The Nashville Building and Construction Trades Council (BCTC) and Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) have joined forces to help Tennessee residents and visitors better enjoy our public land at a local state park–just in time for summer. A popular bridge for hikers at Montgomery Bell State Park was washed away in the 2010 flood, and hikers have since been forced to use a small temporary bridge further down the creek.
According to the National Association of State Park Directors, there are 6,624 state parks in the U.S. that receive nearly three-quarters of a billion annual visits and generate $20 billion in economic benefits. These parks are continually faced with budget cuts and have a backlog of repair and restoration projects. Through the USA’s new Adopt-A-Park program, USA members will volunteer their time and unique skills to renew, rebuild and restore America’s parks, whether by restoring a weathered visitor’s center, rebuilding the park ranger station or modernizing the facilities.
Looking to complete one of its inaugural Adopt-A-Park projects locally, USA Executive Director, Fred Myers, met with Park Manager, Pat Wright, and later Nashville BCTC President, Anthony Nicholson, to discuss possible conservation needs.
“There was an obvious need for repair to this bridge that was unfortunately washed away in the floods,” Myers said. “Anthony and the rest of the Nashville Building Trades didn’t hesitate in volunteering their skills and time and donating supplies for the rebuild. Their support is a tremendous help to the Middle Tennessee community.”
Throughout the rest of May, union members will spend their Saturdays at the park completing the bridge rebuild, with an estimated completion date of June 1, 2013. All lumber used in the project is reclaimed wood from fallen trees in the park and building supplies have been generously donated by the Nashville Building Trades.
“Growing up near the park, I felt a personal obligation to be a part of this project,” said Nicholson. “Thankfully, the Nashville BCTC shared my passion for it. It really is a great show of local support, all around, for the community and conservation. Even the cost and labor to turn the fallen trees in the park into lumber were donated by Spann Brothers Lumber.”
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The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) is a union-dedicated outdoor organization whose members hunt, fish, shoot and volunteer their skills for conservation. The USA is uniting the union community to expand and improve hunting and fishing access and wildlife habitat while passing on our national outdoor heritage. For more information, visit www.unionsportsmen.org or www.facebook.com/unionsportsmen.