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Pinson Mounds State Park to Hold Archaeofest September 15-16

Friday, September 14, 2012 | 04:49am

Event Will Help Commemorate Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary

PINSON, Tenn. – The year 2012 marks Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary, and to help commemorate this important milestone, Pinson Mounds State Park will host a special Archaeofest on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 15-16.

Free and open to the public, this annual celebration of Native American culture and archaeology will feature a wide range of craft demonstrations including pottery, basketry, leatherwork, flint knapping and chipping and jewelry making. Children and adults of all ages will also enjoy Native American storytelling sessions throughout the two-day event. 

In conjunction with the festival, Pinson Mounds State Park will celebrate Tennessee State Parks’ 75th anniversary on Saturday, Sept. 15.  Park staff will be on hand throughout the day to serve a commemorative anniversary cake and will host a "Vintage Ranger" program, detailing a ranger’s life both past and present.  There will also be a special 75th anniversary display and slideshow presentation.

“We are very excited to celebrate Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary this year,” said Pinson Mounds Park Manager Tim Poole.  “The Archaeofest is a great time to learn about the area’s history and the perfect opportunity to find out what Pinson Mounds State Park has to offer.” 

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.

Pinson Mounds is one of two state archaeological parks, which were set aside to protect the prehistoric remains found there. Managed by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation's Division of State Parks, the Pinson Mounds grouping consists of at least 15 earthen mounds, a geometric enclosure, habitation areas and related earthworks in an area that incorporates almost 1,200 acres. Pinson Mounds is a national historic landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  For more information about the park, please visit www.tnstateparks.com/PinsonMounds or call (731) 988-5614.

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