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Red Clay State Historic Park to Hold Anniversary Event June 14

Wednesday, June 13, 2012 | 07:50am

Celebration Will Help Commemorate Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – The year 2012 marks Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary, and to help commemorate this important milestone, Red Clay State Park will hold a special community event on Thursday, June 14, beginning at 10 a.m.  The event coincides with Red Clay’s own 33rd anniversary of the park’s dedication in 1979. 

Special programs and orientation talks emphasizing the preservation of Tennessee’s culture and natural environment will be held throughout the day.  A birthday cake celebration in honor of the 75th anniversary milestone also will be held.  The event is open to the public. 

Other highlights of the day’s events will include a Native Birds of Tennessee program, presented by Joel Blevins with the Avian Learning Center.   Judy Baker will share Cherokee and Appalachian stories, along with Jamie Russell’s presentations on Cherokee culture, music, games and weapons.  Spirit Mountain, a group of young Native American drummers, will be on hand to express their culture through music.  

“We are very excited to celebrate Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary this year,” said Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau.  “Red Clay State Park offers a unique view into Tennessee’s rich history, and it 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 park’s many patrons and the entire local community for all their hard work and efforts in support of this outstanding state park.”   

WHO:           

Red Clay Park Manager Carol Crabtree

Joel Blevins, Avian Learning Center

Judy Baker, Cherokee and Appalachian stories

Jamie Russell, Cherokee culture

Spirit Mountain, Native American drummers

The Friends of Red Clay State Park

Local elected officials and community members

WHAT:            

75th Anniversary Event at Red Clay State Park

Special programs will be held throughout the day, including a Native Birds of Tennessee Program, cultural programs, music and games.

WHEN:

Thursday, June 14

10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

WHERE:         

Red Clay State Park 

1140 Red Clay Park

Cleveland, Tenn.  37311

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. 

In commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of Tennessee State Parks, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation launched an innovative new microsite at www.tnstateparks75.com. Established in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, the microsite displays Tennessee State Parks’ rich heritage and showcases the many outdoor adventures awaiting state park visitors through rich media and dynamic content. 

Red Clay State Historic Park is located in the extreme southwest corner of Bradley County, just above the Tennessee-Georgia state line, and is the site of 11 of the last 12 Cherokee Council meetings before the infamous Trail of Tears.  The park encompasses 263 acres of narrow valley and forested ridges and features picnic facilities, a loop trail and amphitheater.  The park also contains a natural landmark, the Blue Hole Spring, which arises from beneath a limestone ledge to form a deep pool that flows into Mill Creek.  The Cherokee used the Blue Hole Spring as their water supply during council meetings.  For more information about the park, please visit www.tnstateparks.com/RedClay/.

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