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Port Royal State Park Honored for Resource Management

Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 10:25am

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has honored Port Royal State Park in Adams as winner of the 2019 Excellence in Resource Management Award for Tennessee State Parks.

Parks nominated in the resource management category are those that have demonstrated excellence in effective and abundant resource management activities within the park. Resource management activities can be both natural and cultural and can include but are not limited to invasive species management, historic preservation, rare species inventory, habitat enhancement or protection, pest management, oral history collection, and more.

“We are pleased to present this award to Port Royal State Park,” Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of TDEC, said. “The staff at Port Royal has shown a remarkable commitment to restoring the historic assets of the park. This sense of history blends well with the park’s natural assets and makes us proud of the role the park is playing.”

Port Royal State Park has been engaged in the restoration of the historic 1859 Masonic Lodge and General Store in the effort to reuse the structure as well as restoring it to how it would have been in 1859. As the last remaining structure of the early 19th century town of Port Royal, the restoration is instrumental toward a complete interpretation of the site. When complete, it will serve as the “jumping off” point for visitors to experience the remainder of the park.

The effort has required implementation of historic preservation techniques such as mortar and plaster analysis, historic paint analysis, hand-made windows, historic brick work, hand re-plastering, custom milling, and reliance on hand tools. Port Royal has begun a process of review and collaboration with the Tennessee Historical Commission in completing the restoration. That partnership, as well as partnerships with the Division of Archeology and the MTSU Center for Historic Preservation has become part of many long-term interpretation/resource management plans for Port Royal. The park has completed a National Historic Register nomination for the 1890 bridge at the park and begun planning for a long-term archaeological study to better understand the town of the 19th century. 

The Tennessee State Park Awards were created to recognize excellent work in the parks and are overseen by the Park Area Managers. Parks and Conservation directors vote on the awards, which are presented annually in January at an award ceremony during a parks management conference. Categories for the awards include facilities management, innovation, interpretation, resource management, and sustainability.