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:
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
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
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