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Civilian Conservation Corps Camp Interpretive Site

Opens at South Cumberland State Park’s Grundy Day Loop

Community leaders, park rangers, Friends of South Cumberland State Park (SCSP) volunteers, and community members were on hand on April 12th to celebrate the opening of the Company 1475 Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp interpretive site, situated along the Grundy Day Loop in the Tracy City area of the South Cumberland State Park. This project was partially funded by an SCCF grant awarded to the Friends of SCSP in 2017, and the Fund is thrilled to have been a part of this exciting new development for the Park.


As part of the New Deal established during President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration, Civilian Conservation Corps Camps were created in rural areas across the country to provide employment for young, unmarried men, with work focused on conservation of natural resources and infrastructure support in these regions. This initiative turned out to be one of the most popular programs of the New Deal, and led to greater public awareness of the outdoors and the importance of protecting the nation’s natural resources.


Tracy City’s CCC Camp features 13 panels placed at important locations around the site that describe the daily life of the camp. Company 1475 was located at this site from 1935 to 1938, with portable buildings that included barracks for 200 men, a mess hall, kitchen, bath house and latrine, ice house, and a number of other structures. Employees were provided with food, clothing, and shelter and $30 per month pay, $25 of which was sent home to their families. Most of the work performed was manual labor, such as building fire towers, a dam to create Grundy Lakes, and a variety of other tasks designed to improve the rural infrastructure of the region. Appreciation for the men of Company 1475 was permanently embedded in the hearts of Tracy City residents when they arrived on the scene to help fight the terrible fire of April 1935, which burned more than half of the downtown area.


In 1938 work was completed on the Grundy Lakes project and the camp was moved to Franklin County Forest, eventually closing down in 1942 due to U. S. engagement in World War II and the mandatory draft. The majority of the portable buildings were ultimately used to serve the war effort, but portions of two buildings were combined and can be found in-use today as the Sewanee Community Center.


Many thanks are due to the numerous community volunteers and South Cumberland Plateau AmeriCorps VISTAs who labored for two years to bring this exciting exhibit to fruition. SCCF highly recommends taking time to visit this important piece of local history.

Learn more about the CCC Interpretive Area Project @ http://www.friendsofsouthcumberland.org/ccc.html

Our Grants At-work

Folks at Home is Inspiring Elders to Walk with Ease

Exercising during Walk with Ease.jpg

Walk with Ease participants at UOS Fowler Center.

     Recently, SCCF had the opportunity to sit down with Wall Wofford, Executive Director of Sewanee’s Folks at Home, to learn more about this organization that was established for the main purpose of empowering elder residents of the Mountain to remain in their homes as they age. Now entering its tenth year of operations, Folks at Home has received several grants from SCCF over the years directed toward keeping elders healthy.

     The most recent SCCF grant awarded to Folks at Home is $4,383 for the Walk with Ease program, a project begun by the Arthritis Foundation that provides real results for elders suffering from joint stiffness. The program runs three days per week over a six-week period and teaches participants to walk safely and comfortably while dealing with pain, and encourages people with or without arthritis to exercise again. This regimen helps build stability and walking discipline, and potentially reduces falls, the latter of which are a major threat to independent living. The goal of Walk with Ease is to inspire participants to continue to exercise after the program has concluded, and many have done so with some attendees forming a walking group.

     Sarah Cordell, a University of the South Canale student, co-taught a Walk with Ease class with Wall Wofford in 2018 and enjoyed it so much she led her own class in 2019. Folks at Home hopes to attract community members to volunteer to help build the program and enable it to branch out to communities across the Plateau. Due to popular demand the program will be offered again in late spring/early summer 2019 - keep an eye out for the announcement for this session in The Messenger and at www.folksathome.org.


     Walk with Ease has led to more Folks at Home programs that focus on balance, such as a Tai Ji Quan Moving for Better Balance class which began in February of this year and is part of the 2019 Campaign for Balance initiative. Two more balance enhancement classes will be offered later in the year with one of them being a ballroom dance class, to finish the year in style!


“The number of falls we saw in our community in 2018 alerted us to the need for balance improvement classes. If we can prevent one fall-related injury this year, it will make all of these efforts worthwhile.”

Wall Wofford, Executive Director, Folks at Home

“More and more I am seeing what arthritis can do to the quality of one’s life. Walk with Ease is a very productive program which teaches you how to manage arthritis on a day-to-day basis.”

Walk with Ease participant

UOS Canale student Sarah Cordell with her Walk with Ease class.

SCCF Grants At-work:

Morton Memorial United Methodist Church

Sees Real Results from Grants that Benefit Its Food Ministry

In the past, volunteers had to resort to manually carrying food from the top pallet into the church on delivery days and re-stacking it.

The new stacker helps eliminate the amount of manual labor needed to  move food and arrange it for selection. 

In 2018, South Cumberland Community Fund awarded two grants in its spring and fall grant cycles in the amounts of $9,050.00 and $1,986.90 to Morton Memorial United Methodist Church (MMUMC) for its food ministry, which has been serving residents of the Plateau for six years. The SCCF grants were used to purchase an electric pallet stacker and a motorized pallet jack to be used to move food during monthly food deliveries.


In the past MMUMC relied on a forklift borrowed from Monteagle Silo Company to move heavier loads into the building. The addition of the new stacker and motorized pallet jack enable volunteers to move food much more quickly and efficiently, with less strain and fewer potential hazards. 


The MMUMC food bank provides food for roughly 300 people each month; this includes 85 children, with the majority of this demographic represented by seniors, many of whom serve as volunteer recipients. Deliveries originate from Chattanooga Area Food Bank and consist of five to six tons of various non-processed foods, the bulk of which is based on the “My Plate Program” that focuses on protein, grains, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, and also includes seasonal fruits and vegetables when available.

The Mountain’s communities and SCCF are deeply grateful to MMUMC for its dedication to reducing food insecurity on the Plateau.

Please contact Amy Wilson of the MMUMC food ministry at amyjoneswilson@gmail.com for more information on opportunities to help volunteer at the food bank.