Watchable Wildlife Endowment Fund projects
Watchable Wildlife Endowment Funds, specifically the interest on the principle in the account, have been used to fund many sponsored and co-sponsored TWRA projects since 2000. Funds have been spent on a variety of projects, including construction of observation platforms and towers, the Crane Days events at Hiwassee Refuge, the Tennessee Amphibian Monitoring Program (TAMP), strategic purchase of land, and the Tennessee Wildside television show.
Endowment funds dollars contributed to the construction of the Black Bayou (Reelfoot) Refuge Observation Tower ($30,000), Hiwassee Refuge Observation Tower ($54,459), Williamsport Observation project ($30,000), Mossy Creek Observation Blind and Kiosk ($22,669), Shelby County Agricenter viewing platform ($15,000), and the Bowmantown Wetland Walkway and Trail ($6,000).
Black Bayou Observation Tower
The Crane Days event at Hiwassee Refuge has received over $83,000 in Endowment funds since 2002.
Tennessee Amphibian Monitoring Program (TAMP), coordinated through Middle Tennessee State University, received half of its annual funding from Endowment Fund dollars. This project monitors frog, toad, and salamander distribution and population status across Tennessee.
Several avian research projects have been funded, including Golden-winged Warbler and Cerulean Warbler nesting studies, and population monitoring, the Important Bird Areas project and web page, wading bird monitoring, and other field research projects.
Endowment funds were used in 2006 towards the purchase of 187 acres of wetlands at Lick Creek Bottoms WMA in Greene county, which in late 2009 had a Whooping Crane stop by for a short while.
The Tennessee Wildside television show has been partially funded since 2002 with over $125,000 of Endowment funds.
Elk restoration projects at North Cumberland WMA have received over $37,000 in funding since 2002.
Development of the Tennessee's Watchable Wildlife website was funded through the Endowment Fund.
We hope to develop new projects using Watchable Wildlife funds. Possibilities include erecting new Osprey nesting platforms on lakes and reservoirs, Peregrine Falcon nesting structures, observation blinds and/or information kiosks, and establishment of signs identifying Watchable Wildlife areas and projects. We are also considering developing birding trails in various parts of the state, via online and print copies.