Environmental Impact Statement & Land Acknowledgement

Environmental Impact Statement & Land Acknowledgement

Environmental Impact Statement

Camp Nakanawa enjoys an environment filled with Nature’s Beauty.  Protecting the natural beauty of Camp Nakanawa is important to all past, present and future campers and counselors.  Being environmentally sensitive is good business and it is important to be socially responsible. Camp Nakanawa strives to make our environment always “better than we found it.”  The following explains our environmental impact program.

  • Cardboard – Camp Nakanawa generates a large volume of cardboard through food service packaging. All our cardboard in both Junior and Senior Camps, usually around 120 cubic yards, is recycled through the Cumberland County Recycling Program.  20 Years
  • Cooking Oil – 100% of our cooking oil is recycled through the Cumberland County’s BIO Diesel Program.
  • Metals – 100% of our metal, including tin, steel and old hot water heaters, are recycled at the Cumberland County Recycling Center.
  • Glass – We have only one product, sweet pickles, that is packaged in glass. We recycle these glass jars within our camp kitchens for storage.
  • Plastic – We recycle 100% of our #1 and #2 plastic, including plastic milk containers, cottage cheese containers and sour cream containers. These plastics are recycled through the Cumberland County Recycling Center.  Beginning in 2013, all cardboard, plastics and metals were recycled through the Single Stream Recycling Program offered by Cumberland County.
  • Electricity – Camp Nakanawa will produce about 50% of its total yearly electricity consumption. Camp Nakanawa produces electricity through its 13.3kw system of 58 solar panels located on top of the Senior Camp Barn.  In 2011-2012 – 18,900kw were produced.  In August 2012, a 12.9kw solar panel system, consisting of 54 solar panels, was installed in Junior Camp on the Council House roof.  We now have a capacity to produce 2kw per hour under optimum conditions.  We have 30 solar exhaust fans to help cool the cabins, Egypt (the bath houses) and the Dining Hall.  These facility improvements and other energy efficient iniatives will lower our carbon footprint.
  • Lighting – We are increasing our usage of long lasting compact fluorescent bulbs and LED bulbs to conserve energy. All Security Lights have energy efficient bulbs installed.
  • Sports Equipment – Archery Targets made of 99% pre-consumer recycled materials.
  • Stationery used for correspondence is 100% recycled paper.
  • Water – Camp Nakanawa uses water processed and provided by the City of Crossville. This is for drinking water and cooking.  A separate water system from Lake Aloaloa (Mayland Lake) is used for toilets, showers and for watering flower gardens.
  • Natural Gas – Energy efficient, On-Demand Natural Gas Hot Water Heaters have been installed in the Dining Halls and Bath Houses in both Junior and Senior Camps. With the installation of these new Hot Water Heaters, we have lowered our consumption of Natural Gas.
  • Radiant Heat – The Library and Director’s Home are heated with an outdoor wood burning furnace. The wood supply does not come from living trees but from trees that have been damaged by storms or high winds or have died due to disease, drought or old age.  Some trees are removed by a professional arborist that pose a threat to our campers, counselors or buildings.
  • Laundry – Our laundry service provider has been doing our campers laundry for over 25 years. When they built a new facility, they made sure they purchased water saving machines that were efficient in their use of electricity.  Mild, biodegradable detergents are used to wash the clothes.
  • Transportation – Camp Nakanawa always tries to improve our fuel efficiency by leasing fuel efficient passenger vans. We operate fuel efficient automobiles such as a Ford Fusion, 33 mpg, and a Toyota Prius V, 48 mpg.
  • Food and Paper Products – We use napkins, 8 inch plates, 10 ¼ inch divided plates and toilet paper that are produced from recycled materials. Over the decades we have requested from our food distributor, IWC, less packaging on our food products.  Less packaging would mean less trash generated.

Our Toilet Paper contains 100% recovered paper fiber and 80% postconsumer materials, and meets the Green SealTM environmental standard for bleaching, deinking, and packaging.  It contains no added inks, dyes, or fragrances.

  • Trees – Elisabeth Mitchell, Mitch, second director of Camp Nakanawa and Carson Tays, planted thousands of White Pine trees throughout the property. We enjoy them today.  Many of these trees are over 100 feet tall.  We have added to the tree population by replacing any removed trees with Chestnut, Buckeye, Catalpa, Hemlock, Norway Spruce, Maple, Redwood, Colorado Blue Spruce, and Canaan fir.
  • Lake Aloaloa (Mayland Lake) is regarded as one of the oldest and most pristine lakes on the Cumberland Plateau. This 113 year old lake is spring-fed and pollution free.  The dam is inspected on a regular basis by the State of Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation for safety.  We strive to maintain its purity and natural beauty.
  • Hiking Trails- There is a Four and One Half Mile hiking trail around Lake Aloaloa (Mayland Lake) with sections named in honor of our four Directors, including Colonel Rice and Elisabeth Mitchell. This trail is maintained year round.  Various other trails are maintained for hikers and trail rides throughout our 1100 acres.

Helping our environment will help Camp Nakanawa be a good steward of our resources.


Over 5,000 years ago, during the Archaic Period, before the socialization of Native American Tribes, Native Americans inhabited the land now known as Camp Nakanawa.  Later, during the Woodland Period, bands of people began to group together and  form sociopolitical units called Tribes.  Earlier the Tribes were made up of several localized communities which were organized through kinship groups called Lineage.  These Lineages would come together from time to time for the purpose of warfare or ceremony.  These social organizations were essentially egalitarian and community leadership rested with the individuals who exhibited prowess in hunting, fishing, or warfare.  Also during the Archaic and early Woodland Period, small groups or Family Units used a grinding process, developed Kettle Mortar Holes, and used this process to ground chestnuts, hickory nuts and acorns into a paste, which they used for food.  This process was confirmed by Dr. Jan Simek, Anthropologist, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee.  Kettle Mortar Holes exist on Camp Nakanawa property proving that Native Americans lived on this land.  It is our understanding that these Groups of Native Americans were possibly transient, probably because of the extremely cold and harsh winters that they would have experienced high on the Cumberland Plateau.

Lineage Groups, Cherokee, Shawnee and Yuchi Tribes were the first to inhabit this land that today we use as Camp Nakanawa. 

Eventually these Lineage Groups developed into Tribes and the Shawnee, Yuchi and Cherokee all lived in our area.  The Cherokee was the most prominent Tribe.  Through the decades, arrowheads and other artifacts have been found on this property.

Camp Nakanawa and its Administration, Campers and Counselors believe in the Cherokee Rule that:

“If you take care of the land, the land will take care of you.”

Camp Nakanawa believes in nurturing and protecting this land that is in our care, by following approved environmental practices and following the traditions of the Cherokees and other Native American Tribes.

Camp Nakanawa would like to thank Clare Armstrong and Caroline Casey for their assistance in developing our Land Acknowledgement Document.