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Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park to Hold Anniversary Event June 1

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 | 12:55pm

Public Invited to Help Commemorate Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary and Tennessee’s 216th Statehood Anniversary

NASHVILLE – The year 2012 marks Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary and to help commemorate this important milestone, Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park will hold a special ceremony on Friday, June 1, beginning at 11:30 a.m.  The event will also honor Tennessee’s 216th year as a state and Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park’s own 16-year anniversary. 

“June 1 is an important date in our history, signifying the day that Tennessee actually became a state in 1796 and the day Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park became a state park in 1996,” said Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau.  “With our state capitol serving as the backdrop, I can’t think of a more fitting place to gather together to celebrate these great moments in Tennessee’s history.” 

The public is invited to attend a series of short presentations, followed by light refreshments.  Several fun, family-friendly activities also will be scheduled throughout the day. 

WHO:             

Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill, Tennessee State Parks

Park Manager Mike Cole

Special Assistant to TDEC and Tennessee State Parks Mike Nixon

Local elected officials and community members

WHAT:

Tennessee State Parks 75th Anniversary Event

Tennessee Statehood Day at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park

There will be a series of short presentations, followed by light refreshments. 

The park will also hold a variety of activities throughout the day. 

WHEN:           

Friday, June 1 at 11:30 a.m.

WHERE:         

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park

Tennessee State Map / Near Train Trestle

Media and public parking is available at Parking Lot #1 on the Northwest side of the park at Jefferson Street and Rosa Parks Boulevard. In the event of inclement weather, the celebration will be moved under the train trestle next to the park’s Visitor Center, and event parking will be available along 6th and 7th Avenues and Harrison Street.

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 54 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 54 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 www.tnstateparks.com.

The Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park is located at the foot of the State Capitol in downtown Nashville. The 19-acre park was designed to complement the Capitol and give visitors a taste of Tennessee's history and natural wonders, while serving as a lasting monument to Tennessee's Bicentennial celebration. 

In October 2011, Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park was recognized as one of the American Planning Association’s Top 10 Great Public Spaces.  APA singled out Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park for its unique design and interpretive elements that not only provide insight into Tennessee’s history, but also artfully frame the State Capitol building.

Additional details about the park can be found at www.tnstateparks.com/Bicentennial.  For more information about Friday’s event, please call the park office at (615) 741-5280.

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