Molly Stophel - Long Hunter - Copy

Stophel

In Tennessee, our state parks have been going strong since 1937, over 80 years ago.

Long Hunter State Park, founded in 1976 in Hermitage, is one such place that the public can come and enjoy through trails and waterways kept as natural as possible. It is a place free of charge and available to all Tennesseans, no matter the background. As with everything, Long Hunter needs tender loving care and devotion to thrive. Volunteer work is a crucial component that keeps the park clean, beautiful and navigable.

This year, Long Hunter State Park is participating in National Public Lands Day on Saturday, Sept. 28. National Public Lands Day is a nationally celebrated day to boost volunteer work in America’s public parks, both local and federal. Started in 1994, National Public Lands Day encourages communities to volunteer by cleaning up or maintaining their local public lands in one massive effort across America.

The day started with just 700 volunteers but has since grown to more than 100,000 volunteers with more than 2,000 volunteer sites. Long Hunter has been a National Public Lands Day volunteer site for the past several years.

This year the Volunteer Trail is on the receiving end of volunteers’ love and attention. Located at the end of the south side of Baker’s Grove Road off Hobson Pike in Hermitage, the Volunteer Trail will get more gravel in muddy spots and invasive plants cut out to preserve the native habitat.

There’s work for all abilities, from trash pickup to removing large, over-grown branches. The volunteer day is open to all, but registration is requested so that there are enough supplies for everyone. Registration and details can be found at tnstateparks.com/parks/long-hunter under the “Upcoming Events” section. For more information, call the park office at (615) 885-2422.

Molly Stophel is the front desk clerk for Long Hunter State Park. She grew up walking the Couchville Lake Trail and still considers it her favorite part of the park.

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