Tennessee’s Underfunded State Parks

Apr 23, 2020

Man taking a photograph of a waterfall
Tennessee’s beloved state parks are in need of $82 million for maintenance of facilities and habitats.

Our State Parks Are in Need

Most Tennesseans live within an hour drive of at least one of our state’s 56 state parks. These cherished outdoor spaces showcase Tennessee’s beautiful landscapes and diverse wildlife—all while conserving that natural heritage.

From Memphis to Mountain City, each park provides spaces for Tennesseans to enjoy outdoor recreation opportunities. Though temporarily closed, many of us have come to rely on outdoor places like these as a way to get outside the home and renew our spirit.

Even more, state parks generate billions in economic activity and support thousands of jobs every year. And we know that every dollar invested in our state parks generates $37 in economic activity.

But our state parks are in desperate need of attention.

More than $82 million in maintenance needs—for roads, facilities, trails, and campgrounds as well as to manage habitats—have been deferred year after year.

Left unaddressed, these issues impact more than just the visitor experience.

With limited funding, state parks may need to prioritize keeping visitor facilities open, making habitat management and other improvement efforts more challenging to address.

Tennessee Wildlife Federation understands how important these natural spaces are to wildlife, the state, and to sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts like you.

That’s why we are continuing to work to improve funding for Tennessee’s state parks, along with other critical pieces to the state’s conservation puzzle.

Featured photo by Tennessee Photographs

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