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Norris Dam State Park Honored for Customer Engagement

November 3, 2020  |  Permalink

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                  
Wednesday, October 28, 2020  

CONTACT:  Kim Schofinski                                       
(615) 350-3431




NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has recognized Norris Dam State Park in Rocky Top for excellence in customer engagement as part of the 2020 Tennessee State Parks Awards of Excellence.

“One the most important aspects of what our state parks do is interact with visitors and those who simply want to know more about the parks, and Norris Dam State Park stands out,” TDEC Deputy Commissioner Jim Bryson said. “We are pleased to recognize the team at Norris Dam in this category.”

As part of its engagement with citizens interested in the park, Norris Dam State Park has launched an Instagram page to reach a new demographic audience and currently has more than 1,000 followers. During the early stages of COVID-19, the park began posting interpretive videos on Facebook as a way to engage and connect with park visitors, resulting in 51,400 views and a 25 percent increase in followers. The park continues to post videos titled “Museum Minute with Mike” highlighting various historical artifacts found in the Lenoir Museum.

The park has had growth in gift shop sales and in May opened The Canteen, a camp store converted from a camper check-in site. The park now has gift shops at the visitor center, historic Rice Gristmill, and camp store. The top-selling items have been firewood, ice, ice cream, and honey harvested from the park.   

The park has also worked with local communities on new partnerships, such as working with local master gardeners for installation, design and maintaining native landscape beds in the historic district and partnering with a local beekeeper to launch the Honey Project at the park.

The 2020 Tennessee State Parks Awards of Excellence were awarded on September 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; Montgomery Bell State Park for facilities management; Cummins Falls State Park for innovation; Booker T. Washington State Park for interpretation; Fall Creek Falls State Park for resource management; and Warriors’ Path State Park for sustainability. 

Below:  Norris Dam State Park is honored for excellence in customer engagement as part of the 2020 Tennessee State Parks Awards of Excellence. From left are Katherine Johnson, clerk; Sen. Ken Yager; Veronica Greear, park manager; Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of TDEC; and Robin Peeler, area manager. 

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