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Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park to Hold Anniversary Event June 21

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 | 12:14pm

Celebration Will Help Commemorate Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary

ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. – The year 2012 marks Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary, and to help commemorate this important milestone, Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park will hold a special community event on Thursday, June 21, beginning at 7 p.m. (ET).  The event coincides with Sycamore Shoals’ own 36th anniversary of the park’s dedication in 1976. 

This special edition of Sycamore Shoals’ Celebrating Our Stories series, hosted by the Friends of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area, will highlight the history of the area – from early 18th century tales of monumental events to its ultimate designation as a Tennessee State Park on July 2, 1976.  Light refreshments will also be served.  In addition to the Celebrating Our Stories anniversary program, a number of educational ranger programs also will be held throughout the day, including:  

Soldier in the Fort at 10 a.m. – Meet the ranger staff in the fort’s courtyard for a living history tour and demonstration of 18th century militia life, clothing and equipment.  

Carter Mansion Tour at 2 p.m. – Join ranger staff at the oldest frame house in Tennessee for a look inside this elegant frontier home and hear the stories of the family who built it.

Tomahawk Throw at 3:30 p.m. - Come down to the fort and visit with ranger staff to experience a favorite pastime of the frontiersmen during the Revolution. Both kids and adults will enjoy this program

All events are open to the public.  

“We are very excited to celebrate Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary this year,” said Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau.  “Sycamore Shoals 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:             

Sycamore Shoals State Park Manager Jennifer Bauer

The Friends of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area

Local community members

WHAT:            

75th Anniversary Event at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park

Learn about the area’s history – from the early 18th century tales of monumental events to its ultimate designation as a Tennessee State Park on July 2, 1976.  Light refreshments will be served.

WHEN:

Thursday, June 21

7 p.m. (ET)

*please note that special ranger programming will be held throughout the day

WHERE:

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park

1651 West Elk Avenue

Elizabethton, Tenn. 37643

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.

Sycamore Shoals State Park and Historic Area attracts more than 305,000 people every year. The 85-acre site sits on the banks of the Watauga River where the Overmountain Men assembled in 1780 before marching to defeat the British in the Battle of Kings Mountain, a turning point in the Revolutionary War.  The park features interpretive exhibits, events, a fitness trail and picnic facilities.  It is located off U.S. Highway 321 in Elizabethton.  For more information about the park, call the park office at (423) 543-5808 or visit www.tnstateparks.com/SycamoreShoals.  For more information about the Friends of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area, visit www.sycamoreshoalstn.org.

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