WARTBURG, Tennessee: In 2012, with funding from a National Park Foundation Impact Grant, the Obed Wild and Scenic River launched its "National Park in Your Backyard" program for the sixth grade students of Morgan County. As in previous years, the opportunity to participate in this program will be extended to sixth grade students that are homeschooled or who attend schools other than public schools.
As a part of this program, students spend half of the day underneath Lilly Bluff, where they will learn to use pulleys in a mechanical advantage system to hoist an adult into the air. They will also have the opportunity to try firsthand the rock climbing that draws visitors to the Obed from around the world. Students will spend the other half of the day along the banks of Clear Creek, where they will learn to use aquatic organisms as a gauge of stream health. At this location, in calm water, they will also be given basic instruction in paddling canoes and kayaks. All necessary safety equipment such as harnesses, helmets and lifejackets will be provided.
To participate, students must be in the sixth grade and must attend school, whether in a home or other non-public school setting, in Morgan County. The total number of participants will be limited to 50 and the program will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. To sign up, please call the park office at (423) 346-6294 or email Chief Ranger Matt Hudson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Enrolled participants should meet park staff at Lilly Bridge at 9:00 a.m. (EDT). Each student must have a parent, teacher or other adult guardian present who will be responsible for that student. Students should bring drinking water, a lunch, sturdy footwear, sunscreen and a change of clothing if desired. The program should conclude around 3:00 p.m.
Did You Know?
Did you know that the best times of the year for river paddling on the Obed occur during the spring (when precipitation increases) and in late fall/early winter (when cold rains provide continuous rapids)?