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Big Hill Pond State Park to Hold Anniversary 5K Walk / Run September 1

Friday, August 24, 2012 | 05:04am

Event Will Help Commemorate Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary

POCAHONTAS, Tenn. – The year 2012 marks Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary, and to help commemorate this important milestone, Big Hill Pond State Park will host a 5K Walk / Run event on Saturday, September 1, beginning at 9 a.m. at the park’s picnic pavilion.  This event is free and open to the public.  

“The Big Hill Pond 5K event is a great opportunity to get outside, get some exercise and celebrate Tennessee State Parks and all they have to offer,” said Park Manager Jim Harrison.  “It will also give us a chance to thank the park’s many patrons and the entire local community for their support throughout the years.  We encourage everyone to come out and join us.”  

Trophies will be given out to the top three runners for the men’s, women’s and youth categories.  Immediately following the run, park staff will serve commemorative 75th Anniversary cupcakes and homemade ice cream to all 5K participants and park visitors.  There also will be a brief presentation about Tennessee State Parks’ unique history.  

Runners and walkers are asked to register for the event by August 28 through Big Hill Pond State Park’s office at (731) 645-7967 or (731) 645-8433.  

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.

Big Hill Pond State Park lies in the southwestern part of McNairy County and encompasses approximately 5,000 acres of magnificent timberland and hardwood bottom land. Cypress Creek and the Tuscumbia River border the property. Several oxbow lakes and sloughs add to the waterway. The flood plain adjacent to both the Tuscumbia River and Cypress Creek contains small oxbow lakes and swamp areas which are desirable habitat for waterfowl, wildlife and fishing. For more information about Big Hill Pond State Park, please visit www.tnstateparks.com/BigHillPond or call (731) 645-7967.   

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