Pickett State Park to Dedicate Civilian Conservation Corps Statue September 20
Celebration Will Help Commemorate Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary
JAMESTOWN, Tenn. – The year 2012 marks Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary, and to help commemorate this important milestone, Pickett State Park will honor its rich heritage with a community event and dedication of a life-size Civilian Conservation Corps statue – the first of its kind in Tennessee – on Thursday, September 20, beginning at noon. 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 Alan Wasik. “Come out and meet the park staff and learn more about Pickett’s unique past and its impact on the area, both past and present.”
Historians and CCC living history re-enactors will be on hand to share Pickett State Park’s story. Following a brief presentation and cake-cutting ceremony, a specially designed bronze statue of a CCC worker will be dedicated. The statue honors and commemorates the hard work and accomplishments of the Civilian Conservation Corps who were instrumental in the development of the park.
Established in 1933 by the U.S. Congress as a measure of the New Deal program, the Civilian Conservation Corps provided work and vocational training for unemployed young men through conserving and developing the country’s natural resources. From 1933 to 1942, enrollees performed a variety of conservation activities, including reforestation, soil conservation, road construction, flood and fire control, and agricultural management. The CCC was instrumental in the development of a number of Tennessee State Parks, and the results of CCC members’ efforts can still be enjoyed today.
TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau
State Senator Ken Yager
TDEC Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill, Parks and Conservation
Director of Tennessee State Parks Mike Roberts
Park Manager Alan Wasik, Pickett State Park
State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath
75th Anniversary Event and CCC Statue Dedication at Pickett State Park
Thursday, September 20
Noon - Brief anniversary presentation and cake
1 p.m. - Statue dedication begins
Pickett State Park - Civilian Conservation Corps Museum
4605 Pickett Park Highway (State Highway 154), Jamestown, Tenn. 38556
The CCC built the first state parks in Tennessee, including Pickett, Reelfoot, Montgomery Bell, Norris Dam, South Cumberland, Big Ridge, T.O. Fuller, Nathan Bedford Forrest, Booker T. Washington, Harrison Bay, Cove Lake, Pickwick Landing and Cumberland Mountain State Parks. They completed work in 17 different Tennessee State Parks. Many of their park structures are still in use today.
Approximately 70,000 Tennesseans served in the CCC in various locations around the country. There were 77 CCC camps located throughout Tennessee. Completed CCC work included dams, bridges, roads, buildings, parks and numerous restoration and conservation sites across the state.
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 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.
Situated in a remote section of the Upper Cumberland Plateau, Pickett State Park is known for its geological, botanical and scenic wonders. The park lies within the 19,200-acre Pickett State Forest and adjacent to the massive 120,000-acre Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, both areas containing prime wilderness country. Visitors to the park can explore large rock houses, natural sandstone bridges, scenic bluffs and wild mountain streams. The park memorializes and preserves the unique work of the Civilian Conservation Corps, who first developed the park. Pickett State Park’s Civilian Conservation Corps Museum is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. For additional information about the park, please visit www.tnstateparks.com/Pickett or call (931) 879-5821.