Haslam, TDEC Announce 40 Percent Increase In Tennessee Promise Volunteers At Tennessee State Parks

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Governor Bill Haslam and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) on Tuesday announced more than 800 high school students fulfilled their “Tennessee Promise” community service requirements at Tennessee State Parks on June 24, a nearly 40-percent increase over 2016.

“Community service is an essential piece to Tennessee Promise because it gives students the opportunity to give back to the state and they become invested in the program,” Governor Haslam said. “Connecting young people to meaningful outdoor experiences gives them a greater sense of place and ownership in our parks system and our state while earning their way to college.”

Outgoing high school seniors helped mulch flower beds, build trails, paint signs, install playground equipment and worked on various other projects to help beautify nearly all 56 Tennessee State Parks on “Tennessee Promise Saturday” – an annual volunteer event organized by the parks system. Tennessee State Parks saw its biggest turnout since the program began in 2015 with a total of 835 soon-to-be college students getting their hands dirty.

“Students are not only learning the value of a hard day’s work outdoors; they are learning what Tennessee State Parks have to offer and why they matter,” said Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill. “We hope the work they put in creates a sense of ownership and pride in their state’s park system that they carry with them to the next phase of their lives.”

Students are encouraged to volunteer in their field of interest to gain relevant experience for college and beyond, but all time contributed to a nonprofit or public service organization is eligible. Students must submit eight hours prior to each academic term.

Tennessee Promise Saturday occurs every June and is open to all community members – not just program participants. Mentors through the tnAchieves program are encouraged to attend alongside their student mentee.

For more information on Tennessee State Parks, visit www.tnstateparks.com.


Wayside Exhibits Bring New Perspectives To Moccasin Bend Hiking Trail

The National Park Service and National Park Partners invite the public to join a celebration of the newest improvements to the visitor experience within Moccasin Bend National Archeological District, a 768-acre portion of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park across the Tennessee River from downtown Chattanooga. On Saturday, Oct. 20, at 11:30 a.m., three new interpretive ... (click for more)

TWRA Sanctioned Wounded Warrior Deer Hunt Is Oct. 15 And 16; Enterprise South Nature Park To Be Closed

The Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Department reports Enterprise South Nature Park will be closed Oct. 15 and 16 for a TWRA Quota Hunt.   This past spring, the TWRA informed the Hamilton County Commission the deer herd at ESNP is exceeding carrying capacity.   To ensure the continued health of the herd, TWRA recommended opening ESNP to a Wounded ... (click for more)

City Placing New Penalties On Use Of Cell Phones In School Zone And By Drivers Under 18

The city is setting new penalties for use of cell phones in school zones.  Drivers 18 and older may not use hand-held devices while in the zones, but they can be on their hands-free units. Another section of an ordinance change would not allow those 18 and under to be talking on a cell phone while driving. That includes even if the device is hands-free. The ordinance ... (click for more)

Rhea Puppy Mill Dogs Slowly Recovering From Years Of Abuse, Neglect

Five days after Watson and 108 other dogs were rescued from a dark, filthy puppy mill in Rhea County, the frightened 12-pound Yorkie mix doesn’t look like the same animal. Watson got lucky; he was one of the 28 puppy mill survivors that wound up at Chattanooga’s Humane Educational Society. There, volunteer groomers from Pet Smart shaved away the heavy, massive tangle of ... (click for more)

Walker County Needs A Board Of Commissioners

On Nov. 6, voters in Walker County, Ga. will vote on a referendum to determine if the county will move to a five person board of commissioners or stay with a sole commissioner form of government. The referendum is the result of several years of debate and discussion within the county. In 2012,  Dr. Paul Shaw, in his attempt to unseat then-Sole Commissioner Bebe Heiskell, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Coach Who Said ‘No’

I couldn’t tell you the first time I met John Gagliardi … 30 years ago? 40? … and I never saw him nearly enough. He was a Division III football coach at some monastery of a place in Minnesota and that’s a long way from the Southeastern Conference. Our orbits rarely overlapped but somewhere down the line we were at the same table for dinner. Once that happened, it seemed like the ... (click for more)