New website chronicles the work of Mack Prichard
A new website has launched to chronicle and celebrate the work of Tennessee State Naturalist-Emeritus Mack Prichard.
MackPrichard.org is now online as a repository for Prichard’s presentations, photos and writings. In 2014, the Friends of South Cumberland State Park (FSC) began working with Mack to preserve part of his vast collection of photographs, taken during his nearly five-decade career with the State of Tennessee. Over than 5,000 photographs, more than a dozen videos of Mack’s presentations, and additional digitized materials are now online, chronicling the evolution of environmental protection across the State, showing many places and events that led to the creation of new State Natural Areas and State Parks.
The objective of the project was to share Prichard’s experiences and knowledge online, both as a record of his work, and to inspire and inform environmental educators, researchers and the broader public.
The project gained momentum when the Friends of South Cumberland received a grant from the Tennessee Federation of Garden Clubs (TFGC) to support the purchase of scanning equipment, data storage, web services and, most recently, funding for a student assistant to help accelerate the scanning of slide images from Mack’s collection. Work to augment the online resources will be ongoing, as both Prichard’s archives and knowledge are deep and of great value to environmental education in Tennessee. TennGreen is leading the effort through a grant from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and private fundraising.
Prichard has had a long association with both organizations. He was instrumental in persuading then-governor Winfield Dunn to advocate for creation of South Cumberland State Park in 1978, and for the establishment of FSC in the 1990s. For years Mack was a speaker at TFGC’s summer camp sessions, showing slides and speaking about conservation topics from across the state. The TFGC gave Mack the nickname, “Mr. Conservation,” and established its Conservation Education Fund to help preserve his collection.
The Friends of South Cumberland are coordinating efforts with a parallel effort being undertaken in Nashville, where the Tennessee State Library & Archives has provided a separate grant to scan other sildes from Mack’s collection through a program overseen by TennGreen. FSC hopes to add those images to the new website, when they become available. For more information about Prichard and these organizations, MackPrichard.org, TFGConline.org and www.TennGreen.org.