Natchez Trace Parkway Read with a Ranger Program: “Not a Buzz to Be Found”

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Natchez Trace Parkway Read with a Ranger Program: “Not a Buzz to Be Found”

TUPELO, MS – The Natchez Trace Parkway invites children and their families to a Read with a Ranger program on Saturday, February 8, 2020, at 10 am in the Parkway Visitor Center. This month’s featured story is “Not a Buzz to Be Found: Insects in Winter.” Uncover where insects go in winter to keep warm.

Read with a Ranger is a 45-minute program that is most appropriate for ages six and under, but everyone is welcome.  Participants will listen to a story and join in a fun activity. To confirm the time and program scheduled each month, please visit at www.nps.gov/natr/planyourvisit/calendar.htm. This program is free to the public.

The visitor center is located at milepost 266 on the Natchez Trace Parkway near Tupelo, Mississippi. For additional information, call (800) 305-7417. 

America’s federal lands and waters are living classrooms. Make learning come alive by participating in Every Kid Outdoors. All current 4th graders and their families can visit national parks, monuments, seashores and more for free. Learn more at www.nps.gov/everykidoutdoors

www.nps.gov

The National Park Service Announces Availability of the Administrative Record File for the Meriwether Lewis Firing Range in Tennessee

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The National Park Service Announces Availability of the Administrative Record File for the Meriwether Lewis Firing Range in Tennessee

TUPELO, MS:  The National Park Service (NPS) announces the availability of the Administrative Record File for public review on the Meriwether Lewis Firing Range Site. The firing range is located on the north side of the Natchez Trace Parkway near Milepost 378, approximately 8 miles south of the Meriwether Lewis Monument and Campground, and has not been used since 2016. The site will be evaluated for potential presence of contaminants.

The Administrative Record includes documents that the NPS will use to select a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) response action if necessary. The Administrative Record File currently includes the Preliminary Assessment/Site Inspection Report. The Administrative Record will be updated to include other documents considered in the selection of a cleanup action, if required, including the Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA) report, comments submitted by interested persons, NPS responses to significant comments, and the EE/CA approval memorandum.

The Administrative Record File is available in digital format. To request a digital copy, please provide your email address or mailing address to:

Béla Varga
Acting Environmental Management Branch Chief
NPS Region 2 South Atlantic Gulf
1924 Building, 100 Alabama St. SW
Atlanta, GA  30303

(404) 507-5722
Bela_Varga@nps.gov

www.nps.gov

Update – Natchez Trace Parkway Road Closure Near Ridgeland, MS

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Update – Natchez Trace Parkway Road Closure Near Ridgeland, MS

HEADQUARTERS, MS: Natchez Trace Parkway officials closed a 7-mile stretch of road from milepost 93.1 to milepost 100.7 on October 31, 2019 to replace a culvert that reached is operational life span. Continuous rain throughout the southern district since October has delayed repairs.

The culvert was replaced the week of January 5, 2020 but work near the road is not complete. Rain has saturated the ground, which has not allowed contractors to accommodate the heavy equipment. The Parkway needs at least two weeks without rain for the ground to sufficiently dry enough to move the equipment in where it needs to be. Rain continues to be in the forecast for the foreseeable future. “Visitor and staff safety remains our top priority. We apologize for the inconvenience and request the public’s patience and understanding as we wait out the weather.” stated Acting Superintendent Laura Perdices.

For more information about the Natchez Trace Parkway, go to www.nps.gov/natr or call 1-800-305-7417.

www.nps.gov

The Natchez Trace Parkway Presents Traditional Music by the North Mississippi Dulcimer Association

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The Natchez Trace Parkway Presents Traditional Music by the North Mississippi Dulcimer Association

TUPELO, MS – A special program of dulcimer music will be provided by the North Mississippi Dulcimer Association from 10 am to noon on Saturday, February 1, 2020, at the Parkway Visitor Center located at milepost 266 near Tupelo, Mississippi.

The North Mississippi Dulcimer Association teaches dulcimer history, tradition, craftsmanship, and music by sharing its knowledge and talents. The Appalachian mountain dulcimer is the first instrument developed in the United States. Dating back to the early 1800s, the dulcimer is an instrument whose very name means “sweet sound.” The National Park Service and the North Mississippi Dulcimer Association invite everyone to listen to the soft sweet sounds of the dulcimer and learn about its extensive history.

This program is free.  For additional information, call 1-800-305-7417. 

www.nps.gov

Early Morning Traffic Safety Checkpoint

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Early Morning Traffic Safety Checkpoint

TUPELO, MS – Natchez Trace Parkway rangers conducted a traffic safety checkpoint just south of the City of Tupelo during the early peak commute hours on January 15, 2020. This checkpoint was designed to remove unlawfully operated vehicles, such as impaired or unlicensed drivers, from the Parkway during peak traffic.

“This checkpoint allowed us to focus on those most likely to die in motor vehicle collisions – our local drivers,” stated Acting District Ranger Jay Drinkwater. Driving without a valid license or a suspended license is a common element in fatal collisions along the Parkway. It is within the operational policies of the Parkway to tow vehicles that are operated without insurance. “We’ll give folks all the time they need to produce their proof of insurance; but if a vehicle isn’t insured it isn’t welcome on the Parkway,” Drinkwater continued.

Over 850 vehicles were screened in a 4-hour period that resulted in 4 arrests, 26 vehicles towed, and 34 tickets and 38 warnings issued. Of those arrested, two were for outstanding warrants, one was for possession of a controlled substance, and the fourth was a foreign national arrested for an immigration violation. “The ranger’s goal is to create a safe environment for all who use the Parkway, and this operation was a great success toward that goal,” added Acting Chief Ranger John Hearne.

The Parkway does not receive any money from tickets written by the rangers. All fines go to the Office for Victims of Crimes, which aids victims of crimes that are committed on federal land.

www.nps.gov

Natchez Trace Parkway Presents Junior Ranger Program “Beak Knows Best”

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Natchez Trace Parkway Presents Junior Ranger Program “Beak Knows Best”

TUPELO, MS – The Natchez Trace Parkway invites children and their families to “Beak Knows Best,” a Junior Ranger program on Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 10:00am at the Parkway Visitor Center. Join a park ranger for this 45-minute program to learn how you can determine what a bird might eat just by looking at its beak. Whether it’s long or short, skinny or fat, wide or thin, a bird’s beak can tell you a lot about the bird itself.  This program is ideal for children seven to 12 years old, but everyone is welcome.

The Parkway Visitor Center is located at milepost 266 on the Natchez Trace Parkway, near Tupelo, Mississippi. For additional information, please call 800-305-7417. 

America’s federal lands and waters are living classrooms. Make learning come alive by participating in Every Kid Outdoors. All current fourth graders and their families can visit national parks, monuments, seashores and more for free. Learn more at www.nps.gov/everykidoutdoors

www.nps.gov

Pioneer Day at the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center

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Pioneer Day at the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center

TUPELO, MS – The Tombigbee Pioneer Group will demonstrate pioneer era crafts and skills at the Parkway Visitor Center from 10:00am-3:00pm on Saturday, January 25, 2020. The demonstrations will show the challenges faced and creative solutions developed by those pioneers who lived in the area from the 1700s to around 1840.

The public is invited to participate in pioneer lifestyle activities that often include crafting baskets, spinning, weaving, leather working, making cornhusk dolls, and other traditional craft demonstrations. Mountain dulcimer demonstrations are usually offered throughout the day. Children are invited to dress up in pioneer clothes and participate in craft activities.

This program is free to the public. The visitor center is located at milepost 266 on the Natchez Trace Parkway, near Tupelo, Mississippi. For additional information, please call (800) 305-7417. 

www.nps.gov

Controlled Burning along the Natchez Trace Parkway

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Controlled Burning along the Natchez Trace Parkway

TUPELO, MS: The Natchez Trace Parkway will conduct several small prescribed fires (controlled burns) during the month of January 2020 in accordance with the schedule below. These prescribed fires will help to restore the native prairie and open woodlands, as well as reduce hazardous fuels that could burn in a wildfire.

Prescribed Fire NameMilepostCounty
Twentymile Overlook278Lee, MS
Headquarters Tupelo266Lee, MS
Chickasaw Village262Lee, MS
Lakeside260Lee, MS
Tockshish250Pontotoc, MS

Prescribed fire is a cost effective tool used to manage the forests and grasslands that encompass the parkway. Prescribed fire reduces the buildup of dead woody material, decreases the risk of catastrophic wildfire, perpetuates fire dependent vegetation, reduces exotic vegetation, provides habitat and forage for animals, and restores the natural role of fire in a healthy ecosystem. During prescribed fire operations, smoke warning signs will be placed along the parkway as a precaution.  Motorists should travel at a safe speed with headlights on when smoke is visible. There may be short term closures of trails and picnic sites during the burns. Please be aware of park rangers, firefighting personnel, and equipment along the roadway and mow line. If visibility falls below 500 feet, the parkway may be temporarily closed until smoke has cleared. Some smoke may be visible for several days after initial prescribed fire operations have ended.

For more information about the Natchez Trace Parkway Fire Management Division, please visit nps.gov/natr/learn/management/firemanagement.htm

www.nps.gov

Temporary Ramp Closures at I-55

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Temporary Ramp Closures at I-55

RIDGELAND, MS: Natchez Trace Parkway officials announce that the I-55 North (milepost 101.3) and South (milepost 101.2) bound ramps exiting the Parkway in Ridgeland, Mississippi will close for repairs for approximately one week each. The North bound ramp is closed as of today. Once it re-opens, the South bound ramp will close for repairs. Entry onto the parkway from I-55 will not be affected.

Traffic exiting off the Parkway should take the Rice Road Extension to US 51 South then to I-55 Frontage Road to access the interstate.

For more information about the Parkway, please call (800) 305-7417.

www.nps.gov

7 of 15 Chisha Foka Multi-Use Trail Temporary Closure in Ridgeland

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7 of 15 Chisha Foka Multi-Use Trail Temporary Closure in Ridgeland

RIDGELAND, MS: Natchez Trace Parkway officials announce that a section of the bike and walk trail from the South Perkins Street (milepost 101.8) to Highway 51 in Ridgeland, Mississippi (milepost 102.2) is closed for repairs. The trail will be re-opened as soon as repairs are completed. The closure is anticipated to last through mid-February.

www.nps.gov

Natchez Trace Parkway Presents Junior Ranger Program “Quill Pen Writing”

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Natchez Trace Parkway Presents Junior Ranger Program “Quill Pen Writing”

TUPELO, MS – The Natchez Trace Parkway invites children and their families to “Quill Pen Writing” a Junior Ranger program held at the Parkway Visitor Center on Saturday, February 15, 2020, at 10 am. Join a park ranger, dressed in living history attire, for a 45-minute program to learn about how people use to write with quill pens back in the early 1800s. Visitors will get to write their own letter and seal it with wax. This free hands-on program is ideal for children 7 to 12 years old, but everyone is welcome.

The Parkway Visitor Center is located at milepost 266 on the Natchez Trace Parkway, near Tupelo, Mississippi. For additional information, please call 1-800-305-7417. 

America’s federal lands and waters are living classrooms. Make learning come alive by participating in Every Kid Outdoors. All current 4th graders and their families can visit national parks, monuments, seashores and more for free. Learn more at www.nps.gov/everykidoutdoors

www.nps.gov

The Natchez Trace String Band to Perform at the Parkway Information Cabin

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The Natchez Trace String Band to Perform at the Parkway Information Cabin

RIDGELAND, MS – The Natchez Trace Parkway invites visitors to enjoy the talents and sounds of local musicians at the Parkway Information Cabin on January 18, 2020 from 9:30 am to 11:30 am. The Natchez Trace String Band, a small group of local acoustic musicians, will fill the cabin with the sounds of traditional folk, country, and bluegrass music. Visitors are welcome to stop by for a few minutes or bring a chair and stay awhile.

This program is free of charge. The Parkway Information Cabin (milepost 102.4) is located approximately one mile north of I-55 at exit 105A, or just east of the intersection of Rice Road and Highway 51. For additional information, call (601) 856-7321.

www.nps.gov

Historic French Camp Presents Founders Day

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Historic French Camp Presents Founders Day

Celebrating 210 Years of Unique History
May 9, 2020

Walt Grayson, Wolf River Drum & Bagpipe, Dixie National Wagon Train, Chief Pushmataha Reenactor, British and American Reenactors from War of 1812, Mass Choir and others to appear.

When Congress approved a post road from Nashville to Natchez in 1806, trader Louis LeFleur decided to build an inn and trading post at the midpoint, establishing what is now known as French Camp.

LeFleur was a Christian, so early on he sought missionaries and educators to serve the native Choctaw population.  This heritage of Christianity and a commitment to education continues in French Camp today.

On May 9, 2020, the entire town will celebrate three unique phases of French Camp history.

The Beginning 1810-1830LeFleur establishes the community.  Missionaries and educators arrive.  Andrew Jackson builds a relationship with LeFleur, using French Camp as a place of staging and recovery for his army of militia, free blacks and Indians during the Battle of New Orleans.  Greenwood – LeFleur’s son and great nephew of Pushmataha – is elected Chief of the Choctaw Nation.

The Settlement 1839-1859The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830 opens the area for white migration.  Scotch-Irish pioneers arrive and begin to settle. Many of their descendants continue to populate the area today.

The Heyday 1880-1920French Camp grows and thrives, opening formal Christian Schools for both men and women.  Presbyterian, Baptist and African American churches grow.  Town becomes a center of area commerce.

The formal May 9th program will be hosted by Walt Grayson.  There will also be a 64 square foot display modeling the town at its peak.  A mass choir made up of the French Camp Academy Choir and churches from across the area will perform.  There will also be food and other vendors, as well as a model T display.  Other displays will be added as the event nears.

Admission and parking will be free, but early arrival is encouraged. Visit frenchcamp.org to learn more.

Natchez Trace Parkway Read with a Ranger Program: “Whose Moon Is That?”

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Natchez Trace Parkway Read with a Ranger Program: “Whose Moon Is That?”

TUPELO, MS – The Natchez Trace Parkway invites children and their families to come enjoy the Read with a Ranger program at 10 am on Saturday, January 11, 2020, at the Parkway Visitor Center. This month’s featured story is “Whose Moon Is That?” Discover who really owns the moon as we follow a curious cat attempting to answer that question. However, by the end of the book the moon answers for itself – the moon is for everyone. After the story we will learn about the moon, the stars, and their importance.

Read with a Ranger is a 45-minute program that is most appropriate for ages six and under, but everyone is welcome.  Participants will listen to a story and join in a fun activity. To confirm the time and program scheduled each month, visit nps.gov/natr/planyourvisit/calendar. This program is free to the public.

The visitor center is located at milepost 266 on the Natchez Trace Parkway near Tupelo, Mississippi. For additional information, call (800) 305-7417. 

America’s federal lands and waters are living classrooms. Make learning come alive by participating in Every Kid Outdoors. All current 4th graders and their families can visit national parks, monuments, seashores and more for free. Learn more at www.nps.gov/everykidoutdoors

www.nps.gov

The Natchez Trace Parkway Presents Traditional Music by the North Mississippi Dulcimer Association

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The Natchez Trace Parkway Presents Traditional Music by the North Mississippi Dulcimer Association

TUPELO, MS – A special program of dulcimer music will be provided by the North Mississippi Dulcimer Association from 10 am to noon on Saturday, January 4, 2020, at the Parkway Visitor Center located at milepost 266 near Tupelo, Mississippi.

The North Mississippi Dulcimer Association teaches dulcimer history, tradition, craftsmanship, and music by sharing its knowledge and talents. The Appalachian mountain dulcimer is the first instrument developed in the United States. Dating back to the early 1800s, the dulcimer is an instrument whose very name means “sweet sound.” The National Park Service and the North Mississippi Dulcimer Association invite everyone to listen to the soft sweet sounds of the dulcimer and learn about its extensive history.

This program is free.  For additional information, call 1-800-305-7417. 

www.nps.gov

The Natchez Trace String Band to Perform at the Parkway Information Cabin

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The Natchez Trace String Band to Perform at the Parkway Information Cabin

RIDGELAND, MS – The Natchez Trace Parkway invites visitors to enjoy the talents and sounds of local musicians at the Parkway Information Cabin on December 21, 2019, from 9:30 am to 11:30 am. The Natchez Trace String Band, a small group of local acoustic musicians, will fill the cabin with the sounds of traditional folk, country, and bluegrass music. Visitors are welcome to stop by for a few minutes or bring a chair and stay awhile.

This program is free of charge. The Parkway Information Cabin (milepost 102.4) is located approximately one mile north of I-55 at exit 105A, or just east of the intersection of Rice Road and Highway 51. For additional information, call (601) 856-7321.

www.nps.gov

Natchez Trace Parkway Read with a Ranger Program: “Over and Under the Snow”

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Natchez Trace Parkway Read with a Ranger Program: “Over and Under the Snow”

TUPELO, MS – The Natchez Trace Parkway invites children and their families to come enjoy the Read with a Ranger program at 10:00am on Saturday, December 21, 2019, at the Parkway Visitor Center. This month’s featured story is “Over and Under the Snow.” Discover an entire world under your feet as you explore the many animals that stay under the snow to survive the harsh winter environment.  Hot chocolate, hot apple cider, and cookies will be available for visitors to enjoy. Bring blankets or even wear pajamas to make it extra cozy!

Read with a Ranger is a 45-minute program that is most appropriate for ages six and under, but all ages are welcome.  Participants will listen to a story and join in a fun activity. To confirm the time and program scheduled each month, please visit our website calendar atnps.gov/natr/planyourvisit/calendar

This program is free to the public. The visitor center is located at milepost 266 on the Natchez Trace Parkway, near Tupelo, Mississippi. For additional information, call 1-800-305-7417. 

America’s federal lands and waters are living classrooms. Make learning come alive by participating in Every Kid Outdoors. All current 4th graders and their families can visit national parks, monuments, seashores and more for free. Learn more at www.nps.gov/everykidoutdoors

www.nps.gov

Visitation Numbers for the Natchez Trace Parkway are Released

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Visitation Numbers for the Natchez Trace Parkway are Released

TUPELO, MS: Acting Superintendent Laura Perdices stated from January through July 2019, the Natchez Trace Parkway experienced an overall slight decrease in the number of recreational visits. “An average of 535,862 visitors per month used the Parkway from January through July 2019 compared to 545,547 who were counted in 2018.” 

Month20182019
January520,652485,642
February493,303472,579
March548,460550,701
April562,551560,343
May532,313540,971
June567,551562,198
July593,998578,598
Year to Date3,818,8283,751,032

These numbers continue to put the Natchez Trace Parkway on track to be among the top ten most visited National Park Service sites. The Natchez Trace Parkway has numerous recreational activities to match any interest or experience level. Whether camping, motorcycling, hiking, biking, boating, fishing, or horseback riding there are countless opportunities to experience the history, culture, and natural resources of the area.

To find out more about upcoming programs and general information about the Natchez Trace Parkway, please visit our website at www.nps.gov/natr.

www.nps.gov