The year 2012 marks Tennessee State Parks' 75th Anniversary, and to help commemorate this important milestone, Edgar Evins State Park will hold a special community event on Thursday, August 9, beginning at 1:30 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 Carl Halfacre.
Come out and meet the park staff and learn more about the history of Tennessee State Parks. The day's agenda includes a roster of special guest speakers, special tours of the park's facilities, in addition to re-enactors portraying historical figures from Edgar Evins State Park's unique past – including James Edgar Evins and Adam Dale. Shuttle rides will be offered through the park, along with motor tours for those wishing to drive their own vehicles. Light refreshments will be served, including a commemorative anniversary cake. Participants will also have an opportunity to learn about upcoming programs at the park.
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.
Others planning to attend are State Senator Mae Beavers, State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver, former State Senator Vernon Neal, Commissioner Bob Martineau, Department of Environment and Conservation, Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill, Tennessee State Parks,
Anne Marshall, Senior Adviser for Tennessee State Parks, Interim Director of Parks Mike Robertson, Park Manager Carl Halfacre, Edgar Evins State Park, Ward Weems, Chief Historian for Tennessee State Parks, Fount Bertram, President of the Friends of Edgar Evins,
The Friends of Edgar Evins State Park, and local elected officials and community members.
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.
Edgar Evins State Park is located on the shores of Center Hill Lake in the steep, hilly Eastern Highland Rim. The 6,000 acre park provides excellent recreational opportunities, including boating, swimming, fishing, hiking and picnicking. Accommodations range from campsites around the slopes of Center Hill Lake, to a lodging complex featuring a series of suites. For more information about Edgar Evins State Park, please visit www.tnstateparks.com/EdgarEvins or call (931) 858-2446.