Tennessee State Parks has a program called Trail Pack. Donors receive recognition and certain perks for kicking in $25 or $50 annually.
Q: Someone asked why funding for trail maintenance is not funded in the state budget.
A: That is a great question! Park maintenance and trail building are funded through appropriations for state parks through the General Assembly. However, the demand for new trails, and the need for maintenance, often outpace the funding. Also, those funds are open and available to all operational needs, meaning trail-centric funding is not guaranteed. The Trail Pack program allows trail lovers and users a chance to dedicate additional resources to that specific area of the park they love.
Visitors are increasing
Over 80% of polled Tennessee State Park visitors list the trails as the number one reason that they visit. With entry to all Tennessee State Parks being free, donation opportunities like the Trail Pack allow visitors to give from a place of desire rather than obligation.
The Tennessee State Parks Trail Pack is a non-exclusive group of people who show their support by specifically donating to trails. The donations go into a protected Tennessee State Parks Trail Fund where they are guaranteed to be used to support trails. Info here.
Recent projects include:
- South Cumberland state park
- Johnsonville state historic park
- Savage Gulf state park
- Cumberland Trail state park
- Fall Creek Falls state park
- Staff development
- Volunteer training
Tennessee State Parks provided information for this story