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Port Royal State Historic Park to Hold Anniversary Event September 29

Thursday, September 20, 2012 | 09:00am

Event Will Commemorate Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary

ADAMS, Tenn. – The year 2012 marks Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary, and to help commemorate this important milestone, Port Royal State Historic Park will host a ribbon-cutting event for exterior restorations of its 1859 Masonic Lodge building on Sept. 29, beginning at 10 a.m.

Free and open to the public, the anniversary event will also include 19th century living history opportunities, along with exhibits on the area’s tobacco culture and future plans for the park. In addition to the ribbon-cutting ceremony, other activities will include a 75th Anniversary presentation by State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath and a presentation on Port Royal – its past, present and future.

“We are very excited to celebrate Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary this year,” said Park Manager Allen Fenoseff.  “These presentations provide a unique opportunity to learn more about the area’s history and a great way to find out what Port Royal State Historic 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.

Located in Adams, Tenn., Port Royal State Park is a day-use park.  In 1977, the state of Tennessee received the deed to 26 acres of land in the Port Royal area and designated it as a state historic park in 1978.  Settled in the early 1780s, Port Royal was a known Longhunter camp as early as 1775.   The town of Port Royal was founded in 1797 and rose to great prominence in the early part of the 19th century because of its strategic location at the confluence of the Red River and Sulphur Fork, providing northern Middle Tennessee and South Central Kentucky access to a central flatboat port and major stagecoach route.  In addition to its many historic features, the park offers boating, fishing and hiking. For more information about the park, including directions, please visit www.tnstateparks.com/PortRoyal.

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