Meeting times

Monthly Meetings : 2nd Tuesday at 7:00 pm CT, Barfield-Crescent Park's Wilderness Station, 697 Veterans Parkway, Murfreesboro

Friday, May 18, 2012


We have a new state park!!! I will be attending the following event Tuesday, May 22. If you want to carpool, call me at 615.714.3610 or respond to this email. This is an area near Cookeville, TN.

Please Join Governor Bill Haslam and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Tennessee State Parks, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, and Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation for The Announcement of Tennessee's 54th and Newest State Park on the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of Tennessee State Parks CUMMINS FALLS STATE PARK Tuesday, May 22, 2012 Arrive at 11:15 AM Remarks by Governor Bill Haslam at Noon Lunch 12:30 PM Located on the beautiful Blackburn Fork State Scenic River, this idyllic 211-acre site in Jackson County will be the 54th state park in Tennessee. This is made possible through the leadership of Governor Bill Haslam, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and through the very generous support of members of the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation. Lunch donated by Wildwood Manor Bed and Breakfast.RSVPKelley Clemons at TDEC (615) 532-0111 or


Kelly Stewart said...

I'll be there, too!

Rod Williams said...

It was a great event! To see pics with this post visit

Today a crowd of dignitaries, nature lovers, and local people gathered in a forest clearing overlooking Cummins Falls to dedicate the opening of a new state park and to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Tennessee State Park system.

Cummins Falls State Park was officially dedicated, becoming the 54th official state park and the first state park opened in 14 years.

Kathleen Williams reads the sign
Cummins Falls State Park is a 211 acre park located nine miles north of Cookeville on the Blackburn Fork State Scenic River in the rolling hills where Putnam and Jackson Counties meet. The falls are dramatic and are the eighth largest waterfall in the state. The roaring stream gives way to a 75 foot drop into a pool at the bottom, which Travel and Leisure magazine has listed as one of the top 10 best swimming holes in the United States.

Last year I had the opportunity to hike down to the bottom of river gorge and swim in the cold waters at the foot of the falls. The hike was a challenge and only for the hearty. A new trail the state has built makes the trek less treacherous but still a strenuous hike.

About 500 people attend the dedication.
This beautiful natural treasure would have been lost without the vision and hard work of Kathleen Williams, President and Executive Director of the Tennessee Parks and Greenway's foundation and supporters of that organization, various donors, and State agencies and elected officials.

The York Institute Color Guard prepares
for presentation of the Colors.
Once before the land that adjoins the falls had already been sold to a developer but the developer went bankrupt and the property went back on the market.

Governor Haslam views the falls
Two years ago the property was being sold at public action and TPGP purchased the property outbidding a Kentucky developer. The Chairman of the Board of TPGF, Dr. Chuck Womack and members of the board of TPGF and other contributors put up the million and half dollars to purchase the land and then raised the money to repay themselves and eventually sold the land to the state at a discounted price.

That is the process often used to save critical habitats and beautiful vista's and natural treasures such as cave access sites and waterfalls.

authentic acoustic mountain music
The state is less nimble and cannot move quickly when needing to do so, or the State can not do the kind of negotiating that a non-profit organization can do.

Governor Bill Haslam dedicates the new park

Today's ceremonies opened with the presentation of the Colors by the World War 1 York Institute Junior ROTC and a moving solo violin performance of the national anthem.

Kathleen Williams speaks about the
importance of saving our Tennessee
natural treasures.
Various speakers at today's event spoke about the economic return on investment in Tennessee's natural beauty, about the importance of protecting the bio-diversity of our streams and woods and the importance of preserving natures wonders for future generations. Various people were recognized for their contribution is making the park a reality. Kathleen Williams was praised for her role in saving the land and making the park happen and Governor Haslam was honored for the role his administration played in the decision of the State to purchase the property and turn it into a State park.
I enjoyed getting to chat with
the Governor after the event.

Prior to and after the ceremony an acoustic band played traditional music and a barbeque meal was provided courtesy of Wildwood Manor Bed and Breakfast.