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Big Ridge State Park to Hold Anniversary Event April 24

Friday, April 20, 2012 | 12:42pm
Celebration Will Help Commemorate Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary
MAYNARDVILLE, Tenn. – The year 2012 marks Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary and to help commemorate this important milestone, Big Ridge State Park will hold a special community event on Tuesday, April 24, beginning at 2 p.m. 
“We are very excited to celebrate Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary this year,” said Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau.  “As one of our most beautiful state parks, Big Ridge is certainly a fitting backdrop for one of the many statewide celebrations we will be holding throughout the year.  It’s also a great opportunity to thank the Friends of Big Ridge and the entire local community for all their hard work and support of this wonderful park.” 
The park will unveil a large display map donated by the Union County Chamber Tourism Committee, which shows all of the Norris Reservoir Project land acquisitions.  The map is a full-scale copy of an original TVA map dated 1935 and depicts each piece of property surveyed and the location of the lake as proposed. The Union County Chamber Tourism Committee paid for the duplication and mounting of this map using funds from the county's new occupancy tax.
Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill, Tennessee State Parks
Mayor Micheal Williams, Union County
East Tennessee Parks Area Manager Herb Roberts
Park Manager John Howell
Special Adviser to Tennessee State Parks Mike Stubbs
Local elected officials and community members
75th Anniversary Event at Big Ridge State Park
There will be a series of short presentations, followed by light refreshments. 
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
2 p.m.  Eastern
Big Ridge State Park – Recreation Hall
1015 Big Ridge Road
Maynardville, Tenn. 37807-1727
The Tennessee State Parks system was established through legislation in 1937, and those laws – with modifications and additions over the years – remain the framework for park operations today.  As in most states, Tennessee began in cooperation with federal programs that instigated individual parks. Later, Depression era recovery programs gave a boost to the idea and the possibility of creating parks. The Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration worked on land conservation, but also delved further into the actual planning and construction of what would become the first of 53 Tennessee State Parks.
Today, there is a state park within an hour’s drive of just about anywhere in Tennessee.  A 2009 University of Tennessee study highlights the positive economic impacts that state parks provide local communities, particularly in rural areas of the state.  The study found that for every dollar spent on trips to Tennessee State Parks, an additional $1.11 of economic activity was generated throughout the state.  When the direct and indirect expenditures were combined, the impact of Tennessee State Parks to the state’s economy was $1.5 billion in total industry output, supporting more than 18,600 jobs.
“Our vision statement highlights the inherent value of our natural environment, along with the value of the many physical reminders of Tennessee’s past,” added Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill.  “Tennessee’s state parks have played such an important role in our history, and they play a critical role in our health and quality of life, which will benefit Tennesseans well into the future.”
Tennessee’s state parks deliver a rich fabric of natural landscapes, wild places, preserved ecologies, outdoor recreational opportunities and protected historic scenes and resources – together representing the heritage of Tennessee in the landscape.
Tennessee's 53 state parks and 82 state natural areas offer diverse natural, recreational and cultural experiences for individuals, families or business and professional groups.  State park features range from pristine natural areas to 18-hole championship golf courses.  For a free brochure about Tennessee State Parks, call toll free at 1-888-867-2757. For upcoming events in connection with the 75th Anniversary of Tennessee State Parks, please visit the state parks website at
The heavily forested, 3,687-acre park lies on the southern shore of TVA's Norris Reservoir approximately 25 miles north of Knoxville. Visitors to the park will find a wealth of activities to meet any interest from guided nature tours to backcountry camping. Big Ridge State Park was one of five demonstration parks developed by the Tennessee Valley Authority in cooperation with the National Park Service and the Civilian Conservation Corps as an example of public recreation development along TVA lakeshores. The structures on the park reflect the craftsmanship and stonework of the CCC.  Other notable features of the park include the Norton Gristmill built in 1825, remnants of Sharp's Station Fort construction in the late 1700s, and Indian Rock where a plaque commemorates the death of Peter Graves, a settler of Sharp's Station who was attacked by Indians at this spot.   For more information or directions to Big Ridge State Park, please visit www.tnstateparks/BigRidge or call (865) 992-5523. 

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