Outreach Programs

Park Ranger speaking to school children about snakes of middle TennesseeInterpretive Services Outreach Program at Old Hickory Lake

The Team at Old Hickory Lake offers many educational programs to school groups, church groups and other organizations free of charge. These (15 to 30 minute) programs include such topics as water safety and the natural sciences. Call and arrange for a Park Ranger to come visit your location or have your group come out to the lake! Programs must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance to allow Park Rangers to prepare.

Old Hickory Lake Resource Manager’s Office
NO. 5 Power Plant Road
Hendersonville, TN 37087
Phone:(615)822-4846 or 847-2395

Collapse All Expand All

Natural Science Programs - at Lake

(These programs are required to be performed onsite Old Hickory Lake)

Old Hickory Lock Tour – Get an up close look at how a lock works. See how Old Hickory Lake’s gravity fed system is able to transport over 4.5 million tons of commodities through the Old Hickory Lock and Dam facility each year.

Old Hickory Powerhouse Tour - With and estimated average annual energy output of 880,439,923 kilowatt-hours, discover how hydro-electric power generated at Old Hickory Dam provides enough to power an estimated 36,000 homes annually.

**The Lock and Powerhouse tour is only avaiable to be scheduled Monday - Thursday from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m for private groups. Public tours of these two facilities are avaiable on weekends during the summer recreation season. To learn more about lock and powerhouse tours, click here.**

Butterfly Garden Tour and Native Species Gardening – Take a walking tour through Old Hickory Lake’s Butterfly Garden located within the Walton Ferry Environmental Study Area. Learn how to create a garden in your own backyard that is welcoming to native Tennessee butterflies and other native wildlife.

Native Trees of TN Identification – Learn how to identify various species of trees that call middle Tennessee home by their bark and their leaves at Old Hickory Lake’s certified arboretum located within Walton Ferry Environmental Study Area.


Natural Science Programs

(These programs can be performed on and offsite of Old Hickory Lake and Park Rangers may use various forms of digital media including videos, PowerPoint and music)

History of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – When was the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers established and what was/is this agency responsible for here in the United States and abroad are questions answered in a PowerPoint presentation.

History of Old Hickory Lake – Discover how the creation of Old Hickory Lake improved the transportation of goods on the Cumberland River, became a great home for many wildlife species, how it has provided recreational opportunities for millions visitors each year and supplies water and electricity for several surrounding communities.

Career Day Park Ranger – Responsible for the protection of the most precious natural resources and safety of millions of visitors every year, a Park Ranger’s day is never mundane. Learn about the many hats a Park Ranger wears and skills that are needed every day to ensure the preservation of the natural environment for generations to come.

Waterfowl of Middle TN Identification – Waterfowl identification is often difficult for experienced and novice bird watchers. Learn how to identify the most common waterfowl of middle TN through stuffed mounts, bird calls, and a fun, interactive game.

Reptiles of Middle TN Identification – Did you know the Eastern Box Turtle is Tennessee’s state reptile? Learn how to identify the most common turtles and snakes of middle Tennessee, as well as, have an opportunity to see live examples up close.

Fish of Old Hickory Lake – Who is nibbling at my toes? Old Hickory Lake is prime habitat for many species of fish. Learn how to identify the most common fish found in lake.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – Learn the importance of going Green, fun facts about trash, and view examples of what can and can’t be recycled.

Reading with Rangers – Spend story time with Park Ranger and learn about various natural science and water safety subjects. Each story is accompanied by an associated activity to take home.

My Winter Home – How does wildlife spend the winter? Migration, hibernation and adaption. Define these three words as you learn various techniques animals use to survive the cold.

The Wonders of Wetlands – Dependent of the age group, this program addresses water's chemical and physical properties, quantity and quality issues, aquatic wildlife, ecosystems, cultural issues, and management strategies.

Invasive Flora - Are there Aliens in Your Backyard? Learn to identify non-native plants in your yard and how you can help eliminate them to maintain biodiversity!

Edible Plants – Learn how our ancestors used nature to survive. Park Rangers will discuss how many plants found in woods and fields today can provide nutrition and natural medicine. Samples of edible plants can be provided for small groups.

Water Management Education Series - Developed to raise public awareness, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District's Water Management Education Series includes a video series that breaks down and discusses the operation of the Cumberland River Reservoir System from the perspective of a Corps of Engineers’ water manager, How the Cumberland River System Works overview brochure, and a school outreach program aimed at informing students and their families about the Corps of Engineers’ flood damage risk reduction mission.


Water Safety and Boating Safety Programs

(Park Rangers may use various forms of digital media including videos, PowerPoint and music)

Water Safety for Kids – This is a general water safety program that teaches various topics through simulations, role playing and hands-on activities.

Safe Boating - Learn the importance of having all required safety equipment onboard and in good working order. *A corps patrol boat maybe used to demonstrate what is required on a boat, if an outdoor area is provided.

Sinking Ship - Through a hands-on skit, learn the importance to have a proper fitting life jacket for each person on board that is in good working order.

Weather and Water – Expect the Unexpected! Learn how to prepare for a (sunny, rainy, hot or cold) day on the water, as well as, what to do if the weather becomes unfavorable.

HELP! Reach, Throw, Row, but Don’t Go – Recognize the signs of a swimmer in trouble and learn proper techniques for using Type IV throwable devices.

Wear it Right – Choosing and Fitting a Life Jacket – Keep water recreation fun and safe by learning the purposes of the different types of life jackets and how to properly select the right size.

Hypothermia and “Cold Hand Luke” - Learn the stages, symptoms and treatment of hypothermia, as well as, play a fun, but chilling interactive game.

Safe Passage – Go on adventure with Holly and Jason as they travel with a magical compass to a distant world. Learn important water safety tips as you help Holly and Jason solve clues to rescue four kids trapped in this other world.