Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has proclaimed April 9–15 Tennessee State Natural Areas Week, and Tennesseans are encouraged to join in a weeklong celebration with activities such as wildflower hikes, canoe trips, guided tours and volunteer efforts.
The Tennessee Natural Areas Preservation Act was passed 41 years ago by the General Assembly and signed by former Gov. Winfield Dunn. Today, that legacy encompasses more than 120,000 acres of land, endangered or unique plants and a variety of animals – all protected for future generations. Tennessee State Natural Areas Week is a great time to revisit some of these special places that make our state so unique.”
The State Natural Areas Program provides long-term protection for rare, threatened and endangered plant and animal life. The program also protects ecologically sensitive areas, areas of geological and archaeological interest, and areas of great scenic beauty. First established in 1971 by the Tennessee Natural Areas Preservation Act, there are now 82 state natural areas.
The week includes a full schedule of events in many of these 82 natural areas, with approximately 63 programs planned across the state. A wide variety of interesting activities – including raptor and reptile programs, and several guided wildflower and birding hikes – are planned to engage Tennesseans in appreciating and enjoying these public areas.
For a complete schedule of events and trip details, please visit the Division of Natural Areas’ website at www.tn.gov/environment/na/events/seasonal.shtml, or call (615) 532-0431. Please note that some activities require reservations.