establishment of Sulphur Springs Reservation prevented future development near the springs and paved the way for the creation of a national park. 9. The Park Transformed - From the 1930s to the 1980s, the park was transformed with the addition of rustic buildings, landscaping, boundary changes, and lakes for recreation. 10. Relationships - Chickasaw National Recreation Area holds a special attraction for families, and camping in the park is long tradition for many.
11. Chickasaw Nation Connections - Members of the Chickasaw Nation honor their historic ties to the land and celebrate their unique cultural legacy. 12. Where the Forest Meets the Prairie - The park is located at the juncture of two distinct ecological communities where abundant and diverse plants and animals thrive. 13. Source of Life - Chickasaw's ponds and lakes, creeks and springs provide habitat and sustenance for all manner of creatures who live in and around them. 14. An Invitation to Visit - You are invited to safely enjoy either a few hours or several days in the park. Your care of the resources ensures they will be here for future generations. 15. Lessons for Life - Informing, educating, and inspiring visitors about the stories and resources of Chickasaw National Recreation Area are key to the park's mission.
16. Caring for the Resource - Protecting the resource is key mission of the park. Learned lessons of the past and careful practices today will help ensure the future of this oasis. 17. A Legacy of Stewardship - This park is yours, and your participation in preserving its water and other resources is critical to its survival. 18. Family Album - Many visitors have lasting memories of the park.