TCWP (Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning) is dedicated to achieving and perpetuating protection of natural lands and waters by means of public ownership, legislation, or cooperation of the private sector. While our first focus is on the Cumberland and Appalachian regions of East Tennessee, our efforts may extend to the rest of the state and the nation. TCWP's strength lies in researching information pertinent to an issue, informing and educating our membership and the public, interacting with groups having similar objectives, and working through the legislative, administrative, and judicial branches of government on the federal, state, and local levels.

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TCWP sponsors outdoor activities and informational programs.

Big South Fork raft trip with trash collection – Rescheduled to May 30

     Paddlers are STILL invited to join TCWP, in cooperation with the National Park Service, for a whitewater rafting/cleanup trip down the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River on Saturday, May 30. The outing will include trash collection coordinated with the Park Service along the river.

     This is rescheduled from April 11. The water levels that day were too high.

     The outing will be from Burnt Mill Bridge to Leatherwood Ford. The weather and river conditions are unpredictable, and decisions about the nature of the trip or its actual occurrence will be made the morning of the event.

     There are some seats available on guided rafts. Rafters must be 18 years old or over, and have a moderately high level of physical fitness and stamina. This is the most rugged and scenic part of the Big South Fork gorge with some of the biggest rapids, including Double Falls, Washing Machine, The Ell, Rion's Eddy, Jake's Hole, and O&W Rapid. The scenic values of the gorge are of the highest order. The difficulty level of this outing is high, and participants are encouraged to consider carefully their fitness and stamina before undertaking the outing.

     Participants should wear wicking fabric (not cotton) and will need to bring a lunch and water. A small number of wet suits are available to loan participants, if needed. 

     We welcome other kayakers to join this trip. Safety boaters are needed for the excursions. If frequent paddlers have spare equipment and clothes, please consider bringing that along to loan others for the day.

     Pre-registration by May 25 for a raft seat is required. Participants will meet at the Fire Cache Building at 9:30 a.m., with a caravan/carpool leaving Oak Ridge at 8. For more information or to pre-register, contact Sandra Goss at 865-583-3967 or at

Ray and Jo Ann Garrett to Serve as Co-stewards of
North Ridge Trail

     Long-time TCWP members and Oak Ridge leaders JoAnn and Ray Garrett have agreed to co-steward the North Ridge Trail. They are filling the big shoes of out- going Trail Steward Susan Donnelly, who is stepping down due to increased work and life commitments.

     JoAnn and Ray are reaching out to North Ridge Trail fans, former and current section adopters, and students with service commitments to attend an event on National Trails Day, Saturday, June 6.

     Trail section adopters are needed. A trail section is adopted for a period of one year, renewable annually. Adopters are asked to inspect their trail sections four times/year. The Garretts want to accent social aspects of trail adoption and are looking forward to enhancing the trail user experience.

North Ridge Trail Maintenance Scheduled for Saturday, June 6

     New North Ridge Trail Stewards Ray and JoAnn Garrett announce that the annual National Trails Day maintenance event will focus on the west portion of the trail, west of Illinois Avenue. Volunteers should meet at the Garrett's home at 101 Windham (just off West Outer Drive) at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 6.

     Participants will carpool from the Garrett's to the trail head of the focus area and return to the Garrett's about noon. Trail maintainers should wear protective clothing (against poison ivy) and shoes, sun block, and bug spray. Clippers and loppers are useful implements to bring, along with water.

     All North Ridge Trail fans are asked to join the trail maintainers for a complimentary (and celebratory) pizza and beer lunch at the Garrett's about noon. This is a part of Ray's effort to attract maintenance volunteers to adopt North Ridge Trail segments for coming year. For more information, call or write Ray at 865.483-4466 or

Kayak Outing at Oak Ridge Marina - Saturday, June 20

     We'll celebrate the approach of the Summer Solstice with a morning kayak outing at the Oak Ridge Marina, where we've reserved 20 single and double kayaks and one canoe with Outdoor Adventures. Rental cost is $25 for a single or double kayak, including paddles and personal flotation devices. Participants are welcome to bring their own kayaks and canoes as well.

     Tentative plans are to paddle along the shores of the inlet under the guidance of some of our members who are knowledgeable about the wildflowers that might be encountered at the water's edge, then across the channel to investigate the backwaters areas. We'll meet at Outdoors Adventures (former site of the New China Palace) at 9 a.m. The event will wrap up by 1 p.m., when our half-day rental agreement expires. Participants should bring a lunch; we can eat in the boats or have a picnic when we return to the marina.

     Participants must pre-register by June 12 with Sandra Goss, 865-583-3967, or via email to All participants will need to sign waivers; a parent must sign for those under 18 years old. Waiver forms are available from Sandra or from the rental agency.

Informational Program by Kodak Butterfly Keepers -
Thursday, June 25

     Glenna and W.C. “Dub” Julian and their Kodak neighbor Lois English, Master Gardeners, share a passion for butterflies. On June 25, TCWP will host a program in which the three—the “Kodak Butterfly Keepers”—will discuss butterfly habitat preservation, as well as the beauty and complex lives and needs of butterflies. The program will begin at 7 p.m. in the City Room at Roane State Community College-Oak Ridge.

     The Julians garden at their pre-1850 home on two-plus acres. They plant for butterflies and hummingbirds; their garden is certified by the National Wildlife Federation and is a Monarch Way Station. They have been presenters at Wilderness Wildlife week since 2006, doing programs on butterflies, herbs, and backyard birds. Their garden has been featured in the Knoxville News Sentinel, the Mountain Press, Tennessee Conservationist, and Blue Ridge Country magazine.

Picnic/Outing at Gibbons Property on the Obed -
Saturday, July 25

     Save the date for this family-friendly outing to and exploration of the Jack and Mary Ann Gibbons farm on the Obed River across from Alley Ford. Former TCWP Executive Director Bill Chandler and his wife Holly, friends of the Gibbons family, will be there to show us around the property; some Gibbons family members may join us as well. We'll have a picnic lunch, and hope to visit the river from their property. Attendees are asked to bring a dish to share; TCWP will provide plates, silverware, cups, and beverages. Meeting time, carpool information and directions will be provided in an email alert closer to the date, as well as in the July newsletter.

Support TCWP through your Kroger purchases

    TCWP is now enrolled in the Kroger Community Rewards Program. TCWP supporters are encouraged to register online at Registration requires one to sign on to Kroger’s web site and establish a password through the Sign Up Today New Customer box.

     With your password, click on Edit Kroger Community Rewards information and input your Kroger Plus card number. Then enter TCWP’s number, which is 26906.

     Once this process is completed, every time your Kroger Plus card is used on check-out, TCWP will receive a credit. Kroger will send TCWP a check each quarter that reflects a percentage of all purchases made by TCWP shoppers.

     For help navigating the registration process, please call Sandra at 865. 583-3967. Thanks to everyone for supporting TCWP when you shop at Kroger.

For more information, call TCWP Executive Director Sandra at 865-583-3967, or send email to

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