Discovery Park was honored to be selected for inclusion as an Interpretive Center on the Great River Road National Scenic Byway last week at the 2023 Mississippi River Parkway Commission (MRPC) annual meeting in Alton, Illinois.
Celebrating 85 years in 2023, the Great River Road was established in 1938 when governors of the 10 river states opted to use existing roads and highways rather than building a new continuous road, as a means of conserving land, time and money.
Stretching for 3,000 miles through and beside 10 states—including Tennessee—the Great River Road has a separate commission in each state. These commissions coordinate through the MRPC, founded to preserve and improve the natural resources, cultural heritage, economic viability, scenic quality, recreational amenities and other features significant to economic development in the Mississippi River Valley.
Interpretive Centers must first apply to be included and then go through an evaluation process after which they are voted on by the Culture and Heritage Committee of the MRPC.
Edmond McDavis III, director of the TN Delta Alliance, which is funded through a grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation, is the point person for interpretive centers in Tennessee.
As one of more than 100 Interpretive Centers, Discovery Park will now be included in the free 10-state Great River Road map that shows the Great River Road’s route through all 10 states and highlights the Interpretive Centers along the way. Travelers can plot their route and find scenic overlooks, agritourism attractions, museums and more. Maps are distributed to tourists at various locations and can also be ordered on the Great River Road website. Discovery Park will also be included on future signage that indicates the locations of Interpretive Centers along the Great River Road.
For more information, visit www.discoveryparkofamerica.com/greatriverroad
Photo Caption: Tennesseans at the 2023 Mississippi River Parkway Commission annual meeting in Alton, Illinois included (l to r): Mike McClanahan; transportation manager, Tennessee Department of Transportation Highway Beautification Office; Christian L. Treglia, director of brand promise fulfillment, Tennessee State Parks; Scott Williams, president and CEO, Discovery Park of America; Dale Dozier, building official, Dyer County, Tenn.; and Edmond McDavis III, director of TN Delta Alliance.