The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA), a Nashville-based non-profit, conservation organization, held a dedication ceremony on Saturday, March 29, at Montgomery Bell State Park to recognize volunteers who rebuilt a walking bridge in the heart of the park, formerly washed away by the 2010 floods. The first project to be completed as part of the USA’s new Adopt-A-Park program, the bridge reconstruction was supported by the Nashville Building and Construction Trades, Spann Brothers Lumber Co., and Montgomery Bell State Park staff. All lumber used to build the bridge is reclaimed wood from fallen trees in the park.
Despite rain and chilly temperatures, more than 50 friends, colleagues and guests gathered on Saturday morning at the Woodhaven Picnic Pavilion for refreshments, music and a short program, led by USA Executive Director and CEO Fred Myers. The program kicked off with the Presentation of Colors by Boy Scouts Troop #85, who led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance and recited a poem that celebrated the unified appreciation of the outdoors. Myers recognized and thanked everyone who collaborated to make the bridge re-build a reality and discussed the unmatched, unique value union tradesmen and women offer their communities
Anthony Nicholson, President of the Nashville Building and Construction Trades/Business Manager of Heat and Frost Insulators Local 86, shared his personal story of growing up near the park and enjoying the park’s offerings throughout his youth. Pat Wright, Park Manager of Montgomery Bell State Park, spoke about the historical impact of the bridge and thanked all involved.
Following the program, guests enjoyed a nature walk to the bridge where they watched as a permanent sign was installed to recognize the volunteers. Wright and Nicholson did the honor of cutting the ribbon tied to bridge posts and guests, wearing green ribbon bows in support of conservation, then took a ‘first’ ceremonious walk across the bridge.
“Everyone who comes to this walking bridge in Montgomery Bell State Park from now on will know that this bridge was built by union hands who volunteered their time and talents,” said Myers. “The USA is committed to organizing more conservation projects through our Adopt-A-Park program, bringing together volunteers to help renew, rebuild and restore America’s parks, so they will be here to enjoy for future generations.”
A sincere thank you to: The Nashville Building & Construction Trades Unions: Heat & Frost Insulators Local 86, Teamsters Local 327, Operating Engineers Local 369, Laborers Local 386,Electrical Workers Local 429, Painters & Allied Trades Local 456, Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 572, Plasterers & Cement Masons Local 909, Electrical Workers Local 1749, along with Spann Brothers Lumber Co. and Montgomery Bell State Park staff for making this project possible.
About the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) is a union-dedicated, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, whose members hunt, fish, shoot and volunteer their skills for conservation. The USA is uniting the union community through conservation to preserve North America’s outdoor heritage. For more information, visit www.unionsportsmen.org or www.facebook.com/unionsportsmen.