Natchez Trace State Park to celebrate anniversary
Posted: Friday, October 26, 2012 8:04 pm
The year 2012 marks Tennessee State Parks’ 75th anniversary, and to help commemorate this important milestone, Natchez Trace State Park will host a fall celebration Saturday from 3-8 p.m. at the Cub Lake Recreation Lodge.
“We are very excited to celebrate Tennessee State Parks’ 75th anniversary this year,” said park manager Walter Pope. “Natchez Trace State Park’s celebration day will include activities for the entire family.”
Free and open to the public, the historic Cub Lake Recreation Lodge will set the stage for a step back in time. The celebration will include fall-themed activities and historical remembrances of the 1930s and 1940s in Tennessee State Parks. Families can enjoy homemade ice cream while participating in activities such as games, music, a family photo booth and programs featuring reptiles and birds of prey. Activities will also include a square dancing class, guided fall colors hikes near Cub Lake, hayrides, paddle boat rides on Cub Lake, swim and beach volleyball and a Natchez Trace history program.
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, 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.
The Natchez Trace State Park is located in Carroll, Henderson and Benton counties in West Tennessee. With many acres of scenic woodlands, this area is composed of a state park, a state forest and a Wildlife Management Area with a total of 48,000 acres. Natchez Trace State Park is named for the famous “Natchez to Nashville” highway, an important wilderness road during the early 18th century. The park was built as part of President Roosevelt’s “New Deal” program. Additional details about the park can be found at http://www.tn.gov/environment/parks/NatchezTrace/.
Published in The Messenger 10.26.12