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T.O. Fuller State Park to Hold Anniversary Event August 4

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 | 09:26am

Annual Fuller Fest Will Help Commemorate Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary 

MEMPHIS – The year 2012 marks Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary, and to help commemorate this important milestone, T.O. Fuller State Park will hold a special community event on Saturday, August 4, beginning at 9 a.m. as part of its annual Fuller Fest celebration.  This event is open to the public.  

Join park staff and members of the community for a day filled with interpretive programs relating to the history of Tennessee State Parks and the park’s namesake.  This family-friendly event will also include a Car Show, arts and crafts vendors, a Gospel music concert, live Deejay, Birds of Prey program, a 3-on-3 basketball competition, games and great food. Please find a schedule of events attached. 

“Our annual Fuller Fest event is a great opportunity to gather together to celebrate Tennessee State Parks’ 75th anniversary and it’s a special time to thank the park’s many patrons and for their support throughout the years,” said Park Manager Calvin Robinson.  “I want to personally invite the local community to come out and join us and to get reacquainted with our great state park and all it has to offer.”   

Also making an appearance will be Tennessee State Parks’ new traveling anniversary exhibit, which recently hit the road to tour state parks and various communities – sharing Tennessee State Parks’ rich and storied history. Enclosed in a colorful trailer emblazoned with various images and logos, the exhibit interprets the origins and heritage of Tennessee’s state park system.  


Interim Director of Parks Mike Robertson

Park Manager Calvin Robinson, T.O. Fuller State Park

Mike Stubbs, Special Adviser for Tennessee State Parks

The Friends of T.O. Fuller

Local elected officials and community members  


75th Anniversary Event at T.O. Fuller State Park  


Saturday, August 4

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  


T.O. Fuller State Park

1500 West Mitchell Road

Memphis, Tenn. 38109  

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 

In commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of Tennessee State Parks, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation launched an innovative new microsite at 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. 

T.O. Fuller State Park was the first state park east of the Mississippi River open to African Americans and only the second in the nation.   The park was later changed from Shelby Bluffs to T.O. Fuller State Park in 1942 in honor of Dr. Thomas O. Fuller who spent his life empowering and educating African Americans.  The park is located in Shelby County within the southern limits of the city of Memphis.  The park encompasses a total of 1,138 acres with a diversity of wildlife. Its abundance of local flora and fauna from the Mississippi flood plains to its high and overshadowing bluff ridges make this area an ideal place for the birdwatcher or outdoor extremist. For more information about the park, please visit the Tennessee State Parks website at For more information about the upcoming anniversary event, please call (901) 543-7581. 



Editor’s Note:  An electronic version of Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary logo is attached for your convenience.





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