Tennesseans Invited To Donate in State Parks Competition
Tennessee State Parks in partnership with the Tennessee State Parks Conservancy is hosting the annual My TN State Park fundraiser where state park enthusiasts can “vote” for their favorite state park by making contributions.
Each dollar donated to a state park of choice will count as one vote for that park. Anyone interested in voting for a favorite park may donate at tnstateparks/vote. Contributions will be accepted until April 30. This year, supporters may also cast votes for all the parks for $57, which is $1 for each park.
“We want to provide the best possible experience for the many visitors who love our parks,” Greer Tidwell, deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, said. “Entry into the parks is free, but we know there are many Tennesseans who want to support their parks further. This competition is exciting for everyone.”
“We are excited to partner with Tennessee State Parks to support this campaign,” said Gina Hancock, executive director of the Tennessee State Parks Conservancy. “The funds for each park will help support needed projects identified by the park staff. We urge everyone to vote for your favorite park.”
Each park retains the funds donated for it, and the contributions will go toward projects identified by park staff as ideal. Funds from last year’s competition went toward items as varied as trail bridges, a telescope, beekeeping equipment, and removing acres of privet.
The format has the 57 state parks categorized in three separate groups based on park visitation numbers. One group is for parks with up to 350,000 visitors annually, another for parks with 350,000-750,000 visitors, and a group for parks with over 750,000 visitors. The parks compete against the other parks in their category with the winning park in each group awarded a plaque featuring the names of its donors. Lists of the groups by size are online at this link.
Tennessee is one of only seven states in the country to provide free access to its state parks. Last year, over 2,000 donors gave $111,875 to the parks. Paris Landing State Park won last year’s competition in the category for over 750,000 visitors with $11,602 in contributions. South Cumberland State Park won in the category for 350,000-750,000 visitors with $5,706, and Frozen Head State Park won in the category for up to 350,000 visitors with $6,686. Full results of this year’s fundraiser will be announced on May 8 on tnstateparks.com/vote.