Panther Creek State Park won the Excellence in Facilities Management award for Tennessee State Parks in 2022. It goes to a park “that has demonstrated excellence in the care of its park and facilities” according to the state. The award honors park staff and volunteers for creating a quality experience.
The award is a part of the annual Tennessee State Parks Awards of Excellence. It was presented on Dec. 1 at the parks’ Maintenance Management Conference at Paris Landing State Park.
“We congratulate the staff at Panther Creek State Park for its outstanding work in facilities management,” said Greer Tidwell, deputy commissioner of TDEC’s Bureau of Parks and Conservation. “These are responsibilities that contribute to the visitor’s enjoyment of the park and Panther Creek meets and exceeds expectations. We are proud to present this award.”
According to the state, park staff removed 184 downed or hazardous trees along park trails; removed 34 hazardous trees in highly visited areas; replaced eight trail signs; installed 20 replacement trail markers; and removed overgrowth along six miles of trail. Staff also replaced 25 electrical breakers in the campground, six rusted grills, eight damaged fire rings, and lumber on 10 warped picnic tables. Other accomplishments included renovating the Visitor Center, installing a public bicycle repair station, putting in two new washers and dryers in the campground, placing two new park benches next to tennis courts and cleaning flowerbeds.
Earlier this year, the park also won funding to keep the pool at the park open. In December 2021, state officials announced were cutting funding from several state park pools. County leaders began arguing for the state to keep it open. In June, it was announced that the funding had been received to allow the pool to stay open.