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The theme for 2020 National Public Lands Day is “More Ways to Connect with Nature” and will be held on September 26th. This year, our focus will be on supporting organizations through bags and gloves at their scheduled cleanup events and by offering a virtual opportunity to explore one of our popular recreation areas in northeast Tennessee on the South Holston Reservoir. Fall will soon move into the Valley and the World, as we know it is still under the threat of a global pandemic. We have seen an uptick in people visiting TVA lands and stepping up to volunteer. Travel challenges have led people to understand the importance of the accessibily and affordability of public lands for all to enjoy. I encourage you to visit our Bioblitz website, as virtual classrooms across the valley are looking for ways to enhance their students learning and connection with the outdoors.

Stay safe and happy National Public Lands Day,
Suzanne (

Upcoming Opportunities

Name: Norris Reservoir Cleanup
Date: 9/19/2020
Time: 9:00 am-1:00 pm EDT
Location: Big Ridge State Park, Powell Valley Marina, and Helm’s Ferry
County: Union, TN
Description: Join the Norris River Project for their annual cleanup
Contact: Julie Graham at to register
Brian Ross (865) 632-1354 or
Name: Nottely Lake Cleanup
Date: 9/19/2020
Time: 9:00 am EDT
Location: Poteete Creek Campground Pavilion, 7686 Poteete Creek Road
Blairsville, GA 30512
County: Union, GA
Description: Join the Nottely Lake Improvement Association for their annual cleanup
Contact: Kemmy Garrett (828) 837-4553 or
Name: Fontana Lake Cleanup
Date: 11/4/2020-11/6/2020
Time: TBD
Location: Fontana Marina
County: Swain, NC
Description: Clean up Fontana Lake. TVA will be providing bags and gloves
Contact: Kemmy Garrett (828) 837-4553 or
Name: Virtual Guided Hikes
Date: Anytime
Time: Anytime, available on TVA website
Location: Virtual
County: Marion, TN; Marshall, AL; Anderson, TN;
Description: Virtual hiking experience on three TVA Small Wild Area trails (Little Cedar Mountain, Cave Mountain, and River Bluff Trail). Check on
Name: Virtual Bioblitz
Date: Anytime
Time: Anytime, available on TVA website
Location: Virtual;
County: Sullivan, TN
Description: Virtual citizen science recording of the Osceola Island Recreation Area Bioblitz
Contact: Melinda Watson (865) 632-1329 or at


National Trails Day took place on June 6th, recognizing the importance of trails systems across the nation. This year looked a little different, as many of the volunteer activities and recreational rides that would have occurred were put on hold due to Covid-19. We offered a self-guided hike for the River Bluff Trail and recognized a new trail recently completed on South Holston (see below).

Taking Care of our Trails

From mighty trees to little shrubs, TVA trail maintenance never ends. Read more.

TVA adds a new trail on South Holston

Are you a mountain biker with a passion for history? Now you can combine your two interests—and get your whole family in on the game—with TVA’s two newest trails at South Holston Dam. The Yelling Trail has ties to the Revolutionary War, and the Dam Builder Trail is connected, as the name suggests, to the building of the dam, which famously started in a hurry to provide needed power for WWII.


Volunteers at work

  • Welcome five new volunteers to help us with sites Nolichucky, Tellico, Normandy, and Douglas.
  • Congratulations to Bob Cowdrick, who recently received a hammock for completing and submitting four Condition Evaluation forms. Bob has been a tremendous help at the Micken Branch area on Hiwassee Lake in North Carolina. This is a popular area for camping a gets heavy boating use.
  • Congratulations to Brenda Hall, who recently received her t-shirt for nine sites visits to Little Cedar Mountain. Brenda and her family have been monitoring this trail for four years and is a true rock star!
“I have a busy lifestyle working fulltime with three kids.  TVA’s Adopt-A-Trail program allows me to combine one of my outdoor hobbies while volunteering.  I enjoy hiking and feel great about monitoring my trail and keeping it cleaned up for others to enjoy. It’s a great program - I have a feeling of ownership for my trail and take pride in doing my part in fulfilling TVA’s mission of service.”- Brenda Hall
  • Our volunteers have reported 160 hours this year and have been busy! We broke last year’s record of 97 hours. We have had an additional 40 hours this summer since our spring newsletter, so keep turning in your volunteer hours.


Volunteer Spotlight


Our volunteer spotlight this quarter is on Greg Penn. Greg Penn adopted Half Moon Island on Watts Bar Lake in 2018 and spends ~20-30 hours a year visiting the site on the weekends to make sure that it is clean. This location is a popular destination for many locals that are looking for a place to camp and float on the weekend. Greg has worked with the Watts Bar Lake Users Group to host cleanups and picks up litter during his volunteer site visits. Greg tells us, in his own words, the reason he likes volunteering and about his love of the Tennessee Valley river system.
I grew up on the Tennessee River.  I have spent countless days and nights on Pickwick, Tellico, Calderwood, Chilhowee, and Watts Bar.  I have also traveled the entire river system multiple times.  I love the lakes, and they have been a very important part of my life.  I found Half Moon Island to be one of the most beautiful spots on the entire river system.  It had some roughly cleared out spots for camping, but was very littered.  I thought cleaning it up a bit would be a great way to help other people enjoy the island and the lake.  A person would need nothing more than a rented canoe and a tent to make camp at one of the sites.  The island gives anyone the opportunity to have a lakefront home for the week.  I simply clean up the trash, clear out the fire pits, and keep the tent sites clear of brush and debris.  It has become a very popular spot.  Every time I see a fire glowing at night from across the lake, it makes me feel good that someone else is making use of this wonderful place and enjoying what I have enjoyed my entire life.

Thank you Greg!

Reminders and Upcoming Events

  • Adopt a Spot Volunteers: remember to fill out your Condition Evaluation Report and submit your volunteer hours to
  • Complete 4 site visits and you’ll earn a hammock. Complete 8 site visits and you’ll earn our new volunteer t-shirt. It is quick dry and long-sleeved!
  • Got a story or a photo to share about your site that you would like featured in the next newsletter? Please email and let us know.
Join the fun!
We would love to see photos of your volunteer activities and stories.

Share your adventure on social media by tagging #tvafun to your posts

Share your volunteer story by emailing for a chance to be featured in the Volunteer Spotlight

Find out about volunteer events and opportunities on TVA public lands in other parts of seven states in the Tennessee Valley

Plan your next adventure on TVA lands
This newsletter is published monthly to keep TVA’s stakeholders informed about activities associated with work on the earthen embankment at Boone Dam.

Our mailing address is:
Tennessee Valley Authority
400 West Summit Hill Drive
Knoxville, TN 37902

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