Wildlife sanctuary to become new state park

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge will become the 56th state park in Tennessee.

Gov. Bill Haslam recently made the announcement at the annual Legacy Parks Foundation luncheon in Knox County.

The refuge is a Knox County wildlife sanctuary that is currently managed by the Seven Islands Foundation and Knox County Parks and Recreation.

Uses for the refuge include a wildlife sanctuary, an area for hiking and observation and an educational facility for schools and other groups.

Officials say the county will transfer the 360-acre property to the state over the coming months and Tennessee State Parks will begin managing the site in July.

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