TN Promise Day

Old Stone Fort State Archeological Park will be among the Tennessee parks offering volunteer events for TN Promise scholars to fulfill their community service hours. Old Stone Fort will host the event on June 22, and while the event was created for TN Promise students, anyone “wanting to give back to the park in a tangible way is welcome to participate and volunteer at this event,” said Leigh Gardner, park ranger at Old Stone Fort. Participants will be working to remove overgrowth and invasive species.

Old Stone Fort State Archeological Park will be among the Tennessee parks offering volunteer events for TN Promise scholars to fulfill their community service hours.

Old Stone Fort will host the event on June 22, and while the event was created for TN Promise students, anyone “wanting to give back to the park in a tangible way is welcome to participate and volunteer at this event,” said Leigh Gardner, park ranger at Old Stone Fort.

“TN Promise is a scholarship and mentorship program with the goal to increase graduation rates for college students in the state of Tennessee,” Gardner said. “Students may use the TN Promise grant in conjunction with other educational awards they have received to cover cost of attendance and tuition to Tennessee state colleges and universities.”

In order to maintain good standing in the TN Promise program students must meet with an academic advisor regularly as well as complete eight hours of community service, added Gardner.

“While they may complete these service hours at any point during the semester, TN Promise Volunteer Day was created to give the students a scheduled opportunity to give back to maintain their standing in the program.”

Gardner encouraged locals to take part.

“While this program was created for TN Promise students, any person wanting to give back to the park in a tangible way is welcome to participate and volunteer at this event,” she said.

Gardner said she is looking forward to the event which gives a chance to students to complete their volunteer hours.

“This event is important to give the students an opportunity to complete their service hours and maintain their good standing in this academic program,” Gardner said.

The initiative also helps to keep the park clean.

“TN Promise participants will be working to remove overgrowth and invasive species from the historic Garrison Road Trail,” she said. “The paved section of this trail was once the original road which ran through Manchester. We have been working diligently with the Friends of Old Stone Fort as well as other volunteers to remove the overgrowth from this area.”

Participants will be working with common landscaping tools, such as garden shears and loppers, to cut back plant materials,” she said.

“Volunteers are welcome to bring their own tools if they prefer, such as chainsaws,” she said. “Old Stone Fort will provide manual tools, gloves, and water for participants. It is recommended that volunteers come prepared by wearing old, durable close-toe shoes and clothing they do not mind getting wet/dirty.”

Tennessee State Parks are offering volunteer events at 54 of the 56 state parks for Tennessee Promise scholars to fulfill their community service hours.

Most of the events are on Saturday, June 22.

Elena Cawley may be reached via email at ecawley@tullahomanews.com.