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In September, TVA celebrates National Public Lands Day to encourage everyone to take part in the nation’s largest, single-day, volunteer event for public lands and to recognize their natural resources and scenic beauty. This year it falls on September 28, but there are plenty of things going on all month. Below we’ve listed several ways for you to join in on the festivities.

Public lands can include national parks, monuments, wildlife refuges, forests, grasslands, marine sanctuaries, lakes and reservoirs, as well as state, county and city parks that are managed by public agencies. TVA’s public lands and reservoirs are to be enjoyed by all. We appreciate the hard work that our volunteers will provide this month and throughout the year!

Fall in the Tennessee River Valley is a special time. I am looking forward to cooler temperatures and hope that you take advantage of them to enjoy your favorite outdoor activities.

Thank you for all of your hard work over the summer,


Learn more here! 

Upcoming Opportunities

Name: Flint River Conservation Association Semi-Annual River Cleanup
Date: 9/28/2019
Time: 9:00 am-2:00 pm CDT
Location: Meet at Regions Bank, 6639 Highway 431, S Owens Cross Roads, AL 35763
County: Madison, AL
Description: Join the Flint River Conservation Association for their annual cleanup! Please contact Soos Webber to confirm your attendance and if you are bringing a canoe or will need one.
Contact: Soos Webber (256) 539-3747

Name: Loyston Point National Public Lands Day
Date: 9/28/2019
Time: 9:00 am-12:00 pm EDT
Location: Loyston Point Trail, (GPS Coordinates 36.27004, -83.9677)
County: Union, TN
Description: Join the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club, REI, and TVA for trail maintenance. Bring water, snacks, and gloves and wear closed-toe shoes.  Lunch will be provided. Meet at the main trailhead parking lot.
Contact: Brian Ross (865) 632-1354 or

Name: Lenoir City-Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful River Cleanup
Date: 9/28/2019
Time: 8:00 am-12:00 pm EDT
Location: Lenoir City Park
County: Loudon, TN
Description: Living Lands & Waters will be partnering with Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful and TVA and will bring five boats to take volunteers to clean up litter along Fort Loudon Lake shorelines.  Please register at Volunteers will be served lunch at Calhoun’s afterward.
 Contact: Melinda Watson (865) 632-1329 or at

Name: Knoxville-Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful
Date: 9/29/2019
Time: 11:00-2:00 pm EDT, breakfast at 9:30 am
Location: Concord Marina
County: Knox, TN
Description: Living Lands & Waters will be partnering with Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful and TVA and will bring five boats to take volunteers along Fort Loudon Lake shorelines.  A volunteer breakfast will take place at 9:30 am at the Lakeside Tavern prior to the cleanup. River cleanup volunteers will receive free entry to this breakfast. Following the breakfast, volunteers will walk down to Concord Marina to board boats. Please register at
Contact: Melinda Watson (865) 632-1329 or at

Name: Watts Bar Reservoir Clean-Up
Date: 9/27/2019
Time: 9:00 am
Location: Watts Bar Dam Reservation (GPS Coordinates: 35.625852, -84.777504)
County: Meigs, TN
Description: Join TVA and the Watts Bar Lake Association for a clean-up effort.
 Contact: Scott Ledford at (865) 632-1326 or if you plan on going

Name: Worthington Cemetery/Cedar Barrens Trail National Public Lands Day     
Date: 9/28/2019
Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 EDT
Location: Elza Park Gate, Oak Ridge, TN, GPS Coordinates, 36.047729, -84.207059)
County: Anderson, TN
Description: Join the Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning and TVA for an invasive plant Weed Wrangle to remove encroaching vegetation from the trail and in the cemetery. Bring water, snacks, and gloves and wear closed-toe shoes.
Contact: Angela Sutton, (865) 632-1316 or

Name: Norris Lake Cleanup
Date: 10/5/2019
Time: 9:00am- 1 pm EDT
Location: Public launch site on Oak Grove Rd. (GPS Coordinates: 36.251450, -84.136218)
County: Anderson and Campbell, TN
Description: TVA joins with the Norris Lake Project Team, to concentrate on the Cove Creek area in Anderson and Campbell County. Volunteers will be cleaning up the lake shore near the launch points and on nearby islands. Boat transportation will be provided but if you a have boat, you are welcome to bring it. Volunteers will be cleaning up the lakeshore near the launch points and on nearby islands.    Please register online at:
Contact:  Julie Graham at to register

Name: Marbut Bend Trail, Public Lands Day Nature Walk    
Date: 9/28/2019
Time: 8:00 am-11:00 CDT
Location: Marbut Bend Trailhead parking lot (GPS coordinates: 34.91162, -87.10682)
County: Limestone, AL
Description: Join TVA’s Damien Simbeck for a public education event about wetland diversity and importance.
Contact: Damien Simbeck at (256) 386-2534 or

Name: Fall Migration Bird Walk
Date: 9/26/2019
Time: 7:00 am-9:00 am CDT
Location: Upper Rock Pile Trail on the TVA Muscle Shoals Dam Reservation (GPS Coordinates: 34.79339; -87.62601
County: Colbert, AL
Description: : Join TVA’s Damien Simbeck and the Shoals Audubon Society for a bird walk to record birds seen during peak fall migration. Bring binoculars, cameras, and cell phone with iNaturalist app installed (not required)
Contact: Damien Simbeck at (256) 386-2534 or

Name: Native Plant Garden Work Day
Date: 9/28/2019
Time: 8:00 am-11:00 am CDT
Location: TVA Muscle Shoals Dam Reservation Native Plant Garden (GPS Coordinates: 34.78248458610, -87.65657903440)
County: Colbert, AL
Description: Help us remove invasive plants, weeds, and debris from garden and plant new vegetation.
Contact: Mark Morrissey, (256) 314-7608;

Name: Tennessee River Rescue
Date: 10/5/2019
Time: 9:00 am -12:00 pm EDT
Location: Chickamauga Dam Day Use Area, 4795 Amnicola HWY, Chattanooga, TN 37402 (GPS Coordinates: 35.09658, -85.22437)
County: Hamilton, TN
Description: Join TVA for the annual clean-up at the Chickamauga Dam Day Use Area as part of this popular regional cleanup event.
Contact: Mark Odom (423) 876-6864 or

Name: Lake Nottely Improvement Association’s Fall Lake Cleanup
Date: 9/28/2019
Time: 8:00 am -1:00 pm EDT
Location: Poteete Creek Campground, 7686 Poteete Creek Road, Blairsville, GA 30512 (GPS Coordinates: 34.948189, -84.094978)
County: Union, GA
Description: All supplies for clean-up are provided. We just need eager hands to help clean up the shoreline. Trash is collected from predetermined areas, loaded on the boats, and left at a predetermined location for local agencies to dispose of later.
Contact: Kemmy Garrett (828) 837-4553 or

Name: Guntersville-Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful
Date: 10/4/19
Time: 8:30 am-1:00 pm CDT
Location: Guntersville State Park Lodge (GPS Coordinates: 34.395267, -86.204964)
Description: Join the City of Guntersville, Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful, and TVA along Guntersville Lake shorelines.  A volunteer breakfast will take place at 8:30 am at the State Park lodge prior to the cleanup. River cleanup volunteers will receive free entry to this breakfast. Following the breakfast, volunteers will walk down to help with the cleanup. Please register at as space is limited.    Note: This one limited to 12 people as this is how many will fit in boat - have to rsvp!
Contact: Melinda Watson (865) 632-1329 or at

How to camp in a hammock

Hammocks are prime examples of a minimum-impact shelter. They require no ground leveling, trenching or staking. When used with a tree-friendly suspension system, hammocks do not alter the natural environment. Moreover, the smaller your camping footprint, the less likely you are to impact plants or wildlife.

REI shares these tips for hammock camping the right way:

Tip #1: Use “tree saver” straps. These wide nylon/polyester webbing straps go around the tree to minimize girdling and damage to the bark and cambium layer, which can cause wood-tissue death. Never use anything made from a non-tree-friendly material, such as plastic zip cords. Never hammer or screw anything into trees.

Tip #2: Set up hammock camp at least 200 feet from any water source. These riparian areas provide unique plant habitats and communities and are significant in soil stabilization.

Tip #3: Look for an established (pre-existing) campsite to set up your hammock. Per Leave No Trace principles: “Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.” Large hammocking groups should split into smaller groups to prevent unnecessary disturbance. Leave No Trace advises: “Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent.”

Tip #4: Don’t hang your hammock from dead trees. You could injure yourself and alter the area around you if the tree were to fall or break. Even if your chosen trees look alive, check above you for dead branches and/or fruit that could fall.

Tip #5: Check with local land managers to ensure that the area allows hammocks.

Tip #6: When you find two perfect hammocking trees (thick trunks, alive, little or no groundcover between them), carefully check for sensitive plant life (especially vital at higher elevations), wildlife habitat and hazards such as insect nests or poisonous plants. Avoid stepping on roots and lichen, and minimize transporting non-native species by cleaning shoes between trips.

Tip #7: Hang your hammock so it's no more than 18” off the ground to prevent accidents and to avoid damage to higher branches and leaves. Use the thickest part of the tree trunk and avoid trees that bend or are found in wet areas (wet soils are more susceptible to impact than dry ground).

Tip #8: Take down your hammock whenever you leave your campsite. This prevents animals or small children from being tangled up in it.

Tip #9: When your trip is ending, pack everything up and inspect your campsite and surrounding area for anything left behind. Be sure all trash is packed up and taken with you. Leave the spot just the way you found it.

Find more here

Volunteers at work

Please welcome new volunteers Michelle Smith for the Adopt a Spot parcel at Blythe Ferry on Chickamauga Reservoir; Tom Dixon for the Big Ridge Trail on Chickamauga; and Jerrie Downs who has adopted the Battle Creek parcel on Guntersville. We appreciate your help!  

TVA held five National Trails Day events throughout the month of June, including three new SORBA partnership events for volunteer trail maintenance work days. Over 86 volunteers helped us maintain over 18.5 miles of TVA trails this year, including work on three of the TVA managed trails designated as National Recreation Trails.

Congratulations to Greg Penn, our volunteer on Watts Bar, for completing his eighth condition evaluation report and getting one of the new recognition t-shirts! Greg is one of our volunteer rock stars!

TVA staff participated with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and REI for the 2nd Annual Kill the Dam Invasives event on July 6 at Fontana Dam. A total of 36 volunteers, including members of the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club, the National Park Service, the National Forest Service and the general public helped to remove oriental bittersweet and Japanese stilt grass from the Appalachian Trail and areas surrounding the Fontana Dam reservation. Thanks!

These beautiful places need your help!

Micken Branch (Hiwassee Reservoir-Cherokee, NC)
Micken Branch is a recreational boat launch located on the Lake Hiwassee in Cherokee County, NC. Help us take care of this location by signing up through our Adopt a Spot Initiative.

Hatchett Rd (Wheeler Reservoir-Limestone, AL)
This is a popular local site with camping areas, an informal boat launch and other bank fishing areas just south of Hatchett Road in Limestone County, AL. Volunteer through our Adopt a Spot initiative and help us keep this area free from litter and looking its best.

Email  for more information on these sites or other volunteer opportunities.


Reminders and Upcoming Events

  • Adopt a Spot Volunteers: remember to fill out your Condition Evaluation Report and submit your volunteer hours to
  • Remember that the time changes on November 3rd at 2:00 am and that daylight will be shorter in the evenings.
  • Complete four site visits and you’ll earn a hammock. Complete eight site visits and you’ll earn our new volunteer t-shirt. It is quick dry and long-sleeved!
  • Celebrate National Public Lands Day on a TVA trail and tag your photos at #tvafun to be featured in our next newsletter!
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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