Tennessee State Parks, friends of parks groups and Tennessee State Natural Areas will host volunteer work projects, hikes and interpretive programs for all ages as part of National Public Lands Day on Saturday, Sept. 28. Many of the activities at the parks will be in conjunction with First Lady Maria Lee’s Tennessee Serves initiative.
“National Public Lands Day is an excellent opportunity for Tennesseans to enjoy and help maintain our state parks,” said Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC). “Our public lands are a significant part of what makes Tennessee such a great state.”
A variety of events and service projects are planned, including clean-ups, trail maintenance, removing invasive species, and hikes of various levels. Some parks are having multiple events. More than 600 people participated in the Public Lands Day activities at the state parks last year. National Public Lands Day is the largest single-day volunteer effort for the nation’s public lands. Each year on the fourth Saturday in September, thousands of volunteers come together for various projects that restore and enhance public parks, forests, waterways and more.
State parks across Tennessee will have a wide variety of activities, including trail construction at Cumberland Trail State Park; measuring water quality at Warriors’ Path State Park; a downtown hike beginning at the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park in Nashville; a groundbreaking for a bike trail at Edgar Evins State Park; spreading mulch at a playground at Mousetail Landing State Park; trail clean-up at Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park; and more.
Participants are encouraged to wear sturdy shoes and bring work gloves for maintenance projects, and plenty of water and snacks. Some activities can help students qualify for the community service requirements in the Tennessee Promise program.
For information on all National Public Lands Day activities at Tennessee State Parks visit https://tnstateparks.com/about/special-events/national-public-lands-day-hikes/.