NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) announced Wednesday that 28 of the 56 Tennessee State Parks have attained the highest level of achievement in the department's Go Green With Us program — Platinum status. It is the highest number of Platinum parks in the history of the program.
“Our state parks are going above and beyond what’s expected in environmental protection and sustainability, and we are thrilled with their performance in this program,” said Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of TDEC. “This formally recognizes our parks’ dedication to preserving the environment and to presenting the best example possible to our visitors.”
The Go Green With Us program was established in 2015. It incorporates guidelines throughout park operations that help staff and guests become more environmentally friendly.
A total of 37 parks increased by one level in status this year. The last assessment was in 2020, with 22 parks achieving Gold status and six achieving Silver.
While recycling is a big part of each of the parks' programs, other activity includes replacing old water fixtures with low-volume alternatives, composting food waste, LED lighting in high-traffic areas, enforcing no-idle areas to reduce emissions, tracking rare, threatened or endangered species and planting native species.
Additionally, many campgrounds include dumpsters and recycling bins but are trash-can-free. Some park restaurants divert, donate or compost food to reduce waste. And some parks also have on-site gardens, providing seasonal herbs and vegetables to the kitchens as well as to local communities.
To learn more about the program, park visitors and interested parties can visit the Go Green initiative page on the State Parks' website.
The 28 state parks to achieve Platinum level recognition are:
Fort Pillow State Park
Johnsonville State Park
Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park
Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park
Paris Landing State Park
Pinson Mounds State Park
Reelfoot Lake State Park
Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park
Bledsoe Creek State Park
Burgess Falls State Park
Cordell Hull Birthplace State Park
Cummins Falls State Park
Long Hunter State Park
Montgomery Bell State Park
Pickett CCC Memorial State Park
Radnor Lake State Park
Rock Island State Park
Sgt. Alvin C. York State Park
Standing Stone State Park
Big Ridge State Park
Booker T. Washington State Park
Cove Lake State Park
Frozen Head State Park
Harrison Bay State Park
Indian Mountain State Park
Roan Mountain State Park
Seven Islands State Birding Park
Sycamore Shoals State Park