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Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association

   Protecting clean water and free-flowing rivers in TN since 1966.

Press Room

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  • Friday, February 17, 2023 9:04 AM | Operations TSRA (Administrator)

    We are saddened to announce that Ted Drueke, a long standing and active member of TSRA, passed away last week:

    Theodore "Ted" Drueke Obituary - The Tennessean

    Our condolences go out to Frances and the Drueke Family.

  • Monday, August 01, 2022 8:47 PM | Vinson Dill (Administrator)

    Great session this year. Woody, Mike, Vinson Instructors, with Morris, and Ellen running supporting.

    Perfect Group size, not too small, not to big. Weather cooperated the whole weekend and we were able to run all the drills we had planned. As we typically do with this class, it's challenge by choice. Most people jumped at the challenge to improve their skills in the whitewater wading, whitewater swimming, throw ropes, in water re-entries, and in boat rescues.. ( T-rescues, Hand of God, etc).

    This class teaches skills all whitewater  boaters should have a some point, and its also good to take to re-sharpen your skills..

    Checkout the pictures on our FB Chat Page.

  • Wednesday, June 22, 2022 4:29 PM | James Parnell (Administrator)

    Over Memorial Day Weekend, American Canoe Association rolled out the brand new Paddlesports Angler Curriculum. This new curriculum was developed over several months and this very first class was in planning for a year. Tennessee State Parks supported the class with boats and gear for those that were in need.  Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency allowed us to hold the 2 day course on the Buffalo River at the TWRA Buffalo Ridge Refuge.

    The lead instructors for the class were the ACA President of the Board of Directors, Robin Pope, and TSRA VP Geoff Luckett. They were supported throughout the weekend by ACA certified instructors: Daniel Mckee, Daniel Rogers, and John Michael Cassidy, and Andrea White. Organizations being represented were: TSRA, West Tennessee Canoe Kayak Club, Metro Nashville Parks, and Georgia River Network. The issue of kayak fishing safety has become such a concern, we were able to get all of the above mentioned organizations to pull together and get this class done.

    Throughout the weekend the participants were able to use a combination of classroom instruction as well as hands on, and on the water training. Topics covered included fishing specific knowledge and skills, as well as kayak safety knowledge and skills. 

    It was a very successful weekend which lead to the ACA having 4 new certified Paddlesports Angler instructors, 3 students that have decided to pursue certification to become ACA instructors, and an entire class of paddlers/anglers that are now able to enjoy a day on the water with much more confidence in their angling and paddling skills. 

    If you are an experienced paddler but would like to get some basic knowledge about kayak fishing, or an experienced angler that would like to get more knowledge on the proper techniques for safety and paddling, this is a class that you could enjoy. It can lead to having much more productive days on the water, while being safe, paddling and fishing.


  • Tuesday, April 19, 2022 9:49 PM | Vinson Dill (Administrator)

    2 TSRA teams have been created to adopt sections of the Clear Creek in the Obed Wild and Scenic River.

    Barnett to Jett section of Clear Creek.

     Lilly Bridge to Clear Creek Confluence 

    The National Park Service is looking for additional sections to be adopted.

    • Bice Creek to Barnett Bridge (overnight trip, 19 miles)
    • Devil’s Breakfast Table to Obed Junction (2 miles)
    • Obed Junction to Clear Creek Confluence (4 miles)
    • Adams Bridge to Potters Ford (4 miles)
    • Potters Ford to Obed Junction (12 miles

    Watch Facebook and our webpage for cleanup dates to be posted later this year.

    For more information

  • Tuesday, April 05, 2022 10:35 AM | Vinson Dill (Administrator)


    You did an awesome job this year! We couldn't have done this well without you!

    Rendezvous Thank You!    (from John)

    It was great seeing everyone this year and thank you for helping to make this year’s Rendezvous a success. We had 135 people register to attend and a great turnout for paddling trips, hikes and the Saturday night Live & Silent Auctions. This was the 30th year for Rendezvous at Camp Nakanawa!

    It’s always good when the planning and hard work come together to give us an opportunity for fellowship and good times. The Trip Leaders and Safety Boaters did a great job. We are always looking for ways to improve and make this better event in the future. Please let me know your thoughts and if you would be willing to take a more active role in next year’s 2023 Rendezvous.


    John Schneider

    2022 Rendezvous Chair

  • Monday, March 14, 2022 5:25 PM | James Parnell (Administrator)

    Jack Lyle’s RiverKids – Call for Volunteers

    In 2019, TSRA launched “Jack Lyle’s RiverKids,” a multi-year program made possible by the Jack Lyle Memorial Fund, which began with a legacy bequeathed by Jack Lyle himself. Our mission is to introduce disadvantaged inner-city youth to the wonders of nature via paddle-sport.

    This year, RiverKids events will be held for three Thursdays in June, all at locations near Nashville. We will teach basic water skills and safety for recreational kayaking, and we’re seeking volunteers who feel comfortable helping kids learn paddle-sport on Class I water.

    In return for your service, you’ll receive free CPR/First Aid training and free Sierra Club membership, along with the immense satisfaction of showing kids the joys of boating. Interested? 

    How to Volunteer: For more details, email You may also update your profile on and sign up for this and other volunteer opportunities.

    How to Donate.  The Jack Lyle Memorial Fund covers ongoing multi-year costs of volunteer training, equipment rentals, snacks, and other fees for getting kids on the water.. We welcome any amount to support this important program. Please make your checks payable to TSRA Jack Lyle Fund, and mail them to TSRA, P.O. Box 159041, Nashville, Tennessee 37215-9041. Thank you for your generosity! Or if you'd prefer making a donation today you can click the donate button below and select Jack Lyle River Kids.


  • Monday, November 08, 2021 5:49 AM | James Parnell (Administrator)

    TSRA Board of Directors had a very productive and fun retreat November 6-7 at TWRA Buffalo Ridge Refuge in Waverly, TN. Those in attendance were Vinson, Melissa, Geoff, Deb, Jessie, Gary, Sally, Daniel, Vinny, John, Charlie and Woody. Some of the items on the agenda included updated the Board of Directors Handbook, setting dates for next year's events and brainstormed about future classes and events. A few of us stayed overnight and scouted access sites on the Buffalo River for a good stretch to hold paddle and safety/rescue classes. The retreat was such a success that it was agreed to make this a yearly event. 

  • Thursday, July 01, 2021 12:38 PM | James Parnell (Administrator)

    You already know that TSRA serves as a paddling club for Middle Tennessee paddlers...and you probably know that TSRA has supported clean water and environmental initiatives over the years, and helped with paddler education and building new canoe and kayak accesses...but are you aware of the contributions TSRA members have made toward conservation-focused land purchases?

    It turns out, over the past 20 years TSRA — on behalf of Tennessee paddlers — has donated more than $53,000 to strategic land purchases by TennGreen Land Conservancy (formerly the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation), which have then been turned over to public lands agencies like Tennessee State Parks and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

    Specifically, TSRA has helped TennGreen Land Conservancy purchase land at:

    - Scott’s Gulf in White County on the Caney Fork River (Bridgestone/Firestone Centennial Wilderness)

    - Stillhouse Hollow Falls in Summertown (Stillhouse Hollow Falls State Natural Area

    - Devilstep Hollow at the headwaters of the Sequatchie River (Cumberland Trail State Park)

    - Virgin Falls near Sparta (Virgin Falls State Natural Area)

    - Cummins Falls on the Blackburn Fork River in Jackson County (Cummins Falls State Park)

    - Happy Hollow on the Caney Fork River

    - Rock Island at the Caney Fork River (Rock Island State Park)

    - the Lone Star tract connecting the Cumberland Trail, with river frontage on Daddys Creek and protecting the headwaters of Ozone Falls (Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail)

    In addition to the funding TSRA has contributed to TennGreen, over the last 2 decades TSRA has donated more than $30,000 to the Swan Conservation Trust to be put toward the acquisition of the land that includes the headwaters of Big Swan Creek.

    And TSRA and other paddling clubs are currently working with Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning on the Cumberland Plateau to support additional land acquisitions near the Obed Wild & Scenic River.

    So, when you wonder what your TSRA membership dues or class fees for paddler training are going toward, rest assured that the leaders at TSRA are keeping an eye open for situations where we can add our funds to a larger effort and have a conservation impact that is greater than the sum of its parts!

    We could use your help in the ongoing work to preserve our free flowing streams.

    Renew your membership today. It’s only $25/year for your entire household or $10 for a student membership:

    Or make a donation of any amount:

  • Tuesday, June 08, 2021 11:36 AM | Gary Weatherford (Administrator)

    TSRA is offering two scholarships, valued at $200 each, to an upcoming Rescue Instructor certification course. To apply for the scholarship, please contact Jessie Finamore at no later than Monday, June 21st, 2021.

    Instructor candidates who do not want a scholarship can register for the class now; all TSRA members receive a 10% discount on all NOLI instruction by using promo code TSRA at checkout. Additionally, USA Raft is offering a discount on camping/cabins if you tell them you are an instructor candidate in this class when making your reservation.

    None of us know what July has in store for us from a coronavirus perspective, but NOLI has committed that the health, safety and well-being of staff and students are their priority. If the class needs to be cancelled or postponed, NOLI will issue a full refund.

    So, what is this class all about? Do you want to learn how to teach others to be safer on the water while also becoming better prepared to lead a rescue when things don’t go as planned? The ACA River Safety and Rescue Instructor Course (Level 3) will help you get there by training you how to teach recognition and avoidance of common river hazards, execution of self-rescue techniques, and simple rescues of paddlers in distress.

    What makes this class different from a typical Swiftwater Rescue Instructor certification class? Some candidates will perform at a L3 Rescue Instructor level to be able to teach rescue on class II waterways...but some will perform at a L2 Rescue Instructor level to be able to teach rescue on class I waterways. This is, nationally, the first time an ACA rescue instructor course has been held with the opportunity to come out certified to teach rescue to entry level boaters on class I waterways. If your performance in the class merits a whitewater certification to teach on class II, then you can earn up to an L3, but if your goal is to teach recreational and entry level boaters how to be safer, this is a class you don’t want to miss.

    Date: July 9-11, 2021
    Location: Nolichucky Outdoor Learning Institute (NOLI), Erwin, TN
    Instructors: ACA ITE Robin Pope and Scott Fisher

    Course Prerequisites (see the NOLI website for complete details):

    ·       Age 18+

    ·       Good overall health and fitness

    ·       Comfortable in moving waters

    ·       Proficient in self-rescue skills

    What is this scholarship all about? TSRA is offering two scholarships, valued at $200 each. To apply for the scholarship, please contact Jessie Finamore at no later than Monday, June 21st, 2021.

    Scholarship Requirements and Additional Considerations:

    ·       Each year that your ACA Rescue Instructor certification lasts (which is four years), scholarship recipients must be available and agree to help TSRA by teaching one TSRA Rescue for Rec Boaters two-day course and then also supporting either a TSRA Whitewater Basic River Rescue or TSRA Swiftwater Rescue course.

    ·       Applicant must be a current TSRA and ACA member prior to being awarded a scholarship.

    ·       Food, lodging and transportation are the responsibility of each instructor candidate.

    ·       Upon certification, instructors will be responsible for $35 annual SEIC dues.

    ·       Certified instructors will need current CPR and First Aid certification, but this can be completed after the ACA certification is earned.

    ·       TSRA plans to offer future CPR/First Aid training for a nominal fee. Date(s) are to be determined.

  • Friday, February 19, 2021 8:01 AM | James Parnell (Administrator)

    JOIN TCV February 26 for Their annual #NatureVotes event! This year's event will virtual and live streamed on Facebook & Youtube!

    With live music, legislative updates, guest speakers, interviews, and more, it will be a night you won't want to miss!

    All proceeds go to keeping Tennessee's land wild, free, protected, and preserved for future generations.


    We hope to "see" you there!

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Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, #58-1746179.

P.O. Box 159041 Nashville, Tennessee 37215-9041

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