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TDEC: ‘Farm to Table’ Pilot Program Launched at Paris Landing

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation; June 25, 2014:

PARIS, Tenn. – State officials from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) and the Department of Agriculture, along with local civic leaders, farmers and park supporters, kicked off a “Farm to Table” Pilot Program at Paris Landing State Park today.

The Tennessee State Park System, which is part of TDEC, continues to look for ways to increase the amount of locally grown food served at State Parks restaurants. Procuring locally-grown food products is both environmentally sustainable and economically supportive of communities that produce the products.

“Local foods benefit the environment and wildlife. Well managed farms provide ecosystems that conserve the soil, protect water sources, and sequester carbon from the atmosphere. The patchwork of fields and ponds provide habitat for wildlife,” said TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau. “These partnerships are a win for all, and we are beyond thrilled with how the event turned out today.”

Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Market Development partnered with Tennessee State Parks to locate, visit and evaluate farmers around Paris Landing State Park that can produce enough quantity to support the restaurant operations at a price that is economically feasible for customers.

“Our State Park system is truly a gem and an important draw for visitors. It just makes sense to enhance that experience by connecting them with local producers and processors,” Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson said. “I want to thank Commissioner Martineau and his team at TDEC for leading this effort and for supporting the local agricultural economy through our Pick Tennessee Products program.”

Tennessee State Park restaurants offer southern cooking served buffet style, menu service, catering and, conference banquets. There are six resort inns and all include a food service operation, serving three meals daily. All restaurants also offer catering on-site for picnics, meetings, conferences and other special events.

Tennessee’s 54 state parks 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. There is a state park within an hour’s drive of just about anywhere in the state, offering a variety of recreational, lodging and dining choices. For more information about Tennessee State Parks, visit www.tnstateparks.com.

Pick Tennessee Products is program developed by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture to help consumers connect with locally grown and processed foods and other agriculture related enterprises. Local products and more can be found at www.picktnproducts.org or through the “Pick Tennessee” mobile app available from both the App Store and from Google Play.

‘Tis the Season at Pickwick Landing State Park’s 8th Annual Christmas Fest

Press release from the Department of Environment & Conservation; December 6, 2012: 

PICKWICK DAM, Tenn. – Pickwick Landing State Park will kick off the holidays with its 8th Annual Christmas in the Park festival December 14-15.

Enjoy Pickwick Landing’s Festival of Lights via trolley or a horse-drawn carriage ride through the park, viewing the beautiful luminaries and lighted displays. In addition, more than 50 local retailers and crafters will be on hand, displaying and offering unique items at the park’s Holiday Mart. The Holiday Mart times are Friday from noon until 9 p.m. and Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. Luminary displays and rides through the park will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. both nights.

Little ones also will enjoy a special visit from Santa and his elves – complete with a holiday train ride, bedtime stories by the fire each evening, and a special breakfast with Santa planned for Saturday morning. Santa Claus and his elves will arrive in the park’s inn each night at 6 p.m., and bedtime stories will begin at 8 p.m. Saturday’s breakfast with Santa will begin at 7 a.m. until 10 a.m.

“This is a great two-day holiday event and there’s something for everyone,” said Guy Garner, park manager for Pickwick Landing. “We encourage everyone to join us at Pickwick Landing for this wonderful holiday tradition and catch the spirit of the season.”

Pickwick Landing State Park is located just south of Pickwick Dam and 12 miles south of Savannah, Tenn. The lake and river offer excellent fishing, boating, swimming and a marina. Accommodations in the park include a modern inn and restaurant, cabins and camping. The park is made up of 1,400 acres of forested hills and hollows, with a 2.8-mile trail to explore and enjoy the wildlife and plant life around the lake. Picnicking, swimming, golfing and play fields are just a few of the amenities.

For more information about Pickwick Landing State Park’s 8th Annual Christmas in the Park or to make reservations, please call 1-800-250-8615. Additional information about the park can also be found on the park’s Web site at www.tnstateparks.com/PickwickLanding.

TN State Parks Offers Free Night of Camping, Complimentary 18 Holes of Golf for TN Veterans

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation; November 5, 2012: 

NASHVILLE – Tennessee State Parks announced today its annual free state parks day for all Tennessee veterans on Monday, Nov. 12, offering one free night of camping and complimentary greens fees for 18 holes of golf with appropriate identification.

Passed by the General Assembly in 2010, the policy calls for a yearly, special state parks day to honor Tennessee’s resident veterans.

“This is our way of honoring the many brave men and women who have served our country,” said Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau. “The state parks family extends a warm invitation to all of Tennessee’s veterans to visit us on Nov. 12 and enjoy a day in one of our beautiful parks.”

The free day on Nov. 12 is in addition to Tennessee State Parks’ current veterans’ policy, which includes a camping discount within the state parks system and is available annually beginning November 1 through March 31, offering a 15 to 25 percent reduction off the standard nightly base rates (depending on the type of site chosen). This camping discount is available to Tennessee residents showing proof of prior military duty.

A special state park discount also is in place for active duty military personnel and members of the Tennessee National Guard. This year-round discount is given to all U.S. military – regardless of their branch of service or where they are stationed. Disabled veterans also are eligible for the Tennessee State Parks year-round ADA discount that provides a 25 to 50 percent discount for campsites. For more information about Tennessee State Parks’ veterans and military discounts, please visit www.tnstateparks.com/FAQs.shtml#military.

To receive the free state parks day benefits and extended discounts, veterans need to provide proof of residency with a Tennessee driver’s license; and proof of veteran’s status, with a Certificate of Discharge (DD214) or Veterans Administration benefit card.

Tennessee’s 54 state parks and 82 natural areas span the state from the Appalachian Mountains to the Mississippi River and offer an array of diverse natural, recreational and cultural experiences, including hiking, camping, boating and golfing. Celebrating its 75th Anniversary this year, the Tennessee State Parks system was established through legislation in 1937. Today, there is a state park within an hour’s drive of just about anywhere in the state, with features such as pristine natural areas and a variety of lodging and dining choices. For more information, visit Tennessee State Parks’ website at www.tnstateparks.com

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TN State Parks’ to Display Calorie Content Info at Restaurants

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Health; July 23, 2012: 

NASHVILLE – Tennessee State Parks’ eight restaurants now prominently post calorie content information, allowing visitors and staff members to make informed decisions about their food choices. This partnership initiative of the Tennessee Department of Health and the Department of Environment and Conservation complements ongoing efforts to encourage personal fitness among Tennessee residents and visitors.

“After a day of hiking, golf, tennis, swimming or any of the other activities in our wonderful state parks, we can continue our healthy lifestyles by knowing the calorie content of foods available to us,” said Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “With this step, Tennessee State Parks position themselves to be an even stronger fitness destination for people who want to live healthier lives. More importantly, it helps Tennessee combat the growing problem of obesity and the many destructive health issues accompanying too much weight.”

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau added that counting calories can make every visit to a Tennessee State Parks restaurant a more healthy adventure.

“With this effort, we make one of the best state park systems in the nation even better,” Martineau said. “Posting caloric content of food choices in our restaurants will serve as a positive reminder to be mindful about the quantity and type of food we put on our plates and that every visit to one of our great state parks can lead to significant improvements in personal health.”

The caloric information is posted on cards affixed to restaurant buffet tables. Each card features an image of the newly slim Tennessee State Parks mascot, Ramble the Raccoon, along with information about the food item and how many calories are contained in a portion. Ramble the Raccoon will continue traveling across the state to show off his new “fit” image and to educate children about the importance of exercise and healthier eating.

The calorie cards, which started going up at all eight state resort parks in June 2012, are part of a focused effort to help visitors make informed choices. Menus at the restaurants also include caloric information about each food item.

To complement the overall calorie card initiative, Tennessee State Parks will introduce a Healthy Eating and Healthy Hikes Program, encouraging park visitors to combine a good diet with physical activity. A poster of Ramble the Raccoon will await restaurant patrons at the check-out area, along with park-specific brochures that outline the various trails available for a healthy walk in the park.

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. To learn more about Tennessee State Parks or to find restaurant locations, visit www.tnstateparks.com.

The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health of people in Tennessee. For more information about TDH services and programs, visit http://health.state.tn.us/.

State Unveils State Parks’ New Traveling History Exhibit

Press release from the Department of Environment & Conservation; July 19, 2012: 

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau and Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill today announced the premiere of Tennessee State Parks’ new traveling anniversary exhibit that will take state parks’ unique history on the road.

Beginning this week, the traveling exhibit will tour state parks and various communities in honor of Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary. Enclosed in a colorful trailer emblazoned with Tennessee State Park images and logos, the exhibit interprets the origins and heritage of the park system.

“This new traveling museum will spend the next year traveling the state, sharing Tennessee State Parks’ rich and storied history,” Martineau said. “The exhibit will help educate the public about the importance of protecting Tennessee’s natural and historical resources, while touching on the state and federal programs that helped bring about our great park system.”

Programs such as the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Works Progress Administration, and elements of the U.S. departments of Agriculture and the Interior are highlighted, telling the story of how their efforts helped shape not only many of Tennessee’s own state parks, but most state park systems across the country. From obtaining land and building infrastructure to creating an environment for state park movements to flourish, these state and federal efforts were key components in creating the park system we enjoy today.

The National Park Service also played a large role in planning and organizing the overall effort and obtaining the individual parcels that were destined to become state parks. From there, states committed to taking on the land ownership and the responsibility for resources, land bases and infrastructure, along with the responsibility for the long-term management and stewardship of these properties.

The Tennessee Department of Conservation and its Division of State Parks, formally known as TDEC today, filled this need for the state of Tennessee when the Origin Act for these organizations and their responsibilities was passed 75 years ago. Tennessee was one of a handful of states that stepped up at an early time to take on its responsibilities to provide protection for its natural, cultural and outdoor recreation resources.

“Today, there are 54 state parks in Tennessee and each one tells its part of our history, relaying its unique nature that gives all our sites their own spirit of place,” Hill said. “When the Tennessee state park system was 30 years old, there were just 26 parks on the roster. However, the system has grown remarkably since that time and continues to offer new opportunities, including this year’s opening of our 54th addition at Cummins Falls in Jackson County.”

Most Tennesseans now have a state park within an hour’s drive and in most cases more than one type of park to visit, representing a healthy state park system of diverse parts and opportunities. While providing a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities, Tennessee State Parks represent the state’s heritage in the landscape – reflecting not only the diversity of Tennessee’s geologic and ecological regions, but also the diverse stories that span over 200 years of state history and the region’s incredible pre-historical presence.

“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,” added Hill. “As Gov. Haslam proclaims July as Tennessee State Parks Month, our new traveling exhibit is winding its way through the state, helping educate our communities about the important historical role our state parks have played and their continued importance to our quality of life.”

Tennessee State Parks’ new traveling exhibit is based out of a trailer on loan from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The exhibit’s artwork, displays and interpretative panels were designed and coordinated by Tennessee State Parks’ Chief Historian Ward Weems, with assistance from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and volunteers from both the private and public sectors.

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.

To find out when Tennessee State Parks’ new traveling exhibit will be in your area or for details about upcoming events in connection with the 75th Anniversary, 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.

Cummins Falls Added to TN State Park System

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation; May 22, 2012:

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau today joined members of the General Assembly, local elected officials and members of the community to dedicate the newly created Cummins Falls State Park, the 54th addition to the Tennessee State Parks system.

“I want to extend my congratulations to the citizens of both Jackson and Putnam counties who rallied in support of preserving and protecting Cummins Falls as a state park, opening up to the public a beautiful, one-of-a-kind landmark for use today and for future generations,” Gov. Haslam said. “Cummins Falls will not only serve as a constant reminder of the natural beauty Tennessee has to offer, this new state park will continue to demonstrate how private/public partnerships can work together to make a difference.”

Located on the beautiful Blackburn Fork State Scenic River, this idyllic 211-acre site in Jackson County is home to Tennessee’s eighth largest waterfall at 75 feet high. Cummins Falls is formed on the Eastern Highland Rim and has been a favorite scenic spot and swimming hole for residents of Jackson and Putnam counties for more than 100 years. Cummins Falls also has been listed as one of the ten best swimming holes in the United States by Travel and Leisure magazine.

The addition of the new park at Cummins Fall was made possible through the leadership of Gov. Haslam, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and through the coordinating efforts and very generous support of the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation. Other key partners include the Nature Conservancy’s Tennessee Chapter, the Cummins family, the State Lands Acquisition Fund and the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

“Gov. Haslam has emphasized a healthier Tennessee as one of his top Administration priorities, and I envision Cummins Falls and all of our great state parks playing an important role in this effort to create healthier citizens,” said Martineau. “I join the Governor in thanking all of the incredible partners who helped us create this new addition to the Tennessee State Parks’ family. Most notably, I want to acknowledge the hard work put forth by the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation in bringing this effort about and for their commitment to this beautiful land going forward.”

“Cummins Falls is one of the premier Tennessee natural treasures,” said Kathleen Williams, president and CEO of the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation. “We are so grateful to Gov. Haslam, our friends at the Department of Environment and Conservation and their state parks team, and the members of the legislature who love and want to conserve our beautiful homeland.”

Situated in the Cordell Hull watershed, Cummins Falls’ forest includes a variety of oaks, beech, buckeye, sycamore and hemlock trees. Woodland plants include October’s lady tresses, star chickweed, liverleaf and Allegheny spurge. The property’s forested streamside protects turkey, quail and eagles, as well as a variety of fox, mink and unique insects such as damselflies and dragonflies.

Through a cooperative agreement with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, fishing for bluegill and bass along the riverbank will be permitted with a Tennessee fishing license.

While Cummins Falls State Park is officially open to the public, enhancements to the park – including trails, additional road work, restroom facilities and a small park office – are still part of the overall park management plan. The park will be a day-use park and will be open from 8 a.m. until sunset year-round.

Ranger Ray Cutcher will serve as Cummins Falls’ new park manager, and Jeremy Vaden will serve as an additional ranger on staff. Both Cutcher and Vaden are familiar with the area, having served as part of the Burgess Falls State Park team. Until various facilities can be added to Cummins Falls, Burgess Falls State Park will continue to provide some staff support and office space for the park management team. The park office number for Burgess Falls is (931) 432-5312.

Cummins Falls’ rich history includes a time when Indians used the area to track the numerous buffalo that wallowed in the river’s shallow areas. In the 1790s, Sergeant Blackburn, a veteran of the Revolutionary War and for whom the Blackburn Fork State Scenic River was named, was awarded the land in lieu of a pension. The land was acquired by John Cummins in 1825, and he used the land to build the first of two mills. Because of his growing clientele, a larger second mill was built in 1845. Local residents would visit the mills and the falls for both commerce and recreation.

The mill was washed away during the great flood of 1928, but cars and paved highways had already begun to make the trek to Cummins Falls more accessible. The land was not rebuilt but stayed with the Cummins family for more than 180 years until the recent efforts by the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation to purchase the land through private and public donations for resale to the state of Tennessee for nearly $1,040,000.

Tennessee’s 54 state parks and 82 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 additional information, visit our Web site at www.tnstateparks.com.

To help commemorate Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary milestone, the department has launched an innovative new microsite on www.tnvacation.com, honoring the rich heritage of Tennessee State Parks and showcasing the outdoor adventures available at park sites today. Among many great features, the microsite highlights a wide range of richly-illustrated content that will help plan your next park visit, an interactive timeline that stretches all the way back to the beginning of Tennessee State Parks to the most current events, and a fun Junior Ranger game.

TN ‘National Trails Day’ Events, June 5

State of Tennessee Press Release, May 28, 2010 :

State Parks and Natural Areas to Mark Event with Volunteer Activities and Hikes

NASHVILLE – Tennesseans are encouraged to participate in several activities at Tennessee State Parks and Natural Areas in celebration of National Trails Day on Saturday, June 5.

The Tennessee celebration coincides with the American Hiking Society’s annual National Trails Day, which began in 1993 and is the largest single-day trails and outdoor celebration in the country. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to get outside and participate in events at local, state and national parks, forests and other public lands from coast to coast.

Governor Phil Bredesen has proclaimed June 5 as Tennessee Trails Day. In addition, the Department of Environment and Conservation’s Resource Management Division’s State Natural Areas and several Tennessee State Parks are offering special activities including interpretative hikes, trail repair and trailblazing.

“Tennessee’s greenways and trails provide benefits enjoyed by Tennesseans and visitors to our state alike,” said Bredesen. “National Trails Day gives us an opportunity to honor the commitment of those who provide countless volunteer hours to create and maintain the trails we enjoy every day.”

All events are scheduled for Saturday, June 5, and all times are local. Participants should bring water and food, and they should wear long pants, sturdy and appropriate footwear and work gloves. While most tools will be provided, some projects will require volunteers to bring specific items.

Program descriptions and contact information for National Trails Day events in Tennessee involving Tennessee State Parks and Natural Areas include:

East Tennessee

Frozen Head State Park – Join park staff for both an interpretative hike and trail work during Frozen Head’s Volunteer Trail Day. For more information, please contact the park at (423) 346-3318.

Hampton Creek Cove Natural Area – Join leaders Judy Murray (Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy), Bob Hardin (Overmountain Victory Trail Association) and Lisa Huff (Tennessee Natural Areas) for a trail maintenance day at Hampton Creek Cove Natural Area.

Groups will be divided in two efforts – one will finish some earlier maintenance on the Shell Hollow Trail, with some minor digging with fire rakes and mattocks along with some installation of water bars and permanent trail blazes. The other group will hike about two miles up to the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail (Cove Ridge Segment), where trail tools will be cached for their use. They will pick up their tools and head down trail to dig out sloughed portions of the upslope side of the trail tread. When finished they will hike down with the tools. The level of difficulty is moderate, but the hike up the OVNHT is relatively steep and strenuous.

The views from the highlands are spectacular, so this is a great outing opportunity. The birding is good throughout the cove and participants should expect to hear and see lots of birds, including the rare golden-winged warbler. This will be a casual hike through cedar glades and barrens, with a focus on clearing the invasive plants. As an extra treat, participants will be hiking during a prime flowering period, with much to see.

Participants are asked to meet in the Hampton Cove parking area promptly at 9:30 a.m. Reservations are required. Please contact Judy Murray at roanwoman@aol.com by June 1. For more information including description, directions and a map of Hampton Creek Cove, please visit www.tn.gov/environment/na/natareas/hampton/.

Middle Tennessee

Flat Rock Cedar Glade and Barrens State Natural Area –Tennessee Natural Areas Program’s Brian Bowen will lead a day hike through Flat Rock Cedar Glade and Barrens State Natural Area near Murfreesboro. Additional activities on this three-mile trail will include pulling invasive plants from the area, including Ox-Eyed Daisy and Queen Ann’s Lace – which are easy to pull and scattered along the trail.

This will be a casual hike through the cedar glade and barrens, with a focus on clearing the invasive plants. As an extra treat, participants will be hiking during a prime flowering period, with much to see. For more information including description, directions and a map of Flat Rock Cedar Glade and Barrens go to: www.tn.gov/environment/na/natareas/flatrock/.

Participants are asked to meet in the Target parking lot off of Bell Road and I-24 (near Hickory Hollow) in Nashville at 9 a.m. Participants also can meet at the Flat Rock parking area on Factory Road east of Murfreesboro at 9:45 a.m. Reservations are required. Please contact Brian Bowen at (615) 532-0436 or Brian.Bowen@tn.gov by June 3.

Short Springs State Natural Area – Join Stewardship Ecologist Forrest Evans for trail maintenance at Short Springs Natural Area. A small creek currently goes across the trail and participants will build a series of steppingstones to keep hikers out of the creek and wet area. Other trail work will be optional. The event is sponsored by the Tennessee Natural Areas program, Friends of Short Springs and the Tennessee Trails Association.

Participants should meet at the Short Springs parking area at 10 a.m. Volunteers are welcome to leave at noon. All tools will be provided. In the event of heavy rain, the effort will be canceled. From Tullahoma take Short Springs Road to the water tower and park in the gravel parking lot. For more information, visit http://tn.gov/environment/na/natareas/shortsprings.

South Cumberland State Park – Join park rangers and staff at South Cumberland State Park for various National Trail Day events and activities. For more information about these events, please call the park at (931) 924-2980.

Stone Door Nature Hike – Join Ashlie at the Stone Door Ranger Station at 9 a.m. to learn about Tennessee native trees and wildflowers and soak up some incredible views. This is an easy family friendly two-mile hike, so bring the kids, water and a snack.

The Role That Caves Play Hike – Participants will discover geology as they visit entrances to sink holes and caves, discussing how they fit into the ecosystem. Meet the naturalist at the Carter State Natural Area parking lot at 10 a.m. for this four-mile hike.

Savage Falls Hike – Meet Seasonal Ranger Aaron at the Savage Gulf Ranger Station at 1 p.m. for a moderate four-mile hike to see beautiful Savage Falls. In addition to water and snacks, please wear sturdy shoes and tick repellent.

Cordell Hull Birthplace State Park –Join park rangers and staff for a rewarding morning of trail work, along with a guided hike on Bunkum Cave Trail at Cordell Hull Birthplace State Park in Byrdstown. Participants are asked to meet at the trailhead at 9 a.m. and tools will be provided. For more information about the hike, please call (931) 864-3247.

West Tennessee

Carroll Cabin Barrens State Natural Area –Join West Tennessee Stewardship Ecologist Allan J. Trently for trail rerouting at Carroll Cabin Barrens State Natural Area. Currently, a small section of the trail currently goes through a seep in a barren. To keep hikers away from this wet area and deter damage to the barren due to foot traffic, participants will assist in building a short re-route around the seep and the barren. Since barrens are treeless, it will be important to wear a hat and sunscreen and bring plenty of water. Volunteers are welcome to leave at noon, but are encouraged to stay if the re-route is not finished by lunch. All tools will be provided.

Participants are asked to meet in the Carroll Cabin Barrens parking area at 9:30 a.m. Reservations are required. Please contact Allan Trently at (731) 512-1369 or Allan.Trently@tn.gov by June 3. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be canceled. For more information including description, directions and a map of Carroll Cabin Barrens, please visit the Web site at www.tn.gov/environment/na/natareas/carrollcabin/.

Fort Pillow State Historic Park – Join Ft. Pillow staff at 9 a.m. for a five-mile interpretative hike along the Blue Trail. Participants will travel along bluffs located above the Mississippi River. The park has been designated as a Wildlife Observation Area and provides sanctuary for deer, turkey, and is a favorite destination for bird watchers. For more information about the hike, please call (731) 738-5581.

Natchez Trace State Park – Join State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath for a work day and hike at Natchez Trace State Park’s Red Leaves Trail. The Red Leaves Trail is one of many lightly used trails that benefit from more traffic and better tread definition. Participants are asked to meet in the Visitor Center parking lot at 10 a.m. For more information call Randy at (615) 418-5787.

Tennessee’s 53 state parks 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 additional information, visit our Web site at www.tnstateparks.com.

Tennessee also has 80 designated State Natural Areas throughout the state, covering approximately 116,000 acres of ecologically significant lands. More information about Tennessee’s Natural Areas Program, including a complete list of all natural areas and scheduled field trips, can be found at www.tn.gov/environment/na/.

Since 1993, the American Hiking Society has set aside the first Saturday in June as National Trails Day, bringing together outdoor enthusiasts to participate in educational exhibits, trail dedications, gear demonstrations, instructional workshops and trail projects. It also provides an opportunity to recognize the many volunteers, land managing agencies and outdoor-minded businesses for their support in developing and maintaining trails.