Cumberland Trail Go Green
Cumberland Trail State Park has completed the Gold Recognition Level of the TN State Parks Go Green With Us Initiative and Guidelines. The guidelines include multiple areas of environmental sustainability including education and outreach, water conservation, energy efficiency, waste and recycling and much more. Congrats to this park for going above and beyond to be excellent stewards of our natural resources.
The mission of the Tennessee State Parks Go Green With Us program is to preserve and protect our state parks through sustainable park operations, resource conservation, and recycling. Program components cover a diverse array of initiatives, including energy and water conservation through equipment and operations upgrades, recycling programs, projects to enhance ecosystem health, and erosion control, among many others.
- The park manages ecosystem health through controlled burns.
- Park staff, Friends and volunteers work with the Trailhead Nursery to rescue and grow native grasses and vegetation for use in future land rehabilitation projects.
- The Trailhead Nursery, is a project of the Friends of the Cumberland Trail. Located in Lone Oak, the non-profit, native plant nursery is dedicated to growing plants native to Tennessee and the Cumberland Plateau. Native plants are used for restoration on state park land as well as private and public landowners.
- The Trailhead Nursery also provides environmental and conservation-related education through teaching at their pollinator gardens and native plant conservation initiatives.
- The park has just begun a new trail maintenance and trail adopter program that will help keep the trail in good shape. A volunteer litter pickup program will be a regular program component. Their growing list of partners includes Wild Trails, Rock/Creek Outfitters, River Sports Outfitters, Volkswagen, the Cumberland Trails Conference, and the Friends of the Cumberland Trail.
- The park also improves ecosystem health through removal of invasive species including the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid, which has been associated with the widespread, severe decline and mortality of hemlock trees on the east coast from Georgia to New Hampshire.
- The park has hired contractors to study and make recommendations for Kudzu management, another invasive species, at Laurel-Snow State Natural Area which is part of the Cumberland Trail. In 2014 the park closed North Chickamauga Creek Gorge State Natural Area for a month to allow a threatened plant species, Scutellaria montana, a perennial flowering plant commonly known as the large-flowered skullcap, to grow undisturbed and without being trampled.