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The year 2012 marks Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary, and to help commemorate this important milestone, Tims Ford State Park will hold a special community event at the Visitors Center on Friday, Aug. 31, beginning at 1 p.m.
The event is open to the public.
“This is a great opportunity to thank the park’s many patrons and the entire local community for their support throughout the years and invite community members to see what the park has to offer,” said Park Manager Chris Padgett.
Come out and meet the park staff and learn more about Tims Ford State Park’s unique past, its impact on the area and future plans for this popular state park. Park staff will also serve a commemorative anniversary cake, along with other refreshments.
Following the brief presentation and cake-cutting ceremony, State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath will present a slideshow on the history of Tennessee State Parks.
Also making an appearance will be Tennessee State Parks’ new traveling anniversary exhibit, which recently hit the road to tour state parks and various communities, sharing Tennessee State Parks’ rich and storied history. Enclosed in a colorful trailer emblazoned with various images and logos, the exhibit interprets the origins and heritage of Tennessee’s state park system.
Other special guests include State Sen. Eric Stewart, State Rep. David Alexander, Franklin County Mayor Richard Stewart, Winchester City Administrator Beth Rhoton, Padgett, State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath and members of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce.
The Tennessee State Parks system was established through legislation in 1937, and those laws – with modifications and additions over the years – remain the framework for park operations today. As in most states, Tennessee began in cooperation with federal programs that instigated individual parks. Later, Depression era recovery programs gave a boost to the idea and the possibility of creating parks. The Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration worked on land conservation, but also delved further into the actual planning and construction of what would become the first of 54 Tennessee State Parks.
Today, there is a state park within an hour’s drive of just about anywhere in Tennessee. A 2009 University of Tennessee study highlights the positive economic impacts that state parks provide local communities, particularly in rural areas of the state. The study found that for every dollar spent on trips to Tennessee State Parks, an additional $1.11 of economic activity was generated throughout the state. When the direct and indirect expenditures were combined, the impact of Tennessee State Parks to the state’s economy was $1.5 billion in total industry output, supporting more than 18,600 jobs.
“Our vision statement highlights the inherent value of our natural environment, along with the value of the many physical reminders of Tennessee’s past,” added Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill. “Tennessee’s state parks have played such an important role in our history, and they play a critical role in our health and quality of life, which will benefit Tennesseans well into the future.”
Tennessee’s state parks deliver a rich fabric of natural landscapes, wild places, preserved ecologies, outdoor recreational opportunities and protected historic scenes and resources – together representing the heritage of Tennessee in the landscape.
Tennessee’s 54 state parks and 82 state natural areas offer diverse natural recreational and cultural experiences for individuals, families or business and professional groups. State park features range from pristine natural areas to 18-hole championship golf courses. For a free brochure about Tennessee State Parks, call toll free at 1-888-867-2757. For upcoming events in connection with the 75th Anniversary of Tennessee State Parks, please visit the state parks website at www.tnstateparks.com.
In commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of Tennessee State Parks, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation launched an innovative new microsite at www.tnstateparks75.com. Established in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, the microsite displays Tennessee State Parks’ rich heritage and showcases the many outdoor adventures awaiting state park visitors through rich media and dynamic content.
Tims Ford State Park, located on the Tims Ford Reservoir in the rolling hills of southern middle Tennessee, is an outstanding recreational area and fishing paradise. Long before the construction of Tims Ford Dam on the headwaters of the Elk River, the area was used extensively by the Indians as hunting and fishing territory. Archaeological excavations uncovered numerous artifacts and occupational sites, indicating that man had occupied the area as much as 10,000 to 12,000 years ago.
For more information about Tims Ford State Park, please visit www.tnstateparks.com/TimsFord or call 962-1183.