BEAN STATION – Members of the East Tennessee Crossing Scenic Byway, along with several Grainger County representatives, planted daylilies at Veterans Overlook atop Clinch Mountain Wednesday, September 29.
The flowers were planted as part of an East Tennessee Crossing Scenic Byway project to beautify scenic byways along the 83-mile Tennessee Wilderness Road. East Tennessee Crossing Scenic Byway received grant funding to host five beautification projects along the route.
The organization chose to plant daylilies, also known as ditch lilies, as a way to connect the five communities to the historic roots of the route. The daylilies symbolize the resilience of the early pioneers who walked the path to homestead America’s first frontier.
The East Tennessee Crossing Scenic Byway beautification project was completed in partnership with Toyota Motor North America, which is the official automotive partner of the National Scenic Byway Foundation. Toyota Motor North America helped to fund the National Scenic Byway Foundation’s “Love Our Byways” micro-grant program, which funds nonprofit byway organizations “to organize conservation and beautification programs that will be amplified by grassroots volunteers.”
The East Tennessee Crossing Scenic Byway was designated as a National Scenic Byway in 2009. The East Tennessee Crossing Scenic Byway initiative, co-managed by a steering committee and the Middle East Tennessee Tourism Council, was awarded $2,000 for planting orange daylilies (Hemerocallis fulva) in locations along the byway.
The Steering Committee consists of Donna Stansberry, President of the Grainger County Chamber of Commerce; Linda Lewanski, Director of Tourism, Cocke County Partnership; Anne Ross, Director of Tourism Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce; Lauren Hurdle, Tourism Director Jefferson County Tourism; Karyn Clark, President/CEO Claiborne County Partnership; and Julie Graham, Executive Director Middle East Tennessee Tourism Council. Volunteers included college students, Keep America Beautiful affiliates, community and business leaders, chambers and youth groups.
The East Tennessee Crossing Scenic Byway expressed thanks to Veterans Overlook US Hwy. 25E, Century Bank Tazewell, Walters State Community College, the City of White Pine, and the City of Newport for offering their locations for plantings and to Rusty Wallace Toyota Morristown for assisting with the planting event.