AP NEWS

Dunbar Cave State Park honored as top park in 2019

January 31, 2020 GMT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The state’s Department of Environment and Conservation on Thursday announced that Dunbar Cave State Park has been selected as the 2019 Tennessee State Park of the Year.

The agency says Dunbar Cave State Park — which encompasses 144 acres —- is the site of significant prehistoric Mississippian Native American cave art, as well as a prehistoric site for part of the Eastern Woodlands.

Over the last two years, staff has transformed Dunbar Cave State Park to redeveloping cave tours to be more engaging.

Research performed by park staffers resulted in new discoveries of Mississippian art and rare Cherokee written symbols that represent syllables.

“Dunbar Cave State Park represents some of the highest qualities of our state parks system,” said Deputy Commissioner Jim Bryson. “It takes a lot to stand out among the work of our 56 state parks, and we are proud of the work that has been done at Dunbar Cave.”

The Park of the Year honor is determined by the parks and conservation directors.