Frozen Head named 2020 State Park of the Year

Ingram says staff worked hard for top award

By Goose Lindsay

WECO News

One of Morgan County’s hidden gems picked up a huge honor recently as Frozen Head State Park and Natural Area has been named State Park of the Year by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

Several factors helped determined the 2020 State Park of the Year including excellence in sustainability, interpretation, natural resources management, facilities management and customer engagement.

“We knew we had a good shot at it and felt good about it,” Frozen Head State Park Manager Jacob Ingram said. “We’ve done a lot for the park this year and a lot for the community, and it’s just an honor to be awarded that top prize this year.”

Ingram said the award shows the dedication of those that work hard to make Frozen Head a special place.

“This award is more about the individuals that work here day-in and day-out,” he said. ”If it wasn’t for the passionate, proud employees that we have working here, we would have never won this award. Every day, just coming to the park trying to make sure it’s the best it could possibly be, coming up with new projects and new ideas to enhance that visitor experience.”

Ingram felt Frozen Head met the criteria by working hard in every category.

“We’ve made some upgrades to some older facilities. We put a new roof on the stage area,” he said. “We’ve added new signage and interpretive signage so that folks don’t necessarily have to be around other folks. They can hike a trail and learn about the natural resources that we have here.

“We pride ourselves with being engaged with every visitor that comes here and being engaged with the community because that’s kind of our main goal here at the park.

“We’ve also been working on our virtual programming, our trails and improving the facilities we have here.”

While winning Park of the Year is a great accomplishment for Ingram and his staff, he says they would like to do it again in the future.

“I don’t think anybody has ever repeated Park of the Year,’ he said. “You’ve got 56 state parks and it’s going to be awful tough because everybody is working hard and doing good things, but we’re honored and we’re going to give it our best shot to repeat.”

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