Go Green With Us
Go Green With Us to protect and preserve our State Parks through resource conservation, sustainable operations, and recycling!
Sustainability efforts at Tennessee State Parks are as diverse as the Tennessee landscape - from recycling paper in park offices and installing energy-efficient LED lighting to installing pollinator gardens and creating vegetative buffer areas around wetlands and shorelines at the golf courses.
Since 2015 when the Go Green With Us Program began as a recycling initiative, state parks have continuously improved their environmental stewardship while reducing their carbon footprint. A comprehensive guideline was developed and released in 2017 to steer parks in the path of sustainability in all of their operations. Many campgrounds are now trash-can-free and are served by conveniently located dumpsters and recycling bins. This helps to save time and money as well as reduce litter throughout the campgrounds. Some restaurants are reducing their food waste through diversion, donation, and composting practices. Some restaurants and parks even have on-site gardens, providing fresh seasonal herbs and vegetables to the kitchen and local communities.
April 2018 marked the first inaugural Go Green With Us Recognition awards ceremony. As of 2019, every Tennessee State Park has been recognized for taking positive steps to preserve and enhance wildlife habitat, protect land and water resources, and reduce waste.
To view the TSP Go Green Guidelines and recognition program please click here.
Sustainability highlights from 2018 include:
- Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park is the first state park in Tennessee to be 100 percent upgraded to LEDs throughout the entire park.
- Johnsonville State Historic Park is one of the first parks to host a Go Green education and outreach event teaching Jr. Rangers the importance of reducing waste by creating their own canteens to use and keep and not using plastic bottles and cups.
- Norris Dam State Park has built its own recycling bins and a divided recycling trailer.
- Henry Horton State Park is part of the TSP Honey Project. The Governor’s Table Restaurant composts food scraps and a greenhouse and garden provide produce for the restaurant.
- Montgomery Bell State Park received a national award for their food waste reduction efforts in the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge, which saved the park nearly $4,000 in diverted solid waste fees.
The 2019 Awards (below) are presented for work that was done in 2019. To see what other things parks are doing to Go Green, click on a park below.