[Slideshow] TN Wildlife Refuge Opens New Visitor Center, Saturday

Jul 16, 2014

The Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge near Paris, Tennessee, has opened a new visitors center. The 12,000 square foot center features day-long activities this Saturday for its grand opening. Joan Stevens joins Kate Lochte on Sounds Good to talk about children's activities and describes the things you'll see while standing out on their scenic veranda overlooking Kentucky Lake.

The Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge celebrates 65 years in operation, opening around the creation of Kentucky Lake. They share features unique to the area, including exhibits and environmental education, and a new veranda overlooking the lake. Initially created for migratory birds, the refuge features over 300 birds. Also, certain sections of the refuge feature 144 species of fish (more fish than can be found in all of the Great Lakes combined).

There's been a lot of preparation ahead of their opening on Saturday. Starting at 10 a.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and flag raising, followed by family friendly activities spread out in tents in the backyard. 

Children's activities include:

  • building bluebird boxes
  • live eagle programs
  • banding songbirds
  • turtle races
  • insect and butterfly collections
  • archeology and history of the rivers activities
  • a passport to get a junior achievement badge

Visitors can also enjoy the touring new facility and experiencing the exhibit halls and view a film in the new auditorium. The local Boy Scout troop serves barbecue lunch and drinks. Also, the Blue Heron nature bookstore will be open. 


Take Highway 79 North out of Paris, turn to Oak Grove Road South, from there it's a 7 mile drive (follow directional signs). The address is 1371 Wildlife Drive in Springville, TN, however, because the visitor center is a new location on a new street, it may not yet appear on GPS or Google Maps.


Monday through Saturday from 8 to 4. Full environmental education wing open to field trips and educational programs. To sign up for field trips or educational activities, contact Joan Stevens at 731-642-2091.

Friends of the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge on Facebook

Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge website