2014 Accomplishments

  • Received $5000 grant for the 2014 Mountaineer Folk Festival
  • Removal of invasive plant (weed) around the lake. Needs to be eradicated while water levels are down and plant is exposed by clipping it back; Friends and other volunteers removed approximately 75% of the seed heads, slowing the spread. State payed for poisoning of the plants this summer. Will have to be retreated several summers to come.
  • Lost Creek clean up, January 2014; Park volunteer Frank Quinn participated in this effort
  • Extensive internal financial audit; $3500 refund from IRS based on past tax audit; hiring book keeping firm to assist with accounting efforts and consistency
  • Vendor satisfaction survey and database
  • Staffing Nature Center with 2 new employees 7 days per week
  • Purchase of sand for volley ball court
  • Purchase of 2 Defibrillators for medical needs of park visitors
  • Inventory organization

2013 Accomplishments

  • 2nd Place Award in Friends display contest
  • Purchase of updated cash register
  • Purchase of boat motor for lakeside maintenance by park staff and volunteers
  • Partnered with the Upper Cumberland Tourism Association (UCTA) for booth at the ¬†Cookeville Home & Garden Show to promote the Friends and the park
  • A huge win for us was to finally see through the completion of the Fall Creek Falls Park Guide & Hiking Map; this map was several years in the development and we're extremely excited to have these maps finally available for sale in our Nature Center

2012 Accomplishments

  • Successfully managed the craft portion of the Mountaineer Folk Festival 2012; this was one of the most successful festivals yet
  • Provided the avenue and helped with the grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission which is used bto partially func the Folk Festival
  • Ran the gift sales / book store area at the Betty Dunn Nature Center and helped keep the building open during ceratind ays of the week; there was a $10,000 increase in gross sales from 2011
  • Supported financially the Fall Creek Residential Environmental Education Center, Tennessee State Park's only true residential EE center; the Friends buy both equipment and uniforms for the naturalists that work at the Environment Education Center
  • The Friends website is great and Ms. Shawn Romano is doing a great job of keeping it organized and up-to-date
  • The last quarter of 2011 saw the finances of the Friends in shambles, basically due to lack of oversight by a couple of people; however, the baord was able to re-establish the Friends onto solid financial footing in 2012
  • The Christmas on the Mountain event was the most financially successful of that event so far; the organization was far superior to other COM's and there were no "free" booths for the crafters

2011 Accomplishments

  • Printed & promoted limited mailing of Corporate Sponsorship packages
  • Created New Friends Membership Application
  • Established Volunteer Work Days and hosted several successful initiatives
  • Negotiated and closed on the Helen Medley 4.6 acre tract
  • Successfully managed the Craft Portion of the Mountaineer Folk Festival 2011. This was one of the most successful festivals yet.
  • Provided the avenue and helped with the grant from the the Arts Commission which is used to partially fund the Folk Festival
  • Ran the Gift Sales/Book Store area at the Betty Dunn Nature Center, and helped to keep the building open during certain days of the week.
  • Supported financially the Fall Creek Residential Environmental Education Center, the State Park's only true residential Environmental Education. The Friends buy both equipment and uniforms for the naturalists that work at the Environmental Education Center.
  • Assisted in obtaining and managing a Recreational Trails Project (RTP)grant for the sum of $85,000.  The Friends might possibly have to bring some $ to the table for match of the main grant. However, most of the match will be provided by park materials and labor.
  • The Friends web site is great, and Shawn Romano is doing a great job of keeping it organized and up-to-date.
  • Published 2 Newsletters in 2011 (actually organized by Matt Pereira, and intern from William and Mary University).
  • Maintain 501 c(3) status
  • Co-sponsored 33rd Annual Mountaineer Folk Festival
  • Co-sponsored Christmas on the Mountain 2011

2010 Accomplishments

  • Co-sponsor 32nd Annual Mountaineer Folk Festival
  • Co-sponsor Christmas on the Mountain
  • Established Volunteer Work Days at FCF
  • Purchased new computer for Nature Center
  • Maintain 501 c(3) status
  • Corporate Sponsorship packages finalized for printing
  • Purchased Rock for George Hole Overlook
  • Purchased craft supplies for Naturalist programs
  • Purchased Naturalist uniforms
  • Received donated toys for Santa
  • Saved $600 on Christmas purchases
  • Purchased new Cash Register for Nature Center
  • Leased Credit Card Machine witha a new company to save on merchant fees

2009 Accomplishments

  • 1 Year Membership to EMMA
  • Friends web site redesign and current
  • Donation of shelves in Nature Center
  • Arial Flyover for Hemlocks
  • Corporate Sponsorship Draft
  • Revitalization of multiple committees; Membership & Nominating
  • New Office Manager hired
  • Purchase of uniforms & rain suits for Naturalists
  • 130 Mountaineer Folk Festival Crafters
  • Over $2,000 raised at MFF Silent Auction
  • Approval to upgrade Friends computer
  • 120 Friends Members
  • Continue 501-C status
  • New Printer Purchased
  • Lawn Mower donated to Nature Center
  • Successful turnout for 6th Annual Friends
  • Raised enough funds to keep the Nature Center open

2008 Accomplishments

At the Nature Center

  • Expanded Retail Sales area to include minimal emergency camping & caving items & minimal toiletries, increased product line and added eco friendly T-shirts, water bottles, new hat line, plus showcasing our local artists
  • Redesigned and up-to-date website, allowing fast and accurate way for the distribution of education and interpretive information
  • A 23% increase for the Mountaineer Folk Festival and 100% participation in Christmas on the Mountain
  • Donate cardboard toward the parks recycling program and volunteer in the VBC recycling program
  • Friends sponsored summer Yoga Program was a huge success; The early morning turnout was between 6-20 participants ranging in age from 6 to 75
  • With the help of the Park Representative & staff, a TN Arts Commission Grant was dispensed for activities with the Mountaineer Folk Festival for cultural awareness through the arts
  • Applied and received Nonprofit Standard Mail rate mailing privileges, which saves money on postal costs and also supports local business growth
  • Staff personel attended grant writing workshop in Bristol, TN
  • Newsletter re-designed & consistently published for our members
Membership(s) & Community Support

  • Tennesseans for the Arts
  • Joined the Greater Van Buren County - Spencer, TN Chamber of Commerce
  • Alliance for the Cumberlands
  • Formed a Land Acquisition Committee
  • Established Volunteer Chair Position to coordinate & further Friends volunteer efforts at the park while bringing awareness to park related issues
  • Donated time & fundraising support toward the 2008 Relay for Life
  • Work with the Tennessee Parks and Greenway Foundation
  • Staff personel has attended:
    1. Team building program in Nashville - GET MOTIVATED!
    2. MMA Creative's Google Analytics class for better web site recognition and hits
    3. Chamber sponsored - State discussion on electric saving ideas in the workplace
    4. Van Buren County Leadership Graduate 2007-2008
  • Requested exemption status through the State of TN 502(a)(2) approved
  • Continue to have 501(c)(3) status (A Non-profit tax exempt status)
Purchases / Donations / Other From the Friend's

  • Native American Artwork for the Nature Center (NC) to enhance overall appearance & cultural significance
  • CD Player & musical Collection for the NC donated
  • Merchandise / products donated for sale in the NC 100% proceeds going to the Friends (books - waterbottles)
  • Purchase supplies for the EEC program, the Mountaineer Folk Festival & Christmas ont he Mountain
  • Created/Maintain/update Friend's Website donated by board member
  • Professionally designed & donated post cards, flyers, posters, logo & branding for the Friend's program
  • Yoga mats, videos, books toward the Friends Volunteer Yoga Program
Activity Participation

  • Completed Log School House Project
  • Completed the Friends of Fall Creek Falls Cookbook -- Now on Sale!
  • Maintain the Gift/Book Shop at Nature Center
  • Co-Sponsored Mountaineer Folk Festival held every September
  • Placed donation boxes throughout park, including a large painted box placed at the Fall Creek Falls Overlook
  • Provided Environmental Education Center support
  • Increased membership
  • Sponsored the creation of a James M. Taft memorial display at the park
  • Supported Lands Unsuitable for Mining Petition (LUMP)
  • Participated in restoring plants in the park through the "Iris Fund" program
  • Sponsored "Friend's Day"
  • Joined the Greater Van Buren County - Spencer, TN Chamber of Commerce
  • Attended State Parks Forum
  • Attended first TN Chapter of the "Trail of Tears" Association at the Park.
  • Completed State Audit
  • Renewed State Charter
  • Established Land Trust Committee
  • Supported Wild Foods Day