Trails Go Virtual
When COVID-19 hit, it seemed that everyone wanted to be outdoors. Because TVA’s public lands provide more than 180 miles of trails, it was the perfect time for several members of Natural Resources Public Outreach team to put their in-person work on hold and hit the trail for a different kind of outreach experience – video creation.
The new job duty was a result of online brainstorming sessions among Chloe Sweda, Jessica Stevens, Beth Cook and Melinda Watson. “We were looking for outreach work that could be done solo. We realized that hiking videos could make the public aware of TVA’s fantastic trails while also engaging people who weren’t experienced with outdoor recreation,” says Beth Cook.
The videos were filmed on TVA Small Wild Areas and feature the forests, water and wildlife. From outcroppings to wildflowers to birds on the wing, viewers never know what’s around the next bend.
“The videos give people an idea what to expect on the trail – its difficulty. We also added an educational component by pausing to look at, identify and talk about species observed along the way,” says Jessica Stevens.
Chloe Sweda describes them as “great viewing for kids, hikers of all ages, or anyone who wants to become better acquainted with our trails.”
“TVA is excited to be able to share these videos on YouTube, and we look forward to featuring them in upcoming editions of River Neighbors,” says Rachel Terrell, TVA Natural Resource manager. “Until then, we invite you to enjoy a few examples at Hiking Around the Valley - YouTube.”
It’s always a good time for fun on the Tennessee Valley’s lands and waters. Not sure where to start? We have you covered! Check out some of the best recreational activities on our reservoirs. While you’re enjoying the lakes, trails, picnic areas and campgrounds, share your own stories and photos on Instagram using #TVAfun.
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