Visitors to Harrison Bay State Park outside Chattanooga, Tennessee, will find a fancy new boathouse on their next outdoor adventure thanks to union volunteers, including members of Local 175.

The new shed for storing the park’s dozens of canoes, kayaks, and other watercraft was built over the summer by the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance in conjunction with the American Water Charitable Foundation. It was dedicated on the shores of Chickamauga Lake on Sept. 3.

Volunteers attend the ribbon-cutting for a new boathouse at Harrison Bay State Park

The 63 foot by 18 foot structure is the product of countless hours of volunteer work by members of Chattanooga labor community, including Local 175, Ironworkers Local 704, Utility Workers Local 121, Insulators Local 46, and Communications Workers Local 3802.

Michael Starling, an eight-year veteran of Chattanooga Local 175, spent time at the park cutting wood, hauling supplies and lending a hand wherever it was needed.

“We got word they needed help,” said Starling, who is active in Local 175’s RENEW chapter, “so I spent some time there with 10 or 12 other volunteers.”

“It’s a great resource for the community, so I plan to use the new boathouse as often as I can,” he added.

The project was one-third of a $25,000 grant from the American Water Charitable Foundation’s Building Better Communities initiative aimed at improving public access to water-based recreation activities in Chattanooga, Peoria, Illinois, and Charleston, West Virginia.

The grant was made to the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s Work Boots on the Ground volunteer conservation program, which is focused on conserving wildlife habitat, restoring America’s parks, and mentoring youth about the outdoors.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the completion of our first joint project with American Water,” said USA CEO Fred Myers. “I’m certain this partnership will continue to grow and, together, we will tackle many more community projects.”