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Published on April 02, 2024
Tennessee State Parks Launch "My TN State Park" Fundraising Challenge for AprilSource: TN, Department of Environment and Conservation

Tennesseans with a soft spot for greenery and open spaces, here's your chance to step up. Tennessee State Parks are throwing down the gauntlet this April, inviting park enthusiasts to put their money where their heart is in the "My TN State Park" fundraiser. The challenge, Conservation set up by the Tennessee State Parks in cahoots with the Tennessee State Parks Conservancy, is a no-holds-barred donation competition to see which parks can net the most financial love from the public.

The giving brawl runs the full stretch of April, starting on the 1st and closing out on the 30th. Each dollar ponied up for a park is like a ballot–one vote for the donor's favorite slice of Tennessee wilderness, according to the TN, Department of Environment and Conservation. The spoils? The parks get to hoard the cash for projects that span the gamut from fixing up trails, to bringing kids up to speed on feathered predators, to educational programs that light a fire under children's natural curiosity about the wild.

Showing their cards, Greer Tidwell, deputy commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, urged Tennesseans to "show their support by contributing." Keeping the gates open and free to all, these contributions are the ace in the hole for addressing park-specific needs and making a tangible impact.

Not to be outdone, Gina Hancock, who heads up the Tennessee State Parks Conservancy as the executive director, weighed in. She cited, that donations from this yearly cash clash are like a lifeline for state parks, pumping resources into evermore ambitious projects, and this year's haul aims to rake in enough to fund new trails and resources that knock down barriers to accessibility, plus educational programs. She told folks, "There is a great range of projects that the parks aim to accomplish with this year’s funds," as per the TN, Department of Environment and Conservation.

Competition's fierce across four categories based on park locales, with top donors bringing home the gold for their beloved parks. There's even a "most improved" accolade for the park that jacks up its donation count the most from last year.

The scoreboard lights up with winners on May 6. Those with a yen to throw their support to their favorite Tennessee sanctuary can drop a dime (or more) at tnstateparks.com/vote. High rollers, nature lovers, and casual benefactors alike, the parks are calling.