Governor Haslam Names Seven Islands As Tennessee’s Newest State Park

Recreation Trails Program Grant for Legacy Parks Also Announced

Friday, September 20, 2013

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, along with Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau, announced Friday that Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge will become a new Tennessee state park.

The governor made the announcement at the annual Legacy Parks Foundation Luncheon in Knox County, and the Seven Islands State Birding Park will be the 56th state park in Tennessee. 

“Our state parks offer residents and visitors unique ways to get outside and experience Tennessee, and Seven Islands is a great addition to our parks system,” Governor Haslam said. “Seven Islands is a special place in Knox County and East Tennessee, sitting along the migratory path of many bird species, and I am pleased that it will become Tennessee’s first state birding park.”

Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge is a Knox County wildlife sanctuary that is currently managed by the Seven Islands Foundation and Knox County Parks and Recreation. The county will transfer the 360-acre property to the state over the coming months and Tennessee State Parks will begin managing the site in July. 

“I would like to thank the Legacy Parks Foundation, Seven Islands Foundation and the Knox County Parks and Recreation for conveying this great property to the state,” Commissioner Martineau said. “The distinct wildlife and many species of birds at this location will make Seven Islands one of our most unique state parks.”

The refuge is currently used as a wildlife sanctuary, an area for hiking and observation, an educational facility for schools and other groups, a demonstration area for land use and habitat management techniques and a small boat launch for canoes and kayaks. The property is adjacent to the French Broad River and aquatic and riparian habitats support an impressive diversity of wildlife species. Over 160 species of birds have been identified. 

“This addition to Tennessee State Parks is the result of a great partnership between TDEC, Knox County, the Legacy Parks Foundation and the Tennessee Department of Tourism Development” Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill said. “This partnership allows us to develop watchable wildlife sites and trails, with Seven Islands being the flagship for a statewide birding tour.”

Tennessee State Parks will be working with the Legacy Parks Foundation to assess the needs of the park and implement a transition plan to take over in July 2014. Seven Islands will become Tennessee’s 56th state park. Both Seven Islands and Rocky Fork will open to the public as Tennessee State Parks in 2014. 

“This park will bring in birding enthusiasts from around the region,” Tennessee Department of Tourist Development Commissioner Susan Whitaker said.” “Seven Islands State Birding Park is a great addition to our state parks system and the tourism industry.”

In addition, Governor Haslam also announced that the Legacy Parks Foundation will receive a $200,000 Recreation Trails Program grant for the construction of a 4.5-mile trail in Knoxville that will connect a middle school and outdoor classroom. The Knoxville Urban Wilderness Project will add the new multi-use trail, offering a one-mile beginner trail, three miles of intermediate trails and a half mile hiker-only trail. The trail head parking area will be adjacent to the Doyle Middle School property.




Free Entrance To Point Park For National Public Lands Day Sept. 30

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park is waiving the entrance fee on Saturday, Sept. 30 to Point Park, atop Lookout Mountain in celebration of National Public Lands Day. During the day, ranger-guided programs lasting between 30 and 45 minutes are given at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., beginning inside the Point Park entrance gate.  National Public Lands Day is ... (click for more)

Clay County Sergeant Bill Moulton Receives Award

TWRA Sergeant Bill Moulton received the prestigious Governor’s award for his work as a first responder. Moulton was nominated by the Safety and Homeland Security District in which he works. This district includes Overton, Clay and Jackson Counties.    As a senior member of the TWRA Unified Dive Team, Mr. Moulton has taught and assisted in several first responder ... (click for more)

Lone Survivor Of Lookout Valley Massacre Says He Is 100% Sure Morse Was One Of Shooters; Detective Tells Of Retrieving Guns

The lone survivor of a massacre at a Lookout Valley trailer park on April 9, 2014, testified Wednesday that he is 100 percent sure that Derek Morse was one of the two shooters. Matthew Callam said he was thrown off initially by the fact that Morse had facial hair at the time, but he said when he was shown a recent photo of Morse soon after the incident "it was like I was looking ... (click for more)

3 Firefighters Carry Unresponsive Woman From Burning Lookout Valley Home

Three Chattanooga firefighters early Wednesday morning carried an unresponsive woman from a burning house in Lookout Valley.   At  3:08  a.m., firefighters were dispatched to a house fire at 111 Centro Ave.The 911 dispatchers told the responding firefighters that someone may be trapped inside. Upon arrival, the firefighters observed smoke and flames coming ... (click for more)

Send All Ed Johnson Donations To The Greater Chattanooga Community Foundation

To all concerned, I believe there was mistake printed in a recent article stating to send donations to me at the school. I would ask that all donations be sent to the Greater Chattanooga Community Foundation to the attention of the Ed Johnson Memorial. This project is in no way affiliated with HCDE schools. All funds are housed there and are tax deductible. Mr. Savage ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: McQueen & Her TVAAS

If I am reading my Ouija Board right, I suspect the Hamilton County School Board will vote to allow a controversial “partnership” to be formed with the state Board of Education tonight at its monthly meeting. State Education Commissioner Candice McQueen has said she will demand the one-sided partnership to take over the operation of five at-risk schools in Hamilton County and, if ... (click for more)