Tag: Tennessee

Tennessee State Parks experience record camping numbers in 2020

SUMNER COUNTY, Tenn. (WTVF) — Tennessee State Parks hosted a record number of campers in 2020, as people searched for ways to have fun safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, which runs the state park system, June, July and October of 2020 were the top three busiest camping months in state park history.

The trend continued in November, when parks sold 36,000 camping nights. The number is a record for November and more than double the amount sold in 2019.

“We’ve seen unprecedented numbers,” Bledsoe Creek State Park manager Chris Thurman said.

Camping records set at Tennessee State Parks in 2020 as people ‘stay home’ outdoors

In the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, record numbers of people “stayed home” in tents, campers and RVs they took with them to Tennessee’s state parks.

Camping in the last two months of 2020 reached historic highs in state-run parks, according to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation that oversees them. Four of the top 10 camping months ever in state parks happened in 2020, most likely driven by visitors seeking the outdoors during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, TDEC Commissioner Jim Bryson attributed the surge to the search for well-being.

“The impact of COVID-19 simply underscores a

Tennessee voting rights law: Governor signs bill penalizing some protesters with felony and loss of voting rights

Bill HB 8005 increases the punishment for camping on state property from a misdemeanor to a class E felony that is punishable by up to six years in prison.
Signing of the bill comes as protesters have been camping outside the Tennessee Capitol in Nashville, demanding a meeting with the Republican governor to discuss racial inequality and police brutality since June, according to the Washington Post. Protesters are also asking for the removal of a Nathan Bedford Forrest bust at the State Capitol. Forrest was a slave trader and early Ku Klux Klan leader.
Campers would first be given