Three area park friends groups receive grants

NASHVILLE – The Friends of Tennessee State Parks (FOTSP) Board of Directors announced today that nearly $8,500 has been awarded to Tennessee State Park Friends Groups and newly forming groups, including three located in the Upper Cumberland. Grants awarded will fund projects including interpretive signage, gardens, trail building tools and start-up costs to officially form a Friends group.

“We are pleased to offer another round of grant funding to our Friends and congratulate this year’s recipients,” said LeaAnn Carr, President of The Friends of Tennessee State Parks. “In addition to our Mini Grants Program, we were able to award three Start Up Grants to groups looking to become a 501c3 in sole support of their local state park. This funding will provide the seed money to organize their groups.” 

Upper Cumberland Friends groups receiving a mini grant:

Friends of Cummins Falls State Park – Picnic Tables for Trailhead ($275)

Friends of Cumberland Mountain State Park – Water Bottle Filling Station ($500)

Friends of Edgar Evins State Park – New Panels for Storybook Trail ($500)

Other Friends groups receiving a Mini Grant:

Friends of Johnsonville State Park – Refurbish & Replace Historic Headstones ($420)

Friends of the Forest (Meeman Shelby Forest State Park) – Interpretive Signage ($325)

Friends of Cove Lake State Park – Little Free Library ($500)

Friends of Bledsoe Creek State Park – Butterfly & Hummingbird Garden ($500)

Friends of Natchez Trace State Park – Trail Building Tools ($500)

Friends of Harrison Bay State Park – Grab & Go Packs ($486)

Friends of Rocky Fork State Park – Trail Building Equipment ($450.97)

Friends of Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park – Historic Photos for Cabins ($500)

Friends of David Crockett State Park – Kayaks ($500)

Friends of South Cumberland State Park – Trail Map Project ($500)

Friends of T.O. Fuller State Park – Community Garden ($500)

Friends of Henry Horton State Park – Wood Carving & Mill Stone ($500)

The following new groups received a Start Up Grant:

Friends of Bicentennial Mall State Park ($500)

Friends of Old Stone Fort ($500)

Friends of Hiwassee Ocoee Rivers State Park ($500)

Funding was raised by FOTSP through various events and partnerships including a silent auction at the 15th annual Friends Conference, Tennessee Brew Works Charity of the Month program and being the fiscal agent for a regional state park director’s conference. These funds have allowed FOTSP to offer up to $500 to help fund small enhancement projects at Tennessee State Parks, and now the ability to cover some of the start-up costs for newly organized Friends’ groups. These grant programs have been especially helpful to groups with limited resources.

For more information about FOTSP and to get involved, visit

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