Following guidelines helps keep Tennessee State Parks from closing again

Published 5:09 pm Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Tennessee State Parks partially reopened last Friday, with some guidelines.
Visitors can enjoy parks during the day from 7 a.m. until sunset.
Some of the guidelines and recommendations officials are suggesting include staying six feet away from others, not coming if you are sick, sticking to parks near your home, visiting earlier in the day when parks are less crowded, planning ahead with snacks and bathroom needs, cleaning up your own trash and wearing a mask.
While following these guidelines and staying home is still recommended, there are physical and mental benefits to being out in nature.
“Many studies have highlighted the benefits being in nature produces for our physical and mental health,” said Kim Schofinski,the Deputy Communications Director for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. “Many Tennesseans are going through a stressful time right now and being outside can help relieve some of that stress and improve overall well-being.”
While parks are now reopening, partially, it is important to follow such guidelines to keep them from closing again.
“Overcrowding may cause entire parks or portions of parks to close again,” warned Schofinski.
Parks previously closed for this very reason.
“The arrival of spring combined with the closure of national parks, bordering state parks, beaches and other recreational opportunities led to overcrowding of Tennessee State Parks,” she said. “Appropriate cleaning materials and sufficient personal protective equipment were in short supply. The situation created a potentially unsafe environment for staff and visitors.”
Overnight accommodations, including camping, will remain closed through April 30. Gathering areas, like playgrounds, remain closed. All park-hosted events of 10 or more people are cancelled through May 15. Tennessee State Parks will allow park-hosted and private events of 10 or fewer people beginning May 1. Aspects of parks, such as golfing areas, marinas and trails, are open. For more information on park guidelines and updates, you can go to
 “We are eager to serve once again but we urge Tennesseans to continue to practice physical distancing when visiting parks,” Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, said in a press release. “We have implemented policies designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and we will monitor all aspects of the issue to ensure safety among visitors and our staff.”

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