The year 2012 marks Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary, and to help commemorate this important milestone, Roan Mountain State Park will hold a special Diamond Jubilee celebration on Saturday from at 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Miller Farmstead.
The event is open to the public and several fun, family-friendly activities will be scheduled throughout the day (all times are EST):
9 a.m. – The Diamond Dash Trail Run
10 a.m. – A Roan Mountain Homecoming, welcoming former/retired park employees
10:45 a.m. – Tellin’ on the Porch, including stories from Roan Mountain State Park’s past
11 a.m. – An Old-Fashioned Cake Walk. Participants should bring their best decorated cake to mark Tennessee State Parks’ 75th anniversary. Prizes will be awarded! Cake and ice cream will be served immediately after judging.
Throughout the day visitors will enjoy a continuous historic slide show and a legacy project display
“Roan Mountain State Park is proud of its heritage and proud to be a great neighbor to the surrounding communities,” said Park Manager Pat Gagan. “We are very excited to celebrate Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary this year and to have this opportunity to share the park system’s unique history. The Diamond Jubilee will also be an opportunity to thank the Friends of Roan Mountain and the entire local community for all their hard work and support of this wonderful park. We hope you can join us on Saturday.”
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.
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.
To help commemorate Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary milestone, the department has launched an innovative new microsite with the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development at 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.
Roan Mountain State Park encompasses 2,006 acres of southern Appalachian forest at the base of 6,285-foot Roan Mountain. Park elevation ranges from 3,000 feet in the valley to around 3,700 feet on surrounding ridges. Rich hardwood forests allow for a great diversity of life and a wide range of outdoor activities. Park guests have opportunities to hike along creeks and ridges, fish for trout, play tennis, swim, tour a century old farmhouse, join rangers and naturalists for educational programs and enjoy mountain music concerts. For additional information about Roan Mountain State Park, please visit the park’s website at www.tnstateparks.com/RoanMtn.