Press Releases

Here you’ll find press releases from Discovery Park of America. Discovery Park offers guests a one-of-a-kind, transformational experience that provides an unlimited treasure trove of stories for journalists and bloggers. Here, you’ll find information for those wanting to produce news stories or blog posts about our museum and heritage park. If you have questions, need additional information or have facts you would like checked, please contact Katie Jarvis at kjarvis@discoveryparkofamerica.com or call 731-885-5455.

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Boiler Plate:
The mission of Discovery Park of America, a premier world-class museum and 50-acre 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.

Dec. 1, 2020

Discovery Park of America Ends Annual Giving Campaign on Giving Tuesday with a $50,000 gift from Newell and Bettie Graham

Union City, Tenn. —Discovery Park of America is completing its inaugural giving campaign in a big way as local businessman and philanthropist, Newell Graham, and his wife, Bettie, donate $50,000 to the park. “Discovery Park is the best thing to happen in Union City in the past 50 or so years,” Graham said. “Bettie and I believe that if you are successful, it is important to give back to your community.” MORE

Oct. 19, 2020

Discovery Park of America to Collect Canned Goods for Local Charities for the Holidays

Union City, Tenn.— Discovery Park of America will be a drop-off location for members of the community to bring canned goods to help stock local food pantries during the holiday season. Anyone can drop off canned goods at the ticket window at Discovery Park from Sun., Nov. 15 through Wed., Dec. 30, 2020. MORE

Sept. 30, 2020

Discovery Park of America Continues with Plans for Cruise-In on Oct. 10, 2020

Union City, Tenn. – Discovery Park of America proceeds with plans for the Discovery Park Cruise-In on Sat., Oct. 10, 2020. This year, park officials anticipate over 100 vintage cars will be on display for guests to enjoy. MORE

Sept. 29, 2020

Discovery Park of America’s Popular ‘Let It Glow’ Drive-through Light Show to Begin a Week Earlier in 2020

Union City, Tenn.— Discovery Park of America has announced that Fri., Nov. 13, 2020 will be the opening night for the popular “Let It Glow” Light Show that is held each year during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season. MORE

Sept. 22, 2020

Discovery Park of America Announces Exhibit of Presidential Campaign Buttons as the Nation Prepares to Vote in the 2020 Presidential Election

Union City, Tenn.— Discovery Park of America has announced a pop-up exhibit of presidential campaign buttons that opens Oct. 8, 2020 and will be on display at the museum and heritage park though the end of the year. MORE

Sept. 15, 2020

New Partners Move Discovery Park of America Closer to One Million Dollar Goal for New Exhibit on Innovation in Agriculture

Union City, Tenn.— Discovery Park of America has announced new partners and more details for “AgriCulture: Innovating for Our Survival,” a permanent exhibit dedicated to telling the story of innovation in agriculture. The exhibit will open Dec. 5, 2020 in the Simmons Bank Ag Center. The total amount of funds raised for this exhibit so far is $935,000. MORE

Sept. 1, 2020

Union City’s Mike Cox Helps Kick Off Discovery Park of America Giving Campaign with Significant Gift 

Union City, Tenn. – Union City businessperson and philanthropist Mike Cox is helping Discovery Park of America kick off its 2020 giving campaign in a big way with a gift of $50,000, making him the first “Sustaining Donor.” MORE

Aug. 31, 2020

Discovery Park of America and the University of Tennessee at Martin Partner to Provide Free Virtual Learning Resources for Grades Six to Nine

Union City, Tenn. Discovery Park of America is partnering with the University of Tennessee at Martin to provide free digital resources to teachers and parents who are now navigating the world of virtual education. Many students are spending more time learning from home because of the threat of the coronavirus COVID-19. MORE

July 27, 2020

Discovery Park of America Commemorates the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage

Union City, Tenn. – Discovery Park of America has announced several ways the museum and heritage park in Union City, Tenn. will be joining in the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. Included will be a trio of temporary pop-up exhibits, an online panel discussion and a production performed by students from Discovery Park’s Historical Theater Academy. MORE

July 7, 2020

Antique Tractor Show at Discovery Park of America Aug. 7 and 8, 2020

Union City, Tenn. — Discovery Park of America  has announced the return of the popular Antique Tractor Show for the fourth year. The unique event, sponsored by First Choice Farm & Lawn – Kubota, will be held on Fri., Aug. 7 and Sat., Aug. 8 at Discovery Park of America. MORE

July 2, 2020

Discovery Park of America Launches Temporary Outdoor Exhibit Featuring Large Sculptures by John Toras

Union City, Tenn.—On Thurs., July 2, 2020, Discovery Park of America unveiled “The Outdoor Art of John Toras: Man of Stainless Steel,” an outdoor exhibit featuring 20 giant sculptures, each with a different look and feel that are placed throughout the 50-acre heritage park. Curated by Discovery Park’s exhibits director, Jennifer Wildes, and grounds director, John Watkins, this is the first time this exhibit has been on display to the public. MORE

July 1, 2020

Discovery Park of America Offers Free Classes to Historical Theater Academy and Partners with Masquerade Theatre

Union City, Tenn. – Thanks to generous sponsors and donors, Discovery Park of America will be offering free classes to the Historical Theater Academy this fall. Discovery Park is now partnering with the Masquerade Theatre in Union City to teach students skills in acting, writing, directing, costume design, research and more. This session, students will be producing a play about how Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment, making women’s suffrage legal in the United States. MORE

June 8, 2020

Discovery Park of America Announces Lineup for Outdoor Summer Concert Series, ‘Rhythm on the Rails’

Union City, Tenn. – Discovery Park of America has announced the lineup for the 2020 outdoor summer concert series, “Rhythm on the Rails,” that will begin on Fri., June 26 with a performance by the Grammy award-winning blues band, Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band. MORE

June 1, 2020

After Safe Reopening of Outdoor Heritage Park, Discovery Park of America to Reopen Museum on June 11

Union City, Tenn.— Discovery Park of America has announced Discovery Center, the 100,000-square-foot museum, will reopen on June 11, 2020. MORE

May 28, 2020

Discovery Park of America Announces Additional Partners and New Details for Upcoming Exhibit on Innovation in Agriculture 

Union City, Tenn.— Discovery Park of America has announced new partners and more details for “AgriCulture: Innovating for Our Survival,” a permanent exhibit dedicated to telling the story of innovation in agriculture. The exhibit will open Dec. 5, 2020 in the Simmons Bank Ag Center. New partners include The Dairy AllianceEast Tennessee Nursery and Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of ForestryH&R Agri-Power and Case IHRoundstone Native Seed“Silo”Star Pastures ApiaryTennessee Beef Promotion Board; and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. MORE

May 26, 2020

Sculptor John Toras Donates Outdoor Art to Discovery Park of America

Union City, Tenn.—John Toras, a free-form sculptor from Marshall County, Ky., has donated an outdoor sculpture to Discovery Park of America that will be on display for the first time when the 50-acre heritage park in Union City, Tenn., opens to the public on June 1, 2020. MORE

May 14, 2020

Discovery Park of America Offers Courses as Part of the Tennessee Naturalist Program

Union City, Tenn.—Beginning Fall 2020, Discovery Park of America will begin offering education courses as part of the Tennessee Naturalist Program (TNP) that are designed to introduce the natural history of Tennessee to interested adults. The courses will be administered by Kayce Workman, Discovery Park’s aquarium and wildlife assistant director. MORE

May 7, 2020

Polly Brasher, Education Director for Discovery Park of America, Elected President of the Tennessee Association of Museums

Union City, Tenn.— Discovery Park of America in Union City, Tenn. and the Tennessee Association of Museums (TAM) recently announced that Polly Brasher, education director for Discovery Park, has been elected president of TAM. Founded in 1960, TAM serves individuals and organizations who work for and with Tennessee museums through professional development, collaboration and advocacy. MORE

May 4, 2020

Discovery Park of America Unveils First Guidebook as Museum and Heritage Park Prepares to Reopen to the Public

Union City, Tenn.—According to Lauren Sims, director of guest services and retail at Discovery Park of America, the number one most requested item in the gift shop since opening has been a guidebook. When the 50-acre heritage park reopens to the public on June 1, 2020, that need will be met as Discovery Park just received a shipment of its first official guidebook. MORE

May 1, 2020

Discovery Park of America Announces Reopening Plans

Union City, Tenn.—While Discovery Park of America will remain closed to the public through May 2020, the museum and heritage park is planning to reopen the outside areas for members only on Sat., May 30 and Sun., May 31, 2020 following strict social distancing guidelines. MORE

April 16, 2020

Discovery Park of America Schedule Changes for May 2020

Union City, Tenn.—Since Discovery Park of America first closed on March 17, 2020 because of the threat brought on by the worldwide coronavirus outbreak, our goal has been the safety and welfare of our community, guests and staff. While it saddens us to have to move and cancel events and close our museum and park to the public, we know it’s the best thing to do right now for all the communities we serve. MORE

April 10, 2020

The Tools Have Changed, but the Mission Continues at Discovery Park of America During Coronavirus Pandemic

Union City, Tenn.— A group of students participating in the next production of Discovery Park of America’s Historical Theater Academy has now experienced firsthand the old adage “the show must go on.” MORE

March 24, 2020

Discovery Park of America Shares Educational Content on Social Media

UNION CITY, TENN. — While the coronavirus pandemic has closed down museums around the world, many of them, like Discovery Park, are using social media to provide a unique look at their collections. MORE

March 16, 2020

Discovery Park of America To Close To The Public Through March 31, 2020

Earlier today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee urged all Tennessee schools to close “as soon as practically possible.” At the latest, Lee said all schools should be closed by Friday and remain closed through March 31. MORE

March 11, 2020

Discovery Park of America Unveils Updated Website

Union City, Tenn.— Discovery Park of America has unveiled an updated mobile-friendly website at Discoveryparkofamerica.com that includes more photos, better navigation and an improved online experience that will allow users to gain a better understanding of what they will find at the museum and heritage park. MORE

March 9, 2020

Discovery Park Presents Awards at First Gala and Fundraiser

Union City, Tenn.— On Saturday evening, March 7, Discovery Park of America honored seven individuals who, like the museum and heritage park, bring enlightenment, awareness and education to those whose lives they’ve touched. MORE

Jan. 27, 2020

Discovery Park of America Experiences a Record-Breaking Number of Visitors in January 2020

UNION CITY, Tenn.—If you’ve driven by the Discovery Park of America parking lot in Union City this January, you have no doubt seen the cars filling the parking lot. Visitors from around the country have been taking advantage of the opportunity for children under the age of 17 to visit for free. MORE

Jan. 23, 2020

Nutrien Ag Solutions, Simmons Bank and Others to Partner with Discovery Park of America on Exhibit about Innovation in Agriculture

UNION CITY, Tenn.—Today, Discovery Park of America announced the initial sponsors and partners for “AgriCulture: Innovating for Our Survival.” The permanent exhibit, dedicated to telling the story of innovation in agriculture, will open Oct. 22, 2020 and will be located in the 8,900-square-foot building that currently houses the museum and heritage park’s antique tractor exhibit. The building will be named the Simmons Bank Ag Center. MORE

Jan. 7, 2020

Members-Only Sneak Peek at New Temporary Exhibit “Astronaut” with Special Guests including Space Shuttle Astronaut and NASA Operations Support Manager

Union City, Tenn. – Discovery Park of America will be launching the latest temporary exhibit with a special, members-only sneak peek featuring Dr. Lawrence DeLucas, Principal Scientist at the Aerospace Corporation, in a program at 6 p.m. on Thurs., Jan. 16, 2020. MORE

Nov. 26, 2019

Discovery Park of America Joins Millions Around the World Celebrating GivingTuesday on Dec. 3

Union City, Tenn.— Discovery Park of America will be participating in GivingTuesday, a global generosity movement, created to unleash the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and their world. GivingTuesday will kick off the generosity season this year by inspiring people to give back on Tues. Dec. 3, 2019. MORE

Nov. 13, 2019

Discovery Park of America to Host Temporary Exhibit “Astronaut”

Union City, Tenn. – Discovery Park of America announced today that the museum will be bringing “Astronaut” to West Tennessee in 2020. This popular exhibit allows guests to explore the physical and mental challenges involved in space exploration and to discover what life is like outside Earth’s atmosphere. MORE

Nov. 8, 2019

Local World War II Veteran Donates Model of Bridge to Discovery Park of America

Union City, Tenn. – A very special guest visited on Thurs., Nov. 7, to see an artifact he donated installed in the World War II section of The Military Gallery at Discovery Park of America. T. Joe Walker of Martin, Tenn., donated a model of a WWII-era fixed timber trestle bridge to Discovery Park, and it represents just one of many bridges that he helped build when he served in the 163rd Engineer Combat Battalion in the U.S. Army during WWII. MORE

Nov. 6, 2019

Discovery Park of America Announces Award Winners

Union City, Tenn.Discovery Park of America has announced an annual award that will recognize individuals from West Tennessee whose work, like that of the museum and heritage park, brings enlightenment, awareness and education to those whose lives they’ve touched. The inaugural award gala and fundraiser, to be held on March 7, 2020 will bring together thought leaders, policymakers, philanthropists and others to celebrate the winners, all of whom have deep roots in West Tennessee. MORE

Oct. 1, 2019

Children 17 and Younger to be Offered Free Admission to Discovery Park of America in Jan. 2020

Union City, Tenn.— Discovery Park of America and Magnolia Place Assisted Living announced today that Magnolia Place will pay for Discovery Park of America admission for all children 17 and younger as a way to pay tribute to and memorialize Jenny Kirkland. Kirkland, who died in Aug. 2019, was married to the museum and park’s founder, Robert Kirkland and has continued to play an active role in the organization since his death in 2015. MORE

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