Tennessee State Parks named best in nation

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    The state of Tennessee can be proud that the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) has named Tennessee State Parks as one of only two state park systems in the country to receive accreditation. The announcement was made official at the National Recreation and Park Association’s annual conference in Indianapolis, reports Williamson Source.

    “Achieving this independent accreditation means Tennessee State Parks meets national standards of best practice,” said Brock Hill, deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. “It also acknowledges that visitors can expect the best in terms of recreation, programming, and amenities when they visit any one of our 56 state parks.”


    CAPRA accreditation assures park visitors, policymakers, department staff, and taxpayers that a parks system has the operational capacity to deliver high-quality programs, services and facilities. There are just over 160 accredited park and recreation agencies in the United States. Only one other parks system in Tennessee has received accreditation – the City of Germantown in Shelby County.

    “To receive this accreditation is truly an honor,” said Anne Marshall, senior advisor to Deputy Commissioner Hill. “It reflects the commitment and dedication of our parks’ staff and the benefits available to visitors. We hope this accomplishment will set the bar for other state parks systems and encourage them to seek accreditation as well.”

    Scoring is based on the adoption of efficient and effective processes, such as having an environmental sustainability policy that includes protections for natural resources; soliciting employee and visitor feedback on park management plans; proper utilization of volunteers; and the availability of high-quality programming to all visitors, including historically underserved populations.

    The accreditation process includes self-evaluation, a peer review and a site visit. The CAPRA standards were developed by a special committee initiated in 1989 by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA) and the National Recreation and Park Association.

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    Alan Ford

    We live near Pickwick Lake in southwest Tennessee. Natchez Trace State Park is about 50 miles north of us. We have camped there in our 36 foot motorhome several times. Large, paved campsites with full hookups and 50 amp service. There are cabins, a large lodge with a really nice restaurant and pool. This is a huge state park with several lakes and 3 different campgrounds – RVs, tents & horses. This is one of the best state parks in Tennessee or anywhere else.

    LauraC

    Most of the Tennessee parks we’ve been in so far are friendly, not too crowded and staffed with people who are cooperative and want their campers to be happy and have a good time. They all have lovely clean dump stations if they don’t have full hookups and everything is kept clean and tidy. What more could you want? Tennessee is a friendly state where everyone say hi, makes eye contact, and want you to “have a blessed day”. We love Tennessee.

    Diane M

    I also camp at Cumberland Mountain State Park. I think it’s the best park in the whole system. But there are many other great parks in Tennessee as well.

    Jeff

    I have to totally agree with this AWARD for the Tennessee State Parks.

    I have camped at the CUMBERLAND MOUNTAIN State Park and it is a fantastic State Park. Large Concrete Pads to put your RV on. Unfortunately, these are not FULL Hookup sites, only water and electric.

    This park has a Lodge with a GREAT Restaurant too. Tennessee knows how to do it right!