News Reaches Development Center Visits Hatfield Knob Viewing Area

Reaches Development Center Visits Hatfield Knob Viewing Area PDF Print E-mail
TWF Board Member Terry Lewis worked with the Campbell Outdoor Recreation Association (CORA) and the Royal Blue Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) to host an elk viewing opportunity at the Hatfield Knob Wildlife Viewing Area on May 23rd for some of the residents of the Campbell County Reaches Developmental Center.  Reaches Developmental Center houses and provides care for several of the communities disabled and physically challenged individuals. 

The two-hour event began at 6 p.m. with cooperative weather and cooperative elk. With help of volunteers from CORA and RMEF 58 people from Reaches not only got to see elk, but learned about the state's elk restoration project and the work that has been done at the Hatfield Knob Viewing Area.  The Reaches' residents passed around shed antlers found at Hatfield to get an even better idea of what makes these animals so majestic.

Since the tower will accommodate only 20 persons at one time, ground level viewing opportunities were prepared in advance. Steve Bennett, TWRA’s Elk Program Coordinator, and Stan Stooksbury, TWRA Royal Blue Manager, answered questions about the elk during the event. Campbell County Mayor Jerry Cross and County Commissioner Ann Smith were also on hand to learn more about the state's growing elk herd

Reaches Developmental Center provided vehicle transportation for their residents and staff from their facility in Lafollette to the Hatfield Knob Viewing Area.  The entrance gate at the parking lot was opened to allow the Reaches vans to drive up to the tower location delivering the disabled and staff to the viewing site. 

This event resulted in quality viewing opportunities for the disabled visitors and an increased public awareness of the wonderful opportunity for the public to see Tennessee’s first and only public elk viewing location. 

Another field trip to the Hatfield Knob Wildlife Viewing Area is scheduled for this September to again allow Reaches disabled and physically challenged residents to experience Tennessee’s wild elk during the fall rut. The two-hour event began at 6 p.m. with cooperative weather and cooperative elk. With help of volunteers from CORA and RMEF 58 people from Reaches not only got to see elk, but learned about the state's elk restoration project and the work that has been done at the Hatfield Knob Viewing Area.  The Reaches' residents passed around shed antlers found at Hatfield to get an even better idea of what makes these animals so majestic.