State parks will re-open on Friday

Get out there and enjoy the great outdoors but continue to do you part and stay apart. That’s the message from the state’s public parks system after Governor Bill Lee announced on Monday that he’ll allow his Stay at Home order to expire on April 30.

As such, the Tennessee State Park system will re-open this Friday, April 24 with several caveats. One, parks will open for day use only from 7 a.m. to sunset. Overnight accommodations will remain closed until after May 1. Two, visitors will be encouraged to still maintain the CDC recommended six feet of social distance between groups. Gathering areas such as pavilions and playgrounds will remain closed, and three, prepare for very limited or no bathroom access.

“We are eager to serve once again but we urge Tennesseans to continue to practice physical distancing when visiting parks,” Deputy Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Jim Bryson said. “We have implemented policies designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and we will monitor all aspects of the issue to ensure safety among visitors and our staff.”

The parks system also recommends that you limit visits to those parks closest to home. For Moore County residents, that would be Tims Ford in Winchester, Old Stone Fort in Manchester, and South Cumberland in Grundy County.

State officials say they won’t hesitate to re-close the park should visitors choose not to practice appropriate social distancing. If the park you plan to visit is crowded when you arrive, state officials recommend leaving and coming back another time.

“We urge the public to help us keep our state parks open by doing their part to stay apart, by maintaining proper social distancing and personal hygiene,” the state parks system said in a press release.

For information on which parks will re-open and which will remain closed visit the Tennessee State Parks COVID-19 Closures webpage. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Local craft beer supports TN State Parks

Bryce McCloud created the label for the Tennessee Brew Works beer that supports state parks. He’s also collaborated with Jack Daniel’s Distillery for an annual Barbecue poster. {Photo Provided}

STATE NEWS | Do you like to drink locally-brewed craft beer and support a worthy local cause? Then we’ve got the beer for you.

The folks at Tennessee Brew Works (TBW) launched a beer to support the state park system.  State Park Blonde Ale is an American-style blonde session ale that tastes oh-so-Tennessee with subtle floral notes of honeysuckle and a biscuit finish. It’s available at both by the bottle and on tap at select locations.

Developed in the founder’s kitchen as a hobby, TBW fine-tuned its recipes and green brewing methods at home before launching their tap room in the heart of Music City in 2013. They were the first brewery in North America to utilize the Meura Micro Mash Filter with the American-made Aegir Brewing System to create a signature line of craft beers and one of the greenest brewing processes in the region.

This brew system uses far less water, raw materials, and energy to produce beer than the traditional lauter tun system.

With this kind of eye toward conservation, it’s only fitting they produced a specialty craft beer celebrating the natural wonder of Tennessee’s state park system. A portion of the proceeds from each beer sold goes to support the Tennessee State Parks Conservancy, a new non-profit established to facilitate fund-raising for all 56 state parks as a group.

TBW also collaborated with several local distributors (including L&H Distributing from Tullahoma) and Kroger grocery stores on the project. The new beer is available at the brewery’s tap room located at 809 Ewing Avenue in Nashville, as well as select restaurants. It’s also sold at area Kroger stores including the locations in Winchester, Tullahoma, and Shelbyville.

Following the distinct, Tennessee Brew Works label formula, the new beer artwork includes a portrait of a state park ranger framed inside the three sides of a guitar pick. Nashville artist Bryce McCloud created the label artwork and based the portrait on a real state park employee, Randy Hedgepath – a naturalist with over 30 years of experience.

You might recognize McCloud’s work from his collaboration with Jack Daniel Distillery for their Jack Daniel World Championship Barbecue poster series. He’s also developed art for the Black Keys, Old Crow Medicine Show, Willie Nelson, Gillian Welch, and other notable musicians. To check out more of his work, check out the Isle of Printing website.

The parks system will use the money raised for things like endangered species programs, hiking trail improvements, and planting trees, and other improvements. All 56 Tennessee state parks are open and free to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

For more information about State Park Blonde Ale, visit the Tennessee Brew Works website. To learn more about the Tennessee State Parks Conservancy, click here. Or to read Naturalist Hedgepath’s blog on the TN State Parks website, follow this link.

TBW also collaborated with George Dickel Distillery in Normandy to create Tenn No. 12 Imperial Porter and Belgian-Style Quad, which are both aged in Dickel No. 12 barrels. •