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PROTECT STATE LAND FOR PARK USE
from The Tennessean, Sunday, December 8, 1996
To the Editor:
Does the park system need to be revamped? I think so! Tennessee's park system and natural areas need protection right now - mainly, from what our state officials deem to be considered, and perceived, as a state park.
The 19-acre Bicentennial Mall State Park's cost has risen to $55 million. That's about $2.9 million an acre.
It has man-made waterfalls squirting from pipes underground, native trees planted there have a hard time taking root, and cement trails that lead you through a setting where wildlife is practically non-existent. The state park system is to maintain it with an annual cost in payroll of about $600,000.
Recently, the 15,000 -acre Scott's Gulf area was offered for sale at considerably less than $800 an acre. It comes complete with its own dancing waterfalls, outdoor natural theater, with an abundance ofself-rooted trees, live plants, etc. Closely surrounded within a 40-mile radius of the gulf are four state parks, a designated natural area, and a state forest. Are our legislative priorities set to preserve our great state, known for her rolling hills, scenic beauty, abundant wildlife and natural resources?
I think not! State officials, wake up! Now that the pomp and circumstance is over for Tennessee's 200th birthday, let us make sure she has a nice suit to wear at her next one, one that displays her natural beauty. I hope it will still be available.
6031 Bonnalawn Drive
[Any typos in this article are my own and not those of The Tennessean or its staff. - Editor]
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