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Hello volunteers!

We are not “out of the woods” yet with the Covid-19 pandemic and are continuing to maintain protocols for public health safety. While we may not yet be ready to host volunteer events on TVA lands, we welcome you to visit and spend time outdoors on your adopted trails and spots. Still looking for a spot to adopt? We can set you up with a location in your area. Please email and we will work to find you a location. This is a perfect way to get outside for a little activity and help ease stress while still observing social distancing for safety. And it’s a great way for students to get their volunteer service hours.
In this issue of Crew Log, we celebrate five years of the program! I’m very proud of all of you.

You will find some great ways to identify the plants and animals you find on TVA trails and lands, especially the beautiful spring wildflowers that I know many of us are looking forward to.
Thank you and have a great spring!

Celebrate five years of our program!

The TVA Adopt a Trail and Adopt a Spot programs were created in 2017 and this year we celebrate five years of the public program that helps TVA keep an eye on informal campsites, pick up litter and maintain trails for our hikers, bikers and horseback riders to enjoy.

We started the program as a way to connect local communities to their public lands and trails by offering growth opportunities for trail maintenance and invasive plant removal, and to educate the public on the many recreational opportunities available on TVA public lands. That year we started out with 12 volunteers, which included members of the Alabama Backcountry Horsemen Association, Northeast Alabama Chapter; TVA employee Brenda Hall; and longtime fisherman Lowell Marlow. All of our inagural volunteers are still helping us out to this day! We launched our trail maintenance program, Team up for Trails, in 2019 and worked with many of our volunteers to help maintain trails via workshops, tools and hosting National Trails Day events.

The program has grown from four sites to 34, covering 21 counties in the TVA watershed. Your hours have more than tripled in the past five years and we have also reached over 500 readers through the Crew Log newsletter.

Throughout this year, we are going to highlight these accomplishments on social media and recognize your work. Each volunteer trail/spot adopter will receive a “5 Year Anniversary” t-shirt and we are making plans for a virtual all-hands volunteer day in the summer. Wear your shirt, snap a photo and we’ll make a large crew photo!

If you haven’t adopted a trail or spot yet, it is not too late. Please email me to find a spot that needs your help for this special year at Our summer Crew Log newsletter will highlight some of the cleanups, special projects and hard work you have completed over the years. Please submit your photos from your work across the Tennessee Valley. 

Be on the lookout for your t-shirt and more information about our planned activitites to celebrate. Let’s challenge each other this year to double our hours and recruit even more volunteers. We are aiming for 400 hours, as we double down for our 5th year Anniversary.
Your hard work to date:
2017- 12 volunteers, 48.5 hours, 4 sites
2018- 20 volunteers, 87 hours, added 5 sites for a total of 9
2019-36 volunteers, 97 hours, added 14 sites for a total of 23 sites
2020-54 volunteers, 219 hours, added 6 sites for a total of 29 sites
2021 (total to date) - 60 volunteers, 26.5 hours, added 5 sites for a total of 34 sites
Four star service awards:
-Brenda Hall
-Members of the Alabama Backcountry Horsemen of America, Northeast Alabama Chapter
-Greg Penn
-Linda Perrit
-John Klemski
-Michele Bowling
-Greensteps of Chattanooga
-Bob Cowdrick
-Tom Dixon
-Dale Miller
Eight star service awards:
-Brenda Hall
-Members of the Alabama Backcountry Horsemen of America, Northeast Alabama Chapter
-Greg Penn
-John Klemski


Upcoming Opportunities

Looking for Earth Month opportunities for community service? Join some of our partners to help clean up the beautiful lakes and rivers of the Tennessee Valley.

Name: Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful, 3rd Annual Grand Slam on Pickwick Lake
Date: 4/9/2021
Time: 12:00 pm-4:00 pm CST
Location: State Line boat ramp
(GPS Coordinates: 34.99724, -88.25076)       
County: Hardin, TN and Toshomingo, MS
Description: VOLUNTEER LIMIT IN BOAT: 20-40; REQUIRED TO BRING: MASK, BOTTLED WATER, CLOSED-TOED SHOES, PANTS RECOMMENDED TO WEAR: SUNBLOCK & BUG SPRAY. Celebrate our 3rd annual ‘Grand Slam Cleanup’ series with our partners at Living Lands & Waters. This cleanup series is part of Keep America Beautiful’s ‘Great American Cleanup.’ Must pre-register at Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful (
Name: Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful, 3rd Annual Grand Slam on Wilson Lake
Date: 4/10/2021
Time: 9:00 am -12:00 pm
Location: TVA Fleet boat launch near Wilson Dam
County: Lauderdale and Colbert, AL
Description: VOLUNTEER LIMIT IN BOAT: 20-40; REQUIRED TO BRING: MASK, BOTTLED WATER, CLOSED-TOED SHOES, PANTS RECOMMENDED TO WEAR: SUNBLOCK & BUG SPRAY. Celebrate our 3rd annual ‘Grand Slam Cleanup’ series with our partners at Living Lands & Waters on Wilson Lake. This cleanup series is part of Keep America' Beautiful’s ‘Great American Cleanup.’ Must pre-register at Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful (
Name: Dash for Trash
Date: 4/10/2021
Time: 9:00 am -10:00 pm
Location: Vienna Coffee 212 College St., Maryville, TN
County: Blount County, TN
Description: Quick, hour-long cleanup contest to see who can pick up the most trash. Held in partnership with Little River Watershed Association. Please register using the link:
Name: Explore the Cumberland, litter pickup
Date: 4/10/21
Time: 11:00 am CST
Location: Red River Canoe
8002 Highway 41 N, Adams, Tennessee 37010, United States
County: Van Buren, TN
Description:  Join the Cumberland River Compact for a weekend of camping, kayaking, and cleaning up the Red River. Please register at
Contact: MeKayle Houghton,
Name: Cherokee Lake Users Association Cleanup
Date: 4/14/21
Time: 9:00 am CST
Location: Chelaque Estates
County: Hawkins, TN
Description:  Join the Cherokee Lake Users Association for their annual cleanup.
Contact: Donna Dunn at 631-495-0031 or
Name: Explore the Cumberland, litter pickup
Date: 4/17/21
Time: 11:00 am CST
Location: Rock Island State Park; 82 Beach Road; Rock Island, TN 38581
County: Montgomery, TN
Description:  Join the Cumberland River Compact for a weekend of camping, recreation, and environmental stewardship to target remote sites of persistent and problematic litter on the Caney River. Please register at
Contact: MeKayle Houghton,
Name: Cherokee Lake Power Cleanup
Date: 4/17/21
Time: 9:00 am -12:00 pm
Location: Quarryville Boat Ramp off Hwy. 11W, near Mooresburg, TN
County: Hawkins, TN
Description:  Join Holston Electric Cooperative for a cleanup on Cherokee Lake
Contact: Michelle Simpson,
Name: South Knoxville Community Cleanup
Date: 4/17/2021
Time: 9:00 am -12:00 pm
Location: Sam Duff Park; 4060 Chapman Hwy, Knoxville 37920
County: Knox, TN
Description: Join Keep Knoxville Beautiful for a cleanup in the South Knoxville community area. 
Contact: Alanna McKissack,
Name: Marbut Bend Nature Walk
Date: 4/21/21
Time: 8:00 -10:00 am CST
Location: Marbut Bend Trail
County: Limestone, AL
Description: Join us for a nature walk at the Marbut Bend Trail
Contact: Leigh Patterson,
Name: Clean McMinnville
Date: 4/24/21
Time: 8:00 am-12:00 pm
Location: Check in at Smooth River Outfitters; 245 Barren Street, McMinnville, TN 37110
County: Warren, TN
Description:  Let’s get the Barren Fork River ready for the busy tourist/paddling season ahead by cleaning it up!
Contact: Paige Chastain,
Name: Keep Blount Beautiful, Earth Day Recycling
Date: 4/24/21
Time: 12:00 pm- 2:00 pm
Location: First Baptist-Maryville, 202 W Lamar Alexander Pkwy, Maryville, TN 37804
County: Blount, TN
Description:  Join Keep Blount Beautiful for an annual collection event for hard-to-recycle items for proper recycling or reuse.
Contact: Brittney Whipple,
Name: Nottely Spring Cleanup
Date: 4/24/21
Time: 9:00 am
Location: Lakeside Village Meeting Center and Dock
County: Union, GA
Description: Join Lake Nottely Improvement Association for the Spring Lake Cleanup on April 24th meeting at Lakeside Village meeting center and dock. We will meet up, discuss where cleanup crews are needed, and boat out to predetermined areas around 9am. Trash bags, grabbers, and gloves are provided to all volunteers.
Contact: Lynn Varian at
Name: Boone Lake Association Cleanup
Date: 4/24/21
Time: 9:00 am
Location: Winged Deer Park in Bristol, TN
County: Sullivan and Washington, TN
Description: The 2021 Annual Boone Lake Cleanup will be happening on Saturday April 24 and will involve more collection sites this year since the water levels will allow boats to reach more areas.

Using an App to Explore the Living World Around You

To be outdoors in the Tennessee Valley in any season is to be surrounded by a magnitude of color, sound and movement. There is life everywhere, for this is one of the most biologically diverse regions of the United States, if not the entire world.

From wildflowers and trees to birds and bees and everything in between, there is an abundance of flora and fauna to observe in our region of plenty, and TVA public lands are great places to go and see it. If you want to know more about what you are seeing, iNaturalist is a great app to have on your smart device.

iNaturalist is an app and a website for “nature nerds”. People use it for a variety of reasons, from identifying and learning more about a species, to create a species inventory of a specific area, or perhaps to create a list of species you’d like to see when visiting a new location.
For younger nature nerds, iNaturalist has an app called SEEK. Use it to help your kids learn about nature.
Each observation made to iNaturalist contributes to a biodiversity index (SEEK does too if you share each observation with iNaturalist). Knowing where species occur helps scientists and resource managers, like TVA biologists, make decisions on how to manage for that species.
At any time you can join one of the TVA projects. We kick off the addition of new projects by hosting BioBlitzes, which are events where we invite the public to see how many species can be uploaded to iNaturalist in a four-hour span. We have biologists on hand to help with identification and a photographer for some of the smaller organisms collected. Each year we add two projects. This year we are planning a BioBlitz at our Cave Mountain Trail (July 17) and at one of the trailheads at East Lakeshore Trail (July 31). For more information about our BioBlitzes, watch Discover Life in America’s website or Facebook page.
Time to get out and explore. Use the iNaturalist or the SEEK app to help TVA document the variety of species in the Tennessee Valley, or use them to see what lives in your own backyard. Look under leaves and rocks; watch flowers for beetles and butterflies; roll over a log to see if something is lurking beneath. Check back when it is wet and when it is dry; you will see different organisms in the morning than you see in the afternoon and also during different seasons. Don’t forget to keep an eye open for snakes and stinging insects and steer clear. If you look under a log or rock, be sure to carefully put it back when done.

What’s in Your Back Yard?

You don’t have to hit the woods to find interesting things in nature-- look no further than your own back yard! Our planet is full of life. In the largest forest or the smallest yard, you’ll find all sorts of creatures making themselves at home. Even if you live in the middle of a big city, look around and you’ll see that you share your space with some interesting neighbors. So let’s go on a species search!

Your goal is create a list of 15 different species that you find within 50 feet of your front (or back) door. You can choose plants or animals, or a combination of both (for more fun, divide into 2 activities- one for plants, one for animals). Whether it’s a tall tree or a tiny toad, if it’s alive it counts! For each species you find, write down a couple of related facts. Use what you already know, or look up information and learn something new. You can also use apps on your smartphone like iNaturalist to help you identify and learn about what you find.

Here are some questions you might consider asking about your newfound discovery:
  • What is it (the obvious one!)?
  • Does it depend on other species to survive?
  • Does it produce flowers?
  • What does it eat?
The final step is to email your list to
To thank you for helping us stay informed about what species live in the Tennessee Valley, we’ll send you a cool adventure kit! Be sure to include a mailing address with your submission (this information will not be shared or used for any other purpose). Lists must be submitted by Oct. 1, 2021 to be eligible to receive an adventure kit.

Did you know…..?

You can make a career out of doing this kind of thing! TVA’s biologists help us know what kind of plants and animals live in the Tennessee Valley and how to make sure we can all live happily together. Learn more about the life of a TVA biologist and other TVA careers by following this link:

Volunteers at work

  • Welcome new volunteers Brady Turner (Normandy), Luke Treadway and Beth Cook (Douglas).
  • Our volunteers have reported 26.5 hours since November. Great job on getting outside during the winter months!
  • Volunteers cleaned up a TVA parcel in December on Norris, Tennessee, and collected many old tires and other trash.
  • Mark your calender for our next Team up for Trails trail maintenance series to be held in June. The virtual workshop will be conducted by American Trails and will replace the workshop orginally scheduled in Alabama that was postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Team up for Trails is a program geared towards enhancing trail maintenance skills and providing growth opportunities for current and potential Adopt a Trail volunteers. We want you to get involved!
  • On March 20, Jerry Griffin, our volunteer for the Nolichucky site, will be hosting a cleanup with the Appalachian Paddling Enthusiasts and Keep Greene County Beautiful at the Nolichucky Dam Access. Please email for more information.
  • Congratulations to Tom Dixon and John Klemski for receiving their volunteer program hammocks and t-shirts as recognition for meeting monitoring requirements this past year. Tom has been actively monitoring the Big Ridge Trail on Chickamauga Resevoir and John has worked tirelessly on Melton Hill.

Reminders & Upcoming Events

  • Adopt a Spot Volunteers: remember to fill out your Condition Evaluation Report and submit your volunteer hours to
  • Complete four 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.



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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