NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Jan. 19, 2017) – Boating enthusiasts attending the 31st
annual Progressive Nashville Boat & Sportshow
at the Nashville Music City Center
are encouraged to navigate to the Corps of Engineers booth to get important information about local lakes before embarking on the water this recreation season.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District park rangers from Old Hickory, Cheatham and J. Percy Priest Lakes are stationed at booth 328 today until the end of the boat show Sunday to provide recreation, boating and water safety information, and to answer questions.
"We are excited to see the park rangers from Corps of Engineers again at the Nashville boat show,” said exhibit relationship manager, Pam Lafollette. “There are over 300-types of boats, food at the all new FishLipz Party Cove, plenty of music, food and learn to paddle.”
When the boat show opened 2 p.m. Friday, Jones from J. Percy Priest Lake, talked to show goers about boating, water safety, life jackets, land boundaries, docks, and even their favorite lakes.
“It is great for us to interact and meet with the public and specifically talk with people from other states who will most likely frequent one of our Corps area lakes this summer,” said Park Ranger Amber Jones.
Jones said water safety is the key message that is communicated to visitors who stop by. They can also grab free key chains, Frisbees, lake maps, brochures and learn how to properly wear and inflate a life jacket.
“Being here at the boat show is an opportunity for the public to ask us those questions about campgrounds, lakes, boating and dock permits,” said Jones. “Events like this allow us to get the water safety and safe boating messages out to a wide range of people in a short amount of time.”
The four-day show expects 15,000 to 20,000 visitors and it runs Thursday through Sunday. There is a wide range of vendors, canoes, motorboats, pontoons, jet skis, kayaks and million dollar yachts on display. A constant stream of visitors stopped by the Corps’ booth on the first day.
“It’s great to see participation from Corps rangers that represent the Cumberland River,” said Angela Morris from Nashville, who stopped and talked to rangers. “I had a great conversation with a couple of rangers about shoreline management and thanked them for doing a great job.”
Old Hickory Lake Resident Karlos Thomas from Mt. Juliet, Tenn., noticed Jones handing out maps and stopped to chat and ask about boundaries, shoreline management, and commended here favorite park ranger John Baird from Old Hickory for always updating her with key lake information.
“It’s good to see the rangers here and have the opportunity to ask questions or just get basic lake information,” Thomas said. “They have a great responsibility and we appreciate it.”
This year’s show features more than 180,000 square feet of boats, accessories, educational opportunities and family fun, including a catch and release trout pond. A simulated fishing boat trip at the Progressive Insurance boat, Fred's Shed Interactive Learning Center, and fishing and boating seminars.
The Nashville District operates 10 lakes in the Cumberland River Basin, which includes recreation areas and campgrounds. The district also provides collaborative water resource engineering solutions, world class public infrastructure management, and environmental stewardship for the Cumberland-Tennessee River Systems.
There were 12 fatalities at Nashville District lakes in 2016, which is an important factor that drives the park rangers to engage the public at events like at Music City Center.
“We want to encourage everyone to seriously think about boating and water safety, so they aren’t taking unnecessary risks that increase the chances of being involved in an accident,” said Jones.
The event began Thursday and remains open 12 p.m- 9 p.m. Friday, 12 a.m.- 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. Sunday at Music City Center, which is located at 201 Fifth Ave. S. Tickets are $12 and the event is free for ages 15 and younger and for military. For details visit www.nashvilleboatshow.com.
(The public can get more water safety information at http://www.lrn.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/WaterSafety.aspx and local lake information at http://www.lrn.usace.army.mil/Locations/Lakes.aspx. The public can obtain news, updates and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District on the district’s website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps.)