Half of Tennessee’s State Parks earn Platinum status in Go Green With Us program

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) today announced that 28 of the 56 Tennessee State Parks have attained Platinum status, the highest level of achievement, in the department’s Go Green With Us program. It is the highest number of Platinum parks in the history of the program.

“Our state parks are going above and beyond what’s expected in environmental protection and sustainability, and we are thrilled with their performance in this program,” said Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of TDEC. “This formally recognizes our parks’ dedication to preserving the environment and to presenting the best example possible to our visitors.”

The TDEC announcement comes ahead of the annual global Earth Day on Friday, April 22.

The comprehensive Go Green With Us program, established in 2015, incorporates guidelines throughout park operations that help staff and guests become more environmentally friendly. Parks implement sustainability practices and are recognized in the spring near Earth Day. A total of 37 parks this year increased by one level in status from the last assessment in 2020, with 22 parks achieving Gold status and six Silver.

All parks recycle what is available to recycle in their counties. Other activity in the program includes replacing old water fixtures with low-volume alternatives, composting food waste, installing LED lighting in high-traffic areas, enforcing no-idle areas to reduce emissions, tracking rare, threatened and endangered species, and planting native species.

Many campgrounds are trash-can-free with conveniently located dumpsters and recycling bins. Some restaurants reduce food waste through diversion, donation and composting practices. Some parks have on-site gardens, providing seasonal herbs and vegetables to the kitchens and local communities.

Park visitors are encouraged to ask about their park’s Go Green initiative and what they can do to participate. More information about the program can be found online.

The 28 state parks to achieve Platinum level recognition are:

East Tennessee

Big Ridge State Park

Booker T. Washington State Park

Cove Lake State Park

Frozen Head State Park

Harrison Bay State Park

Indian Mountain State Park

Roan Mountain State Park

Seven Islands State Birding Park

Sycamore Shoals State Park

West Tennessee

Fort Pillow State Park

Johnsonville State Park

Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park

Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park

Paris Landing State Park

Pinson Mounds State Park

Reelfoot Lake State Park

Middle Tennessee

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park

Bledsoe Creek State Park

Burgess Falls State Park

Cordell Hull Birthplace State Park

Cummins Falls State Park

Long Hunter State Park

Montgomery Bell State Park

Pickett CCC Memorial State Park

Radnor Lake State Park

Rock Island State Park

Sgt. Alvin C. York State Park

Standing Stone State Park

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:30 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, and cats Oliver, Bow and Libby.

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