March for the Supply Drive

The Sewanee Civic Association is inviting individuals, local groups and businesses to help collect donations of nonfood items for the Community Action Committee (CAC). This collection will augment the services provided by the CAC food pantry. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits cannot be used to purchase any nonfood items, which includes pet food; cleaning supplies; paper products; household supplies; detergent; menstrual products; diapers; or other personal care items.
This is where you can help. Collect nonfood items and then deliver from 1–3 p.m., Thursday, March 31, to the CAC at 216 University Ave., Sewanee. Individuals may also take their nonfood donations March 21–30 to donation bins located around campus, and at Regions Bank and the Sewanee Mountain Messenger. The Sewanee Elementary School and the Interact Club at St. Andrew’s-Sewanee will also be gathering nonfood donations. For those who wish to make monetary donations, money is accepted March 21-30 at the Blue Chair Bakery, the Frame Gallery and Taylor’s Mercantile. Please make checks payable to the CAC.
The CAC will oversee the distribution of the donations to those in need. The CAC is an outreach ministry of the Parish of St. Mark and St. Paul, with generous support from the Sewanee Community Chest and individuals across the Mountain. For more than 47 years, the CAC has provided food, financial assistance, and educational support for persons in the greater Sewanee community.
This is part of the Sewanee Civic Association Treasures for the Chest initiative, a campaign to help promote community-wide service of giving time, support and donations. Volunteers are needed. To volunteer contact us. The event is sponsored by the Office of Civic Engagement, the Sewanee Civic Association, and the Sewanee Community Chest.

The 37375 CAMPAIGN

The Sewanee Business Alliance (SBA) and the Sewanee Civic Association (SCA) and are working together on a new fundraising campaign to raise funds for the purchase and distribution of health and safety products and services. These goods and services will be distributed to Sewanee’s non-profit organizations, SBA members, senior citizens organizations, churches, and all the local daycare centers and PreK-12 schools on the Domain and its outskirts.

Our goal is to make the Sewanee community as safe as possible and to ensure that everyone has the right resources during this pandemic. We invite you to join in this urgent cause and to help us meet our goal of raising $37,375 in the weeks ahead. If we raise funds beyond that goal, the balance will go to the Sewanee Community Chest to jumpstart its annual campaign.

From the funds raised, a small panel of health experts will advise us as we purchase the following types of items and improvements:- Sanitizing products and equipment (hand sanitizer, liquid soap, touchless dispensers, disinfectant wipes, public hand washing stations, UV lights, etc.); Communications materials (attractive signage, uniformity in messaging, information packets for leaders of businesses and nonprofits, etc.); Structural retrofits (plexiglass purchase and installation, improved indoor ventilation, outdoor dining solutions, etc.); Operational improvements (no contact payment systems, deep cleaning of a building, creating one-way customer traffic flows within stores, markings for floors, etc.); and, Personal protective equipment and devices (masks, gloves, digital forehead thermometers, etc.).

Once the funds are collected, eligible community organizations will submit a simple application asking for assistance and choosing from the above, giving this program the flexibility needed to meet the needs of a variety of organizations. To distribute the funds, a separate small panel made up of SBA and SCA members will review the proposals and disburse tangible products or dispatch a person to solve that particular problem.

This unique special project for COVID-19 health and safety donations will end on Sept. 30, 2020.

If you would like to volunteer or need more information, please email [email protected]

To make a donation, you may send a check payable to “Sewanee Community Chest 37375 Campaign,” P.O. Box 99, Sewanee, TN 37375. You may also use PayPal Giving for online giving.

The Sewanee Civic Association is the sponsoring organization of the Sewanee Community Chest. Donations through the Sewanee Community Chest are tax-deductible.

Together, we can do this! Donate today!

#protectthebubble #wecandothis #seWanEe #37375campaign

Historical Marker

The Sewanee Civic Association is undertaking the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of the Sewanee Public School, now Sewanee Elementary School. Sewanee Public School was the first public school in Franklin County to integrate, which took place in 1964 as a result of a combined effort of eight Sewanee families to bring equality to our school system.

The State of Tennessee offers precise guidelines as to text layout and language and all marker content must be approved by the State Historical Commission before production is begun. The goal is to have the historical marker approved, produced, and in place by MLK Day. Further celebrations are planned to honor the 50th anniversary.

Update on Historical Marker

The Tennessee Historic Commission has approved the historical marker commemorating the desegregation of Sewanee Public School, now Sewanee Elementary School.

The two-sided marker should be in place at the end of January, 2014.

Text for Marker

Text for Marker


The Sewanee Civic Association (SCA) is overseeing the rebuilding/reinventing of playgrounds on the Domain. These are Elliott Park, the Sewanee Community Center, Woodlands, St. Mark’s Center, and the Ball Park. All are in current state of disrepair. The SCA is currently working on improving Elliott Park. This will be a collaborative community effort.

The goal of the Sewanee Civic Association is to help improve municipal conditions and equipment, and raise money the town cannot raise in taxes because it is unincorporated.

Parks have always been a community led initiative. In fact, the SCA through community funding, built one of the first parks in Sewanee, Shoup Park. In recent years, from the playground at the Sewanee Community Center to the fields and playground at the Ball Park, community members saw a need, secured funding, built the parks and play structures, and maintained them.

In 2012, the University removed the pirate ship, the cabin, the automobile, and the picnic table at Elliott Park. Emily Puckette then began discussions with the University about playgrounds. The SCA stepped in, creating a Parks Committee.

In one of the first steps to have an adequate park system in Sewanee, the SCA entered into a memorandum of understanding with the University of the South and Friends of the Dog Park for the Phil White Dog Park. The Friends of the Dog Park is a group of volunteers who wanted to have a safe place for dogs to play. A main concern was this group was not duly organized. This park is funded and maintained by the community through the Friends of the Dog Park Committee.

The Parks Committee then conducted a community wide survey in September 2013 to gather community input about plans to construct a community park and playground. Approximately 150 community members responded. Of the five proposed sites—Elliott Park, the Sewanee Community Center, Woodlands, the Ball Park, and St. Mark’s Center—two-thirds of those responding named Elliott Park as their first choice to be revitalized.

The Parks Committee analyzed the survey data, determined the location and footprint of the proposed park, and then submitted Requests for Information to possible vendors. RFIs were sent to nine playground companies. RFPs (request for proposal) were then sent to four finalists, which, in turn, sent detailed proposals. The Parks Committee rejected those, and has now settled on a fifth company, Game Time. This company is reputable and has built many playgrounds in the region.

All parks must be Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant. Half of the play components need to accommodate disabled children, and walkways and ground surfaces need to be wheelchair accessible. From the survey results, the most frequently suggested equipment for a park was a climbing structure, swings, and a slide.

There must be a system in place where there is accountability to maintain the parks. It is imperative that parks in Sewanee be safe and sustainable places to play for years to come.

At the April 15, 2015, the active SCA membership present approved the plans for Elliott Park. Construction is expected to begin in September 2015.


We have a vision to reinvent Elliott Park and we need your help.

A central playground and meeting place for families in the community, this park is located on the east side of University Avenue: in the small hollow below the Book and Supply Store and near the center of the University campus.

Originally designated in 1870, Elliott Park has a history of community support with much of its playground equipment built by the community or purchased with donations. A swing set, chin up bars, wooden step structure, and sand box (now removed) were installed under the leadership of Sandy Baird and Yolande Gottfried in the 1980s. In 1998, community member Dana Lesesne spearheaded the addition of a pirate ship constructed by the Sewanee chapter of Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji), with support from various sources including the Kaj Krogstad Memorial Fund. In 2012, when several wooden play elements were in disrepair, the University removed the ship, cabin, play automobile, and picnic table from Elliott Park leaving behind little more than an aging swing set in what was once a vibrant place for the children to play.

We are beginning the next chapter of this community-supported park. The Sewanee Civic Association board has drafted an action plan to raise $65,000 for the Elliott Park playground equipment and installation. The plan includes soliciting a combination of individual, corporate, and foundation gifts during the next few months through the Sewanee Community Chest, a 501(c) 3 organization. We have a verbal agreement with the University for site preparation and are drafting a written Memorandum of Understanding that includes maintenance of the park and contingency planning for the equipment should the University ever need to relocate it. There will be community build events where volunteers can participate in the installation of the playground equipment. This will be a collaborative effort with the University’s Physical Plant Services, neighboring organizations, and community volunteers to maintain and enhance the park, creating a sense of ownership to ensure the long-term care and upkeep of this important part of the community.

Children need a place to play and people need a place to gather. The For the Parks project will benefit the whole community and our many visitors by reminding us that Sewanee is not only a place where families live, but is a place where families are valued. We hope you will join the community effort to reinvent this community park.

This unique special-project for the parks capital campaign should be completed in September, 2015.