“We had a little rain shower earlier, but it hasn’t dampened our spirits,” Susie Staples, coordinator for the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, said Saturday afternoon.
Despite a few sprinkles of rain, several people celebrated the CNRA’s centennial birthday Saturday at the park, including Regional Director of the National Park Service, Mike Snyder.
“I’m really honored to be here and it’s a really great moment for me personally, because we’re here to commemorate the foresight and the vision of the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations, who donated their land,” he said. “I think we’re here to remind ourselves how the vision of our forefathers made all of this possible.”
Originally named Platt National Park in 1906 after U.S. Senator Orville Hitchcock Platt, the park went on to be later renamed as the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. It has also been called the “Peaceful Valley of Rippling Waters,” as it is known for its many mineral springs, flora, fauna, cool waters and wildlife.
The park offers three levels of water-based recreation; visitors can enjoy the natural springs and streams as a visual resource, Veteran's Lake offers a park-like atmosphere, where a slower pace and quiet activities are held and at the Lake of the Arbuckles, visitors can enjoy a full range of activities, including boating and fishing.
When you think about it, it's for these reasons that the National Park Service, 90 years ago, was established,” Snyder said. “We were here and we've been charged with preserving the lessons of history and the conservation of our collective stories. In a way, the women and men of the National Park Service are the keepers of our national diary. And we certainly are the caretakers of our national family tree.”