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Celebrate National Public Lands Day in Tennessee

It would be tough to imagine life without green spaces and quiet places. Our public lands enrich our lives and hold promise of the same for generations to come.

This Land Is Our Land

National Public Lands Day is our nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands. Last year more than 175,000 volunteers contributed an estimated $18 million in labor to enhance public lands across the country by:

  • Building and improving 1,500 miles of trails
  • Planting thousands of trees, shrubs and other native plants
  • Bagging an estimated one million pounds of trash
  • Removing 23,000 pounds of invasive plants

This year Rock Island State Park leads the way in Tennessee with the Caney Fork Gorge Cleanup on Sept. 21. Volunteers gather trash on foot with options to gather debris while paddling downstream. The following weekend Rock Island hosts the 38th annual Lion’s Club Fall Festival and Craft Fair with vendors of home made goods, music and food offered in this scenic setting.

Rock Island State Park

Rock Island State Park will host volunteers for a Caney Fork Gorge cleanup at the Twin Falls Overlook and a trash pickup along the natural sand beach. (Photo: Cathy Summerlin)

On Saturday, Sept. 28, the official 2013 National Public Lands Day, more than 75 options offer Tennesseans the chance to invest a little sweat equity.

The easiest way to locate activities in Tennessee is to visit www.publiclandsday.org, click on Find a Site and select Tennessee but here’s a sneak peek at the schedule for Middle Tennessee.

Can You Dig It?

Clean and rehabilitate horses, hiking and mountain biking trails in and around the Bandy Creek Visitor Center at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

David Crockett State Park will be clearing leaves/debris and leveling a section of the new Trail of Tears Trail. Work starts at 9 a.m. but volunteers are welcome to join throughout the day. Tools and equipment will be available. Friends of David Crockett State Park will provide lunch.

Montgomery Bell State Park hosts a mountain bike trail work day starting at 8 a.m. After the cleanup there will be a cookout and fellowship at the bike trail parking area.
Radnor Lake plans a morning installing steps and handrails and hauling buckets and wheelbarrows of gravel and mulch along the trails at Radnor Lake. An afternoon celebration with lunch, prizes and giveaways follows.

Old Stone Fort will conduct basic trail clearing, re-marking of trails, trail maintenance and erosion prevention on the white, yellow and red trails from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Paris Landing State Park

Removing unsightly trash from the shores of our lakes reduces the health threat posed to wildlife and aquatic animals that mistake items like cigarette filters (which can take more than ten years to decompose) for food. (Photo: Paris Landing State Park)

Fight the Good Fight

Join work from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. to maintain the trail and remove exotic invasive plants at the Cedar Glades Trail at Cedars of Lebanon State Park.

Volunteers meet at 9 a.m. to learn about soil drench chemical treatments planned at Fall Creek Falls State Park to fight the destruction of our eastern hemlock forests by the hemlock woolly adelgid, a tiny, invasive sap-feeding insect.

Tims Ford State Park

Tims Ford State Park will host volunteers to remove weeds and trim plants in the Native Butterfly Garden before heading out for a 2.5-mile guided hike across swinging bridges to an overlook on Tims Ford Lake. (Photo: Cathy Summerlin)

Water, Water Everywhere

Volunteers will be taken by boat to different parts of Center Hill Lake for the annual shoreline cleanup starting at 9 a.m. Trash bags, gloves, life jackets, a light breakfast, lunch and beverages are provided.

Activities at Cordell Hull Lake will begin at 8 a.m. with campground rehabilitation, trail work and shoreline cleanup planned.

Clean up locations on Dale Hollow Lake include Lillydale Campground, Obey River Campground and Pleasant Grove Recreation Area. The project will begin at 8 a.m. with lunch provided around 1 p.m. at Dale Hollow Dam Recreation Area.

The widest expanse of Kentucky Lake will be on view during the shore line cleanup at Paris Landing State Park from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. An afternoon hike follows. Gloves and trash bags for the cleanup will be provided by the park.

A 1 ½ mile litter pickup and hike through the Narrows of the Harpeth begins at the Harris Street bridge parking lot at 8 a.m.

Narrows of the Harpeth hiking trail

Narrows of the Harpeth researchers believe debris commonly found along our scenic waterways like Styrofoam cups and plastic bottles may start breaking down in a hundred years but require a million years or more to completely decompose. (Photo: Cathy Summerlin)

How will you spend National Public Lands Day?

Hi there! I’m Vernon Summerlin. Like many, I came to Nashville to break into the music industry. After years of striving, I...Read on

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    Claude Reese

    What great thing to see!!

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