Fall Creek Falls State Park honored for resource management

Fall Creek Falls State Park is honored for resource management as part of the 2020 Tennessee State Parks Awards of Excellence. From left are Mike Robertson, director of parks operations; Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of TDEC; Jacob Young, park manager, and Chris Padgett, area manager.

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has recognized Fall Creek Falls State Park for excellence in resource management as part of the 2020 Tennessee State Parks Awards of Excellence.

“Fall Creek Falls State Park is one of our most popular parks, and it takes a lot of work to build that reputation. The management at the park is outstanding, and this award shows recognition of the hard work being done by the staff,” TDEC Deputy Commissioner Jim Bryson said.

The staff at Fall Creek Falls has worked on several fronts, including research on damage to rare plants, hog eradication and monitoring species. It has worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The staff has reduced poaching. It has routed, painted, and installed new trail signs and markers and built a trail bridge, as well as working to stabilize the Davis house in Dog Cove and improve the Beecher Wallace house on the grounds. 

The park encompasses more than 29,800 acres across the eastern top of the Cumberland Plateau. With cascades, gorges, waterfalls, streams and lush stands of virgin hardwood timber, the park appeals to all who enjoy nature. Fall Creek Falls, at 256 feet, is one of the highest waterfalls in the eastern United States. Other waterfalls in the park include Piney Falls, Cane Creek Falls and Cane Creek Cascades.

The 2020 Tennessee State Parks Awards of Excellence were presented on Sept. 29 at Montgomery Bell State Park as part of an in-person and virtual annual park management meeting. Managers had an option of attending in person with social distancing or participating virtually.

Other winners included Frozen Head State Park as Park of the Year; Norris Dam State Park for community engagement; Montgomery Bell State Park for facilities management; Cummins Falls State Park for innovation; Booker T. Washington State Park for interpretation; and Warriors’ Path State Park for sustainability. 

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