State, South Cumberland State Park seeking public input

South Cumberland State Park in Grundy County is an area gem. Managers of the South Cumberland State Park are seeking public input on a state plan that will outline recreation, parks and conservation priorities for the next 10 years. (Photo Provided)

GRUNDY COUNTY — State parks are important. That became obvious in 2020. Now a Grundy County parks is looking for your feedback on what its priorities should be moving forward. Managers of the South Cumberland State Park, together with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), are seeking public input on a state plan that will outline recreation, parks and conservation priorities for the next 10 years.

“Planning is an integral part of what we do, and we want to hear from Tennesseans about their thoughts for parks and conservation long term,” TDEC Commissioner David Salyers said. “While we are working hard on the plan, we need the input of Tennesseans across the state. The people’s feedback and participation are important for us to succeed.”

The plan, formally known as TN 2030: Tennessee State Recreation Plan, will be a roadmap for the future of public recreation in the state. It will address activity in urban and rural neighborhoods, as well as each region in the state.

The plan is in the formative stage, and TDEC officials ask Tennesseans for their opinions on draft themes and priorities already being discussed. The project will include short-term action items, which would be completed within five years, and long-term initiatives for the 10-year period. TDEC is accepting public comment on its initial priorities. Specific questions from an online form ask Tennesseans to name important priorities to focus on and if there are important recreation and conservation priorities not covered in the draft goals listed. The deadline for submissions is 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 25. Input can be provided by clicking here.

Draft initiatives cover advocacy and education; collaboration and partnerships for economic success; conservation and outdoor recreation; and inclusivity, diversity, equity, access, and affordability. The draft initiatives can be found by clicking here.

Each state must prepare a strategy known as the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) every five years to remain eligible for dollars from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) through the U.S. Department of the Interior. The project also includes needs, interests, and priorities for indoor recreation since the state-run Local Parks and Recreation Fund (LPRF) gives grants to cities and counties for indoor and outdoor recreation projects. The 10-year outline will follow and build upon the TN 2020 plan as well as the TN 2020 Update.

More information on the recreation plan can be found by clicking here. •

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