They are some of Tennessee’s most pristine areas, and a new study shows National Parks are not just great places to spend the day but also major drivers of the local economy.
National Park Service spokesman Jeffrey Olson stated, "In 2013 National Parks in Tennessee saw more than 8 million visitors and together those visitors spent more than $530 million. That supported 7,634 jobs in the state.”
The Stones River Battlefield in Murfreesboro is one of the many National Parks in the Volunteer State. On Friday (Aug. 1) at 10AM, visitors can explore the causes and consequences of the Battle of Stones River and the Civil War at the battle park in Murfreesboro.
While the Stones River Battlefield is enjoyed by out of town visitors and locals alike, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park remains the country’s most popular destination in the National Park System, with more than 9 million combined visitors in the park in Tennessee and North Carolina last year alone.
Overall, there were more than 270 million visits to national parks across the nation last year, with related spending at nearly $15 billion and some 240,000 jobs supported. “Of all the jobs that we identified as supported by visitor spending in national parks, the bulk of those far and away – I think it was 197,000 – are in these local communities near national parks,” Olson said. “So, this visitation and the jobs have a big impact on those local communities.” July is “National Park and Recreation Month,” during which people across the United States are encouraged to get out of the house and check in on nature.