Tennessee State Parks To Celebrate Earth Day With Hikes Across The State

Thursday, April 11, 2013 - by Shannon Ashford

Tennessee State Parks will sponsor free, guided hikes to celebrate Earth Day 2013 beginning Saturday, April 20, through Sunday, April 21. Each state park will host its own special hike, offering a variety of family-friendly activities including wildflowers or waterfalls talks, educational programming, guided historical hikes and re-enactments, and new trail openings. 

From Big Hill Pond to Fall Creek Falls to Norris Dam and every state park in between, the Earth Day hikes are designed for all ages and abilities. Some hikes will be approximately one mile in length and tailored for novice hikers, while others are lengthier and geared toward more experienced hikers. For a more in-depth look into planned Earth Day hikes in your area, please visit www.tnstateparks.com.  

“Earth Day 2013 is officially slated for Monday, April 22, so we are getting a jumpstart on this worldwide day of recognition by hosting some fun, weekend hikes right here in Tennessee,” said Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau.  “Celebrating its 43rd year, Earth Day is a wonderful time to become reacquainted with everything Tennessee’s 54 state parks and 83 natural areas have to offer – while promoting better, healthier habits in our communities.” 

In addition to the variety of events planned throughout the weekend, an official Tennessee State Parks’ hiking stick medallion will be given away to the first 1,500 participants statewide.

The upcoming Earth Day hikes represent the second in a series of statewide hiking events of 2013 – joining Tennessee State Parks’ First Hikes effort in early January.  Tennessee State Parks will hold additional hiking events during National Trails Day on June 1 and again in the fall during National Public Lands Day on Sept. 28. 

“Tennessee’s state parks deliver a rich fabric of natural landscapes, wild places, recreational opportunities and historic resources – together representing the heritage of our state’s unique landscape,” said TDEC Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill.  “These hiking events offer individuals and families an opportunity to connect with these special outdoor places and they can do so close to home.”   

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.  Celebrating its 75th anniversary this past 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 about Tennessee State Parks, please visit www.tnstateparks.com or connect via Facebook or Twitter. For a free brochure about Tennessee State Parks, call 888 867-2757.


Lookout Mountain Conservancy And The Howard School Continue Environmental Connections On Thursday

Fifty students from The Howard School will continue “Environmental Connections,” for 2014 on Thursday. “Environmental Connections” is an environmental education and outdoor classroom project engaging The Howard School in Chattanooga and staff and volunteers from Lookout Mountain Conservancy. The Tennessee American Water Company provided funding for the pilot project last fall, ... (click for more)

2014 Spring Boat Show Is This Weekend

Erwin Marine Sales will offer its Spring Boat Show on Saturday, from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Chickamauga Marina. Organizers said, "We have the largest selection of new and pre-owned boats by brands you know and trust like Bayliner and Sea Ray sport boats, cruisers, yachts and Cypress Cay pontoons." New and pre-owned boats will be in the water ... (click for more)

Catoosa Man Convicted Of Sexual Abuse Of 5 Young Girls Gets Life Plus 250 Years

A Catoosa County man convicted of the sexual abuse of five young girls and possession of child pornography has been sentenced to life plus 250 years. James Martin Ferris, 34, was found guilty after a recent trial. The day after his conviction, Judge Ralph Van Pelt set the sentence. Ferris on June 5, 2013, was indicted by the Catoosa County Grand Jury on 46 counts.   ... (click for more)

Rev. Jesse Jackson To Be Guest Speaker At City-Wide Peace And Love Rally On Friday

Rev. Jesse Jackson will be the speaker at the City Wide Peace and Love Rally at Olivet Baptist Church, 740 East ML King Blvd.,  on Friday, from 5:15-7 p.m. Rev. Jackson is the founder and president of Rainbow PUSH Coalition. Cedric Pendleton, actor and humanitarian with Have and Have Nots/House of Payne/Fantasia Story, will be the special guest. (click for more)

Use The Current Rail System Already In Place - And Response

Why spend $20 million or more on an unproven system to run from the Southside of Chattanooga when we already have the beginnings of a system?  The question apparently has surfaced of why the Choo Choo City doesn't have a rail line. We do have a rail line with the Tennessee Valley RR Museum and their hardware. And they already make runs from the Southside to close to Enterprise ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: UAW Voices In Detroit

Today we are going to eavesdrop on somewhat of an open conversation that was held far to the north after the United Auto Workers surprisingly dropped a legal challenge with the National Labor Relations Board in Chattanooga the first thing on Monday morning. The NLRB judge certified the VW workers’ February vote to turn away the UAW at Chattanooga’s Volkswagen manufacturing plant ... (click for more)