Mayor J.H. Graham recognized the Cumberland Mountain State Park as the Mayor’s Green Partner during the August City Council meeting for demonstrating the sustainability of providing opportunities to enjoy and learn about nature. Chip Hillis, CMSP Park Manager, accepted the award.
This 1,720-acre park was acquired in 1938 as a project of the Farm Security Administration to provide a recreational area for some 250 families selected to homestead on the Cumberland Plateau.
The Park centers on Byrd Lake, a man-made lake created by the impoundment of Byrd Creek by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. The park preserves a 75 year-old forested area of the Cumberland Plateau, dominated by oaks and hickory, with hemlocks and azaleas bordering its streams. This upland forested area offers to the watchful eye a parade of native wildflowers throughout the seasons.
A range of Park programs create opportunities for the community to both enjoy and learn about its natural surroundings. Especially during the summer, but also year round, the Park offers nature programs to help us see what we are looking at and to listen to what we hear, from bird identification to star gazing. At the Park, you can fly a kite, golf, hike different trails, do a 15K run, fish, or just listen to some good music. The Junior Ranger Day Camp teaches a little bit about of all what a park ranger needs to know.
Friends of the Cumberland Mountain State Park support and enhance the Park’s offering. Its quarterly newsletter keeps the community informed about what is happening at the Park and ways they can both enjoy and help it. The group enhances what the Park can offer through both volunteering as program leaders and through its different fundraising events.
The Park not only attracts those living nearby, but also those coming from afar to enjoy what we sometimes take for granted. The community benefits from those visitors and the purchases they make while here, boosting our local economy. Every dollar allocated in our state park’s budget triggers an additional $37 in economic impact.
“The Cumberland Mountain State Park enhances the sustainability of our community by making opportunities for nature-based recreation and education as well as creating local economic opportunities by the many visitors of our State Park,” said Mayor Graham. “We benefit in so many ways from having Cumberland Mountain State Park as our neighbor and join in the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the TN park system.”
For more information about the Mayor’s Green Partners program, contact Valerie Hale, assistant City Clerk at 787-1684.