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Chickasaw State Park to Hold Anniversary Event Sept. 22

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 | 07:29am

Celebration Will Help Commemorate Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary

HENDERSON, Tenn. – The year 2012 marks Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary, and to help commemorate this important milestone, Chickasaw State Park will hold a special Heritage Day on Saturday, Sept. 22, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  This event is open to the public.

“This is a great opportunity to thank the park’s many patrons and the entire local community for their support throughout the years and invite community members to see what the park has to offer,” said Park Manager Jerry Easley. 

Activities and programs about the history and the creation of the park will be conducted throughout the day.    Programs will include historical presentations, a 1940’s state park ranger re-enactor, Native American and pioneer games, a unique Birds of Prey show, a snake program and hay rides.  Sagamore Lodge, an original park structure built in 1937, will serve as the backdrop for the day’s events and will feature historic photographs and a Civilian Conservation Corps display.

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.

Chickasaw State Park is situated on some of the highest terrain in West Tennessee. Of the area's 14,384 acres of timberland – 1,280 acres are used for recreation. The remainder is state forest managed jointly by the State Forestry Division and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The park is located in Chester and Hardeman Counties, 18 miles south of Jackson on State Highway 100. Additional information about the park can be found at www.tnstateparks.com/Chickasaw.


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