Two State Parks in Carter County to participate in ‘My TN State Park Fundraiser’

Published 9:46 pm Monday, January 24, 2022

BY NIC MILLER
STAR STAFF
nic.miller@elizabethton.com

Two Carter County parks have been participating in a friendly competition to raise money and be known as one of the top state parks in Tennessee.

Roan Mountain State Park and Sycamore Shoals State Park in Elizabethton are part of the “My TN State Park Fundraiser.”
The month-long competition continues until Monday, Jan. 31, and allows voters to show that these parks are “loved, important, and supported.” This fundraiser is a friendly competition between all 56 Tennessee State Parks. The public can vote for any of the 56 state parks, as many times as they want.

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“Considering every Tennessee State Park is beyond awesome, I would think it would make it hard to choose one’s favorite,” said Sycamore Shoals Park Manager Jennifer Bauer.

Parks have been categorized into three groupings based on visitation and will be “competing” against the other parks in their groupings. The parks that receive the most votes within their group will be awarded unique wooded plaques featuring the names of their donors.

There will also be one award for “most improved” given to the park with the highest percentage increase in donations from last year’s fundraiser to this year.

Sycamore Shoals State Park and Roan Mountain State Park have been grouped into two different categories, with Sycamore Shoals in the group of less than 350,000 annual visitors and will be competing against other local parks such as Rocky Fork State Park in Unicoi County.

Roan Mountain State Park has been classified into the group that sees more than 750,000 visitors annually, and will be competing against local parks such as Warriors Path State Park in Kingsport.

Roan Mountain State Park officials said they would use any funds raised for adding Backcountry Campsites for a new trail; an ; Appalachian Trail Replica Shelter Camping Area to utilize old unused picnic area; and an outdoor water bottle filling station for the campground and playground areas.

“For Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park, it provides an opportunity for us to raise funds that will help with special projects. Donations to Sycamore Shoals would assist us in our archival work to protect and make historical documents available for research,” Bauer said. “We also hope to upgrade and add new native tree species to our Tennessee Urban Forestry Arboretum, in addition to replacing and upgrading interpretive signage on the grounds of Sycamore Shoals.

“Sharing our nationally significant history is of great importance to our staff, for we are honored to be entrusted with keeping our region’s history alive. We hope your readers will consider donating to Sycamore Shoals, for through donations, we can continue to generate new, accessible methods by which people can hear and participate in our stories,” Bauer said.

Those interested can make donations in the amount of $1, $5, $10, $20, or $50, and each dollar donated represents one vote for their favorite park.

Donations for Roan Mountain State Park can be made at https://tnstateparks.com/parks/event_details/roan-mountain/#/?event=my-tn-state-park-rm-22

Donations for Sycamore Shoals State Park can be made at https://tnstateparks.com/parks/event_details/sycamore-shoals/#/?event=my-tn-state-park-sssp-22