Editorial: Laurel Run Park deserves to be preserved | Editorials

There are a lot of demands on the public dollar. While environmental infrastructure is among the most important, it is often overlooked, as is Laurel Run Park in Hawkins County.

Rogersville / Hawkins County Chamber says Laurel Run is amazing. “There are 37.5 miles of trails and a lookout point that rises 300 feet above the park to give you a unique perspective on the surroundings, old farms, an unfinished cabin and smokehouse and two waterfalls. Laurel Falls is a scenic 20 minute hike on the trail. An additional 20 minute hike will take you to Kiner Creek Falls.

“Plan to spend the day exploring all we have to offer. Inside the 440-acre park is a one-mile paved trail along the riverside for an ever-changing view, as well as a baseball / softball field, basketball court, a tennis court, playground, amphitheater and several picnic shelters scattered all over the park, ”says the chamber.

The problem is this “ever-changing view” along the river. It’s changing because the river is picking it up through flooding and erosion.

Hawkins County Facilities Manager Sarah Davis recently presented the county commission budget committee with a $ 250,000 plan to repair and preserve the park’s shoreline.

Already facing a budget deficit of $ 2 million, however, committee members did not express optimism about the money for the park in the next operating budget.

Commissioner Jason Roach said if the county “cannot fund the maintenance of the park so that it is sufficiently used by the public, then what do we do with it?”

Committee members can check out the reviews on Tripadvisor and see what the public has done with them:

• We rented a shelter for a grandson’s birthday. The children played in the playground and in the stream. Everything was perfect for our needs.

• This is the best little park around.

• I love this place. There is something for everyone and admission is free.

• Nice place to picnic, hike, take photos, view mountains and rivers, feel far away but close to everything.

• Nice quiet spot for family or group picnics, riverside fishing or hiking to the beautiful falls. Great family fun. Also have a basketball court and covered shelters.

• Beautiful picnic pavilions with roof and electricity. Friendly help. Great trail overlooking the surroundings. Good exercise and great scenery.

• Biggest tip, as everyone notes, is that if you want to see the falls in all their glory, go when there has been a decent rain.

• If you only visit the first falls, it is still worth the trip. I have been several times with and without my family and will stay there again in the future.

• I have been to this park all my life. It’s just a nice place to be active and interact with nature and others.

• One of the nicest parks in the area in my opinion. Local to my house and is well maintained and maintained.

• This park is so beautiful. There are groomed hiking trails and it is well shaded.

• I love this park. We have had several birthdays of our daughters here. We love to bring the kids on a hot summer day and let them play in the cove. Great playground. We will definitely be staying here again.

• It is a great place to run and hike. Have fun on these beautiful trails in a beautiful location.

Isn’t it worth preserving?

About Julius Southworth

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