Planning Process

Our department seeks to make Tennessee an even better place to live, work and play through the operation of state parks and natural areas. Our state park system achieves multiple purposes for Tennessee and its citizens:

  • To preserve and conserve natural, aesthetic, cultural and historic resources
  • To provide opportunities for Tennesseans to enjoy a diverse array of outdoor recreational activities and provide affordable guest experiences
  • To help grow the state’s tourism business and promote local economic development

The State Park System

Just like there are multiple purposes for the state park system, we have a wide variety of park types across Tennessee. There is no “one size fits all” strategy for park management, and all parks cannot provide all services. The diversity of operations requires that park leadership have a clear picture of the management philosophy of the organization as a whole and understand the importance of individual sites within the larger system. To that end, we manage the system of parks by using our mission as a guide:


To preserve and protect, in perpetuity, unique examples of natural, cultural, and scenic areas and provide a variety of safe, quality, outdoor experiences through a well-planned and professionally managed system of state parks.

With our mission and values first and foremost, we utilize these planning documents to also manage our state parks with an emphasis on principles like efficiency, customer service, return on investment, revenue enhancement and effective stewardship of Tennessee’s conservation assets and taxpayers’ dollars.

To support this overall strategy, and to comply with state law, each state park contributes to the parks mission through individual Management Plans. The TCA 11-3-120 requires that the state park management plans address the following areas:

  • Funding requirements for state parks and an analysis of whether the revenue-generating facilities on the park are self-sustaining
  • Facilities preservation, maintenance and utilization
  • Management and personnel staffing, training, compensation and professional development
  • Preservation, development and expansion of existing and new park resources and facilities
  • Educational programming
  • Land acquisition

Tennessee State Park Plans

Business plans are available for the parks below: