KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The results are in for the 2023 My TN State Park fundraiser that the Tennessee State Parks agency had kicked off last month. Parks in East Tennessee were among the top-ranked groups.
Overall, state parks received more than 1,600 donations of more than $113,000. The funds raised from people submitting votes with their contributions will go toward projects like funding hiking trails, supporting animal ambassadors and enhancing educational outreach, according to Tennessee State Parks.
The park groups within the system with the most votes/donated funds were the following:
- Paris Landing State Park
- South Cumberland State Park
- Frozen Head State Park & Natural Area
TSP states on its fundraising results page that Paris Landing State Park plans to use the over $5,600 raised to purchase food and the necessary equipment to enhance the aviary for their Birds of Prey program. Hiwassee/Ocoee State Park came in second place with over $5,300 and Big Ridge State Park came in third place with over $4,900.
Group No. 2 featuring South Cumberland State Park, which plans to use the over $3,300 raised to enhance the aviary for its Birds of Prey program and replace the wooden footbridges and structures on the Fiery Gizzard Trail System. Henry Horton State Park came in second place with over $2,300 and Norris Dam State Park came in third place with over $2,300.
Group No. 3 featuring Frozen Head State Park plans to use the over $10,700 raised to purchase equipment to maintain trails, trail signage, invasive species control, and Natural Area rehabilitation. Additionally the park plans to enhance their backcountry experience for guests by re-decking the backcountry bridges and purchasing overnight adventure equipment for park-led backpacking trips. Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park came in second place with over $6,000 and Seven Islands State Birding Park came in third place with over $5,800.
Overall, TSP says 17 state parks met or exceeded their target goal and 26 state parks raised more money this year than last year.
“We cannot thank you enough for your love and appreciation for these parks, and for your vital support of the My TN State Park fundraiser,” TSP states on its results page. “Tennessee State Parks are truly better because of you.”