Discovery Park Continues to Champion Access to High-Quality Museum Experiences

We have announced that Discovery Park is participating in the Museums for All program beginning in January 2023. This initiative of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Individuals or groups of four participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can present an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card at the Discovery Park ticket counter and receive complimentary general admission tickets for that day.

“Providing access to a world-class educational facility was the vision of our founders, the late Robert and Jenny Kirkland, when they decided to build a state-of-the-art museum and heritage park in rural Northwest Tennessee. The Museums for All program aligns nicely with our mission to inspire children and adults to see beyond,” said Dr. Emalee Buttrey, Discovery Park’s director of education, programming and museum experience. “Our goal is for those who visit to leave Discovery Park having experienced something new that ignites a lifelong desire to learn more. The decision to participate in the Museums for All program will allow us to welcome a greater number of guests by eliminating financial barriers and increasing accessibility.”

Our guests experience the visual, literary, music and performing arts; interactive STEM exhibits; opportunities to learn about the cultural heritage of the region and more. We achieve this by convening public programs and interactive learning opportunities and the presentation of exhibits and live performances.

More information about planning a trip to Discovery Park can be found at discoveryparkofamerica.com/visit. A complete list of museums participating in the free admission program can be found at museums4all.org.

Press Release: Discovery Park of America to Provide Free Admission in 2023 to Participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Union City, TennesseeDiscovery Park of America has announced that the museum and heritage park in Union City, Tennessee, will participate in the Museums for All program beginning in January 2023. This initiative of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is administered by the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM). The program aims to ensure that all children and adults have access to high-quality museum experiences.

Individuals or groups of four participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can present an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card at the Discovery Park ticket counter and receive complimentary general admission tickets for that day.

Several research studies from the museum field show that early access to informal educational opportunities, like those offered by museums like Discovery Park, has a positive effect on children’s development and academic performance. As a result, IMLS and ACM partnered to launch the Museums for All initiative in 2014 in service to both organizations’ strategic goal of providing greater access to museums for all children and adults. Thanks to the success of the program, free and reduced admission is available today to eligible members of the public at more than 1,000 museums and other institutions across the country.

“Providing access to a world-class educational facility was the vision of our founders, the late Robert and Jenny Kirkland, when they decided to build a state-of-the-art museum and heritage park in rural Northwest Tennessee. The Museums for All program aligns nicely with our mission to inspire children and adults to see beyond,” said Dr. Emalee Buttrey, Discovery Park’s director of education, programming and museum experience. “Our goal is for those who visit to leave Discovery Park having experienced something new that ignites a lifelong desire to learn more. The decision to participate in the Museums for All program will allow us to welcome a greater number of guests by eliminating financial barriers and increasing accessibility.”

Visitors to Discovery Park experience the visual, literary, music and performing arts; interactive STEM exhibits; opportunities to learn about the cultural heritage of the region and more. This is achieved by convening public programs and interactive learning opportunities and the presentation of exhibits and live performances.

More information about planning a trip to Discovery Park can be found at discoveryparkofamerica.com/visit. A complete list of museums participating in the free admission program can be found at museums4all.org.

 

Photo Caption: Discovery Park of America has announced that the museum and heritage park in Union City, Tennessee, will participate in the Museums for All program beginning January 2023. This initiative of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is administered by the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM).

Sustainable Ag Program Presented at Discovery Park by The Nature Conservancy and Others

Sustainable Ag Program Presented at Discovery Park by The Nature Conservancy and Others

Mitchell Hora, an Iowa farmer and the founder of the ag startup Continuum Ag, spoke about sustainable agriculture to a large group gathered in the Simmons Bank Ag Center at Discovery Park on Friday. It was not his first appearance in the exhibit on innovation in agriculture located in the center; Hora’s photo can be found on the wall behind him among the other photos of hundreds of people working in agriculture today. A video about his work is also included in the section of the exhibit on AgLaunch. The event, which covered many areas of sustainable agriculture, was held by The Nature Conservancy in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, the Tennessee Corn Growers Association, Quail Forever and the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture.

“The Nature Conservancy is tackling the dual threats of accelerated climate change and unprecedented biodiversity loss,” said Zach Luttrell, director of agriculture for Tennessee and Kentucky at The Nature Conservancy. “Science determines where we focus and equity guides how we achieve lasting results. With decades of local on-the-ground experience, we maximize our ability to affect change by bringing together real-world solutions, policy expertise, sustainable financing and collaborative partnerships like this one that took place at Discovery Park.”

Since 1978, The Nature Conservancy has helped to create or expand 31 state parks and natural areas, 20 state Wildlife Management Areas, and 9 national parks, forests and wildlife refuges in Tennessee, in addition to establishing their own system of nature preserves.

Internationally Acclaimed Singers Jolene and Marco Alexander to Perform at the “Let It Glow” Kickoff on Nov. 11

The popular “Let It Glow” Drive-Thru and Walk-Thru return Nov. 11 through Dec. 30, 2022 and we are adding ALL NEW lights and displays to this year’s show.

At Mill Ridge, guests can shop for local handmade gifts for sale, hangout with Rudolph in his barn, write a letter to Santa and, new this year, a large display of more than 150 nutcrackers on loan from Edith Adcock of Martin, Tennessee.

Our “Let It Glow” kick-off ceremony at 6 p.m. will feature performances from the Voices of Union City Elementary School, Jackson Symphony Orchestra ensemble and internationally acclaimed singers Merry Ellen Kirk and Marco Alexander.

Singer/songwriter Jolene is a music maker with ancestry from Union City and Troy, TN.  Her voice and songs can be heard on television shows like Love is Blind, First Kill, 90210, Jane by Design, as well as docuseries, trailers, independent films, top podcasts, and advertisements for brands like Coca-Cola, The North Face, The Salvation Army, Kona Bikes, Rode Microphones, and more.

Marco Alexander has been a talented vocalist since a young age. It was not until 2017 that Marco released his debut EP, “Friction.” Since then, he has performed at such venues such as The Orpheum Theatre of Memphis, The Cannon Center, The Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Carnegie Hall. He has performed all over the world, including Germany, The Czech Republic, and New Mexico. In January of 2020, Marco traveled to Dakar Senegal, to begin studying for his 18 track album “Kultured Friction.” While there, Marco recorded with over five recording artists from all over Africa, earning him the title of international. Alexander is now preparing for his debut tour.

Press Release: Pop-up Exhibit on Waterfowl of the Mississippi Flyway Produced by Discovery Park of America to Premiere at Annual Wings Over the Prairie Festival

Union City, Tennessee —A pop-up exhibit on waterfowl of the Mississippi flyway produced by Discovery Park of America will be premiered at the 87th annual World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest and Wings Over the Prairie Festival that is held Thanksgiving weekend in Stuttgart, Arkansas.

The non-profit museum and heritage park, located in Union City, Tennessee, has created the one-of-a-kind pop-up exhibit to provide festival attendees with a small example of a larger permanent exhibit coming to Discovery Park in 2023, “Duck, Duck, Goose: Waterfowl of the Mississippi Flyway.” The pop-up exhibit will be located in the Commercial Exhibits Tent at the festival.

When opened at Discovery Park, the permanent exhibit will use a combination of stories, three-dimensional objects, interactive elements and hands-on experiences to tell the stories of waterfowl hunting and conservation. Ducks Unlimited, the world’s leader in wetlands and waterfowl conservation, is the premier sponsor of the exhibit. Other partners in the exhibit include Tennessee Wildlife Resources AgencyFive Oaks LodgeFinal Flight Outfitters, Inc.First Choice Farm and LawnU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Robert E. and Jenny D. Kirkland Foundation. Additional partners will be announced soon.

Held every Thanksgiving Week, the Wings Over the Prairie Festival is the largest outdoor expo in the Mid-South promoting the sport of duck hunting.

“Because of our relationship with so many waterfowl hunters and conservationists, we were aware of the festival and its importance, and we decided this is the perfect year to attend,” said Scott Williams, president and CEO of Discovery Park. “We’ll have a whole team there sharing a sneak peek at the exhibit, looking for content to include and hoping to meet additional partners who would like to help us tell these stories to our visitors from around the world.”

Discovery Park is located in the heart of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley, an area that spreads from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, to New Orleans, Louisiana. It is the largest and longest of the flyways. Almost half of the waterfowl in North America use this area as a stopover during their annual migration. Also in the same area is historic Reelfoot Lake, a popular destination for hunters, fisherman and birdwatchers for decades. The lake was created after a series of earthquakes in 1811 and 1812 that sent the Mississippi River flowing into a large gash that had been opened by the earthquakes.

Anyone interested in more information about partnerships in this new permanent exhibit should contact Mary Nita Bondurant at mbondurant@discoveryparkofamerica.com or call 731-885-5455.

Discovery Park Team Premiers Waterfowl Pop-up Exhibit at Wings Over the Prairie Festival

We have some exciting news for Discovery Park of America. We’re launching a pop-up exhibit on waterfowl of the Mississippi flyway that will be debuted at the 87th annual World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest and Wings Over the Prairie Festival that is held in Stuttgart, Arkansas.

Our non-profit museum and heritage park has created the one-of-a-kind pop-up exhibit to provide festival attendees with a small example of a larger permanent exhibit coming to Discovery Park in 2023, “Duck, Duck, Goose: Waterfowl of the Mississippi Flyway.” The pop-up exhibit will be located in the Commercial Exhibits Tent at the festival.

When our permanent exhibit opens, it will use a combination of stories, three-dimensional objects, interactive elements and hands-on experiences to tell the stories of waterfowl hunting and conservation. Ducks Unlimited, the world’s leader in wetlands and waterfowl conservation, is the premier sponsor of the exhibit. Other partners in the exhibit include Tennessee Wildlife Resources AgencyFive Oaks LodgeFinal Flight Outfitters, Inc.First Choice Farm and LawnU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Robert E. and Jenny D. Kirkland Foundation. Additional partners will be announced soon.

Held every Thanksgiving Week, the Wings Over the Prairie Festival is the largest outdoor expo in the Mid-South promoting the sport of duck hunting.

“Because of our relationship with so many waterfowl hunters and conservationists, we were aware of the festival and its importance, and we decided this is the perfect year to attend,” said Scott Williams, president and CEO of Discovery Park. “We’ll have a whole team there sharing a sneak peek at the exhibit, looking for content to include and hoping to meet additional partners who would like to help us tell these stories to our visitors from around the world.”

Discovery Park is located in the heart of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley, an area that spreads from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, to New Orleans, Louisiana. It is the largest and longest of the flyways. Almost half of the waterfowl in North America use this area as a stopover during their annual migration. Also in the same area is historic Reelfoot Lake, a popular destination for hunters, fisherman and birdwatchers for decades. The lake was created after a series of earthquakes in 1811 and 1812 that sent the Mississippi River flowing into a large gash that had been opened by the earthquakes.

Anyone interested in more information about partnerships in this new permanent exhibit should contact Mary Nita Bondurant at mbondurant@discoveryparkofamerica.com or call 731-885-5455.

Experience New Lights and Displays at the 2022 “Let It Glow” Drive-Thru and Walk-Thru

We are adding new lights and displays to our popular “Let It Glow” Christmas drive-thru and walk-thru light shows for the 2022 holiday season.

Opening night on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022, will include a kick-off ceremony at 6 p.m. featuring performances from the Voices of Union City Elementary School, Jackson Symphony Orchestra ensemble and internationally acclaimed singers Merry Ellen Kirk and Marco Alexander. There will be refreshments and local crafts for sale, and Santa Claus will be available for photos. The “Let it Glow” kick-off is free for members and $5 for non-members. Children 3 and under are free. The Drive-thru is $10 per vehicle.

The Jackson Symphony ensemble musicians will be Keith Herris, Lydia Michelle Cronk, Ryan Nelson, Joey Moore and Brad Churchwell.

Visitors can also get a “selfie” with Santa Claus at the “Let It Glow” Walk-thru every Friday and Saturday night in the Gristmill.

We are especially excited about an ALL-NEW route for the Drive-Thru where visitors can experience never-before-seen light displays. Unlike previous years, guests will enter through the north gate for the “Let It Glow” Drive-thru. It will feature more than a million lights twinkling along with popular Christmas songs, allowing guests to get a unique look at the Titan Missile, the 199-foot-tall Discovery Center, the settlement of log cabins and more, all decorated for the holidays.

The “Let It Glow” Walk-thru will take place on the north side of the park, which will once again be transformed into the “North Pole.” Grab a snack and a drink and take a stroll through the Japanese Garden, European Garden and Mill Ridge, and enjoy the magic of Christmas.

At Mill Ridge, guests can shop for local handmade gifts for sale, hangout with Rudolph in his barn, write a letter to Santa and, new this year, a large display of more than 150 nutcrackers on loan from Edith Adcock of Martin, Tennessee. Adcock received her first nutcracker as a gift for her 16th birthday and has been collecting them for more than 45 years.

Planning a Christmas party for your workplace, friends or family? Contact Lauren Jones at ljones@discoveryparkofamerica.com or call at 731-885-5455 for more information.

A special thank you to our  2022 “Let It Glow” sponsors, McDonald’s and ATA.

Both the “Let It Glow” Drive-thru and Walk-thru are open 5-9 p.m. from Friday, Nov. 11-Friday, Dec. 30, 2022, and closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Opening night of the “Let It Glow” Walk-thru will be free for Discovery Park members and $5 admission for non-members. Admission to the “Let It Glow” Walk-thru on all other nights is $5 for all guests with ages three and under admitted free. Admission to the “Let It Glow” Drive-thru is $10 per vehicle for all guests every night. Tickets may be purchased in advance online or at the gates.

Press Release: Discovery Park of America Adds New Lights and Displays to its Popular “Let It Glow” Light Show Walk-thru and Drive-thru for the 2022 Holiday Season

Union City, TennesseeDiscovery Park of America  is adding new lights and displays to its popular “Let It Glow” Christmas drive-thru and walk-thru light shows for the 2022 holiday season. “Let It Glow” is an annual fundraiser for the 501(c)(3) non-profit.

Opening night on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022, will include a kick-off ceremony at 6 p.m. featuring performances by Merry Ellen Kirk and Marco Alexander, an ensemble from the Jackson Symphony, the Voices of Union City Elementary student choir and a special appearance by Santa Claus.

In addition to his appearance at the kick-off, Santa Claus will be at the “Let It Glow” Walk-thru and available for photos with guests every Friday and Saturday night in the Gristmill.

Returning in 2022 is the drive-thru light show with an all-new route for guests to experience the 50-acre heritage park filled with never-before-seen light displays and new experiences. Unlike previous years, guests will enter through the north gate for the “Let It Glow” Drive-thru. It will feature more than a million lights twinkling along with popular Christmas songs, allowing guests to get a unique look at the Titan Missile, the 199-foot-tall Discovery Center, the settlement of log cabins and more, all decorated for the holidays.

The “Let It Glow” Walk-thru will take place on the north side of the park, which will once again be transformed into the “North Pole.” At the entrance, guests will find food and beverages for sale before they take a stroll through the Japanese Garden, European Garden and Mill Ridge, which will all be transformed into a glowing winter wonderland with plenty of opportunities for taking photographs.

Once guests arrive at Mill Ridge, they will find a shop with local handmade gifts for sale, Rudolph’s Barn, an area in the Smithy for children to write letters to Santa and, new this year, a large display of more than 150 nutcrackers on loan from Edith Adcock of Martin, Tennessee. Adcock received her first nutcracker as a gift for her 16th birthday and has been collecting them for more than 45 years.

Discovery Park has seen an increase in event bookings for the 2022 holiday season over recent years. “Our party planners can create the perfect holiday experience for groups of any size,” said Lauren Jones, director of special events for Discovery Park. “This year, we’ve also made it easy to share the magical experience of “Let It Glow” with your customers, staff, friends or family members with gift vouchers that are available at a discounted rate for 50 or more.” Those interested in “Let It Glow” gift vouchers or a holiday party at Discovery Park should email Jones at ljones@discoveryparkofamerica.com or call at 731-885-5455 for more information.

The 2022 “Let It Glow” drive-thru and walk-thru light show is sponsored by McDonald’s and ATA.

Both the “Let It Glow” Drive-thru and Walk-thru are open 5-9 p.m. from Friday, Nov. 11-Friday, Dec. 30, 2022, and closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Opening night of the “Let It Glow” Walk-thru will be free for Discovery Park members and $5 admission for non-members. Admission to the “Let It Glow” Walk-thru on all other nights is $5 for all guests with ages three and under admitted free. Admission to the “Let It Glow” Drive-thru is $10 per vehicle for all guests every night. Tickets may be purchased in advance online or at the gates.

Photo Caption: “Let it Glow” walk-thru 2021.
Photo: Jeremy Rasnic

Discovery Park of America Announces Free Admission for Children and $10 Admission for Adults in January 2023 in Celebration of the Museum and Heritage Park’s 10th Birthday

Thanks to our partnership with Magnolia Place Assisted Living, children 17 and younger will once again receive free admission to Discovery Park of America throughout the month of January 2023. Our museum and heritage park will also be offering adult admission for just $10 in January.

New hours in 2023 will also provide more opportunities to visit. Beginning Jan. 2, 2023, Discovery Park will be open Tuesday through Sunday and closed on Mondays through February. From March through August, Discovery Park will be open seven days a week.

Discovery Park was an idea first introduced and then funded for $100 million by the late Robert Kirkland, a Union City businessman and philanthropist, and his wife, the late Jenny Kirkland. The ribbon was cut and doors opened for the first time at Discovery Park on Nov. 1, 2013. The mission that day, as it still is today, was to inspire children and adults to “see beyond” and leave inspired to learn more about the world around them. In the decade since, more than 2.5 million guests have visited and experienced the 100,000-square-foot museum and 50-acre heritage park.

Since Discovery Park opened, local tourism has increased significantly, contributing to the increase in sales tax collected in Union City. For 2012, the last full year before Discovery Park opened, the local tax collected by Union City was $7.1 million. For the eight full years after Discovery Park opened, the average local tax collected annually was $8.3 million — an average annual increase of $1.2 million.

According to statistics recently released by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, tourism spending in 2021 in Obion County was $66.9 million, up 28% over 2020. With the increase in tourism revenue, sales tax collected since 2012 continues to trend upward, with the City of Union City collecting a record of $9.8 million in local sales tax in 2021.

The financial benefits of more visitors to Discovery Park and Obion County are expected to increase. In 2021, Obion County passed a new hotel/motel tax to be paid by those staying in Obion County hotels, bed and breakfasts and vacation lodging facilities of all kinds. In 2020, three new hotels opened next door to Discovery Park and a nearby Hampton Inn is being completed and will open soon.

The presence of Discovery Park was also a contributing factor in the decision to move forward with the Union City loop of I-69, which is now scheduled to open by fall 2023. The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 included two high-priority corridors that later became sections of I-69. Corridor 18 from Indianapolis, Indiana, to Memphis, Tennessee, via Evansville, Indiana, runs behind the park with an exit ramp located on each side.

“It took a unique combination of vision, bravery and passion for the people of his region for Robert Kirkland to come up with the idea of a center of education in the first place,” said commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, Mark Ezell. “At the time, some questioned the potential for such a large investment in one of our state’s rural communities, so it’s especially important for all of us in Tennessee to join them in the celebration of ten years of success in serving millions of Tennesseans and visitors to our great state from around the world.”

In 2023, there will be many opportunities for children and adults to celebrate Discovery Park’s 10th birthday.

Discovery Park’s new greenhouses and the Farm Credit Mid-America Education Pavilion will open in 2023 along with a new permanent exhibit coming in the summer, Duck, Duck, Goose: Waterfowl of the Mississippi Flyway,” that is being created in partnership with Ducks Unlimited. It will use three-dimensional objects, interactive elements and hands-on experiences to tell the story of waterfowl hunting, conservation and the ecosystem of the Mississippi Flyway.

Temporary exhibits include Inside the Cornerstone Box,” a display of items our exhibits team discovered inside a cornerstone box that was found in the rubble of Dresden First United Methodist Church of Dresden, Tennessee, after a devastating tornado; updates to the Southern Artist Showcase and the Northwest Tennessee Photography Club Showcase; and a photography exhibit featuring photographs taken by Seth Dortch during waterfowl hunts along the Mississippi Flyway and in the Reelfoot Lake region.

Visitors in 2023 will also discover updates to two of the museums most popular experiences — Discovery Theater and the Water Tables in the Simmons Bank Children’s Exploration Gallery. The Discovery Theater is being upgraded to incorporate a state-of-the-art, laser-illuminated 4K Digital 3D projection system. Also included in the upgrade is the latest high-efficiency 40,000-lumen laser projector on the market, an advanced surround-sound system and the ability to show 3-D films, which will provide significant new programming capabilities in the theater.

The designers of the new Water Tables have opted for a larger experience that incorporates many new interactive activities and snakes throughout the entire gallery. New elements added include a fishing pond, interactive rain clouds, moveable aqueducts, many new water toys and an activity that encourages children to direct fog using a series of pipes.

While many of our popular annual events return in 2023, this will be the first year for a three-day Native American Educational Pow Wow to be held Oct. 27-29, 2023. The goal of the event, unique in Northwest Tennessee, is to provide a place for Indigenous people from tribes around the country to celebrate their culture while educating Discovery Park visitors on this aspect of our nation’s past, present and future.

“All of us who get to work at Discovery Park take our commitment to our important mission very seriously,” said Scott Williams, Discovery Park’s president and CEO. “We join our board, members and others in our community in looking forward to honoring Robert and Jenny Kirkland’s vision by welcoming visitors from around the world in 2023 to help us celebrate 10 years of Discovery Park.”

From January through February 2023, Discovery Park will be open Tuesday through Sunday and closed on Mondays. From March through August, Discovery Park will be open seven days a week. Days and hours of operation along with more information to plan a visit can be found at DiscoveryParkofAmerica.com/visit.

For a complete list of events in 2023, visit DiscoveryParkofAmerica.com/2023.

Click to download a high-resolution photo.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.

Inaugural First Amendment Day Festival Hosted by the Freedom Forum at Discovery Park Featured Special Guests Bret Baier and The Gatlin Brothers

Union City, Tenn. – On Saturday, September 24, 2022, the Freedom Forum, a nonpartisan nonprofit foundation that fosters First Amendment freedoms for all, hosted its inaugural First Amendment Day Festival at Discovery Park of America in Union City, Tenn. More than 3,000 guests experienced a variety of family-friendly, First Amendment-themed games, trivia, crafts and conversations.

“The beauty of the First Amendment is that it’s yours, it’s not anybody else’s,” said Bret Baier, host of Special Report with Bret Baier on the Fox News Channel. “There’s a lot of power in knowing that you can determine your own future based on that.”

During the festival, The Gatlin Brothers, performed some of their biggest hits including “All the Gold in California,” “Night Time Magic” and “Broken Lady.”

On Friday, groups of students grades five through twelve and college students from the University of Tennessee at Martin experienced a day of fun and interactive activities on the topic of the First Amendment. They were led by members of the Freedom Forum team who traveled to Union City from Washington, D.C. where the organization is headquartered.

Also on Friday, Gene Policinski, Senior Fellow for the First Amendment for the Freedom Forum spoke at the Union City Rotary. Policinski, a journalist and a founding editor of USA Today, writes, lectures and is interviewed regularly on news media and First Amendment issues. He noted, “It gives me hope that we have not changed those 45 words of the First Amendment since 1791. I think the middle is growing — the group that just wants to sit down and talk this out.”

About the Freedom Forum

The Freedom Forum’s mission is to foster First Amendment freedoms for all. It works to raise awareness of First Amendment freedoms through education, advocacy and action, sharing the stories of Americans who have exercised their rights to ignite change. Established July 4, 1991, by founder Al Neuharth, the Freedom Forum is a nonpartisan 501 (c)(3) foundation that advances First Amendment freedoms through initiatives that include Today’s Front Pages, the Free Expression Awards, the Power Shift Project, the annual Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference, the Chips Quinn Scholars and the Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media. In addition to its Washington, D.C. headquarters, it has locations at the Al Neuharth Media Center at the University of South Dakota; the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at the University of Mississippi; and the John Seigenthaler Center at Vanderbilt University.

About Discovery Park of America

The mission of Discovery Park of America, a premier world-class museum and heritage park located in Union City, Tennessee, is to inspire children and adults to see beyond. Included is a 100,000-square-foot museum featuring 9 interactive exhibit galleries with additional space for temporary exhibits from around the world and a 50-acre heritage park. Discovery Park of America is a 501 (c)(3) public charity funded by generous individuals, corporations and foundations including its principal funder, the Robert E. and Jenny D. Kirkland Foundation. For more information, visit DiscoveryParkofAmerica.com, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Pictured L to R: Steve Gatlin of the Gatlin Brothers; Scott Williams, Discovery Park’s president and CEO; Rudy Gatlin; Jan Neuharth, Freedom Forum’s chair and CEO; Larry Gatlin; Bret Baier, host of Special Report with Bret Baier on the Fox News Channel.

Annual Stair Climb Event on Sept. 10, 2022 at Discovery Park of America

Annual Stair Climb Event on Sept. 10, 2022 at Discovery Park of America

Union City, Tenn. –Local Union City firefighters will once again be partnering with Discovery Park of America and the City of Union City to host the annual stair climb on Sat., Sept. 10, 2022, as a way to pay tribute to those who were lost in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

The tower stair climb, held in conjunction with The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, is open to any rescue worker who wishes to participate in climbing the Discovery Park Tower staircase 10 times in full gear, the equivalent of the 110 stories of the World Trade Center. The terrorist attacks killed 2,184 civilians, 343 firefighters, 72 law enforcement officers and 10 EMS workers. Many others have died from medical complications in the years since.

The mission of the NFFF is to honor and remember America’s fallen fire heroes, to provide resources to assist their families in rebuilding their lives and work within the Fire Service Community to reduce firefighter deaths and injuries.

Those who have purchased a ticket to Discovery Park that day are welcome to watch and encourage the firefighters as they climb the stairs. Once the last firefighter has completed the climb, there will be a moment of silence to remember those who lost their lives.

Climbers will be given an identification tag and photo of a first responder that lost their life on 9/11 as they climb the steps, and the stairwell will be filled with posters and words of encouragement from Union City and Obion County students.

The immediate families of participating firefighters will enjoy free admission to Discovery Park. Firefighters will receive a voucher for a meal at one of the museum and park’s restaurants.

The opening ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. and will feature the Presentation of the Colors, National Anthem and an opening prayer. The climb will begin at 10 a.m. Registration is now open. For more information, to register, to sponsor a rescue worker or team or to participate as a sponsor, visit the event’s landing page or contact Lt. Rick Stacks at rdstacks73@gmail.com or call (731) 885-2232.

Discovery Park Homeschool Days 2022

Discovery Park Homeschool Days 2022

Discovery Park is pleased to offer Homeschool Days in the Fall 2022 semester for all children in grades 1-12.  Each month, our education and wildlife teams will present interactive lessons. Programs are from 2 – 4 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month.

Parents and/or guardians are not required to stay for the program, freeing up two hours to run errands, relax or explore the park.

Special programs are from 2 – 4 p.m. and is $4 for members of Discovery Park of America, $13.95  for nonmember students and $10.95 for adults and chaperones.

Homeschool Program tickets can be purchased online or by calling Reservations at 731-885-5455.

Seating is limited. Classes for grades 1-3, 4-6, and 7-9 have a maximum seating
capacity of 20 students. The maximum number of students in the grades 10-12 class is 10.

Dates and Topics:
Sept. 15, 2022
Grades 1-3: Music Around the World: Spain
Grades 4-6: Lets Go West! The Oregon Trail
Grades 7-9: Barber Shop Science
Grades 10-12: Pollution in the Environment

Oct. 20, 2022
Grades 1-3: Music Around the World: Japan
Grades 4-6: Electrifying Innovations
Grades 7-9: Farming Science
Grades 10-12: Nocturnal Animals

Nov. 17, 2022
Special Program with University of Tennessee at Martin Ag Education Majors

Dec. 15, 2022

Grades 1-3: Music Around the World: Tennessee Bluegrass/Folk/Appalachian
Grades 4-6: The Food Revolution
Grades 7-9: Food Science
Grades 10-12: Habitats