Chippy, the Steele Creek Park chipmunk was born on a sunny morning in June, just as the sun began to rise over the knobs of Steele Creek. Chippy, Mom GeGe and Dad Ter loved little Chippy from first sight. They kept her warm, fed and protected her during the lazy days of summer in their little home in the park. The furry little creature, began to scamper around the trees, finding nuts, berries, seeds and grains to fill those pudgy little cheeks. Time went by and Chippy's large, glossy eyes, stripes and bushy tail began to create quite a stir in the park. Shy by nature, Chippy very slowly began sneaking out of her forest home to see what else was going on in her park.
She found a lovely meadow where men and women were chasing a little white ball around and when catching it they were hitting it with a stick. Strange she thought. As she scampered away, she found under a group of pine trees a young fellow throwing a plate and it seemed he was trying to throw it in a chain trash can, strange humans.
She was very thirsty after all that excitement, she found her way to Steele Creek Lake where she slowly went to the edge of the water. About that time, here came a huge blue thing on the water with a Mom and little girls on it paddling away. What fun she thought! The little girls were laughing and having such a good time. Chippy looked on down the lake and there was a very wise, older looking man and a young boy who were holding sticks with a string attached over the water, all of a sudden the little boy jumped up, yelling, and the old man was laughing and then all of a sudden the little boy jerked the string out of the water and on the end was a little blue gill fish. The old man stood up still laughing and took the fish off the hook, returning it to his home. Oh how sweet, thought Chippy as he continued on his journey through the park.
As the summer breeze rustled her fur, her ears perked up, there was a loud rattling sound, then all of a sudden, a booming, whooooooo, hoooooooo, and then again, whooooooo, hooooooooo, oh my goodness what could it be? She had never heard the noise before, maybe she, in fact, was too far away from home, she had better get back. Just as she ran down the bank here comes a big red thing with kids, of all ages, laughing and yelling and having a big time on.....a train. Oh my goodness, how much fun can this be, thought Chippy.
The sun was beginning to set as Chippy was making her way back home, when she came upon a big, big wooden building. As she was making her way around the building two men walked out talking about their day. One was the Nature Center Manager, who keeps the animals safe and tells the children who visit the park about animals who live there. He seemed like a very nice man, Chippy thought as she made her last few scampers to her home. Just as Chippy thought she was safely home he reached down to offer Chippy a berry from his pocket. My goodness, it looked so good. And he was the man who watched over the park's animals, so why not? Chippy and the Nature Center Manager became friends that day.
Over the years as Chippy grew she introduced Mom GeGe and Dad Ter to the Nature Center Manager who liked him as well as she did. So, when he asked her to be the mascot for the Park, Mom and Dad agreed, it sounded like a good idea.
Soooo, if you want to meet Chippy, he makes appearances at the park often. You can have your picture taken with him. Be sure to come back and visit here, as well. Enjoy Chippy's coloring book, photo album, and videos.
Steele Creek Park
4 Little Lane
Bristol, TN 37620
Map of Park (PDF)
Parks & Recreation Department
Sunday through Saturday
9 a.m. to 9 p.m.