EXPANDING ROCK ISLAND STATE PARK
Because of you, this historic state park will remain a place where people and nature can thrive for generations to come.
In August 2017, two TennGreen board members and life-long conservationists, Mary Lynn Dobson and Ann Tidwell, alerted our conservation staff that 45 acres of land were for sale adjacent to Rock Island State Park along the Caney Fork of the Cumberland River. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) expressed interest in acquiring the property to expand the park. TennGreen is in the process of purchasing and transferring the land to TDEC, allowing the expansion of the historic park by an additional 45 acres.
The history of this beloved park dates back to the end of the Civil War when countless entrepreneurs built along the Caney Fork attempting to harness the strength of the river. In 1917, the Great Falls Hydroelectric Plant’s dam (later owned and operated by TEPCO and now TVA) created a lake, bringing with it numerous recreational opportunities for both Tennesseans and tourists to enjoy. Rock Island has hosted the U.S. Freestyle Kayaking World Championships, and the park features eight hiking trails, scenic overlooks, waterfalls, deep pools, and a sandy beach for recreational swimming and water sports.
Purchasing the land and conveying it to TDEC will cost TennGreen $470,000—including the price of the land, due diligence fees, and implementation costs. TDEC has committed $430,000 to the purchase; however, TennGreen needs to raise an additional $40,000 from private sources to complete the transaction. Any contributions exceeding the costs of the easement/acquisition will be used to further conservation projects across the state.
Together, we have reached our $40,000 goal! This will not only expand the park's rugged beauty but also:
Protect wildlife habitat along the Caney Fork River.
Protect hikers from nearby private hunting grounds.
Provide future campers—Scout troops and kayakers—with an essential campground for privacy.
Protect the area’s spectacular viewshed and scenery from being developed and dotted with private homes.
Ensure that Tennessee State Parks can accommodate the park's ever-increasing number of visitors.