The Friends of South Cumberland State Park’s Land Preservation Celebration on October 11 provided a chance to view a recently acquired tract of land across from Stone Door, followed by a program at the historic Beersheba Springs Hotel. Joining the festivities were over 100 guests including Sen. Janice Bowling, State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath and State Naturalist Emeritus Mack Prichard, who enjoyed lovely fall weather, festive food and the music of Bazzania.
Sen. Bowling addressed the crowd at the hotel, explaining her support for state funding of new initiatives in Grundy County to boost ecotourism. According to Sen. Bowling, “The acquisition of the Jones Tract brings to fruition a thirty year old hope and effort. The FSC, one of the oldest Friends groups of our parks in Tennessee, has added to its credentials as the most successful in land acquisition. I sincerely appreciate the efforts and resources provided by this dedicated organization toward such a significant purchase.” Howell Adams, John Greeter and Sam Baggett met with Sen. Bowling prior to the celebration and continue to provide leadership on emerging park projects in Grundy County.
State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath led about 75 hikers to an overlook at Stone Door to view the 40-acre Jones Tract, which includes 2,000 feet of bluff line across from the Stone Door overlook. Hedgepath noted, “Many tracts of land, if developed, would impact the natural beauty of Savage Gulf, but few more directly than the Jones Tract. The Friends of South Cumberland have given peace of mind to those of us who knew about this missing part. We can now look at the view from Stone Door to the east with comfort, knowing that good people came through and secured it for us all.”