October 7, 2008
Senator Norris to Dedicate Wolf River Wildlife Area
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Senate Republican Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) will join other leaders Thursday morning along the banks of the Wolf River in eastern Shelby County to celebrate the completion of environmental restoration and opening of the Wolf River to public use.
Norris initiated funding and construction of the restoration project in 1994. As a county commissioner and Chairman of Shelby County’s Conservation Committee, he traveled to Washington, D.C. several times to secure funding so the Corps of Engineers could work along the Wolf.
Initially, the project was designed to alleviate erosion which threatened the bridge over the Wolf River along Collierville-Arlington Road. It expanded to provide a trail system and will include boat ramps in the near future.
As Vice-chairman of the Chickasaw Basin Authority at the time, Norris later pushed to acquire hundreds of acres along the river as in-kind contributions to match the federal investment at little additional cost to Shelby County taxpayers.
“The end result, some 15 years later, is what you see today,” says Norris. “A stable river bank and miles of hiking trails for folks to enjoy for generations to come. What you may not see is the restorative nature of this river system and how much this will protect our water supply as well as the wildlife around it.”
Norris credited efforts of the Wolf River Conservancy and his colleague on the Commission at the time, Tommy Hart, for their assistance. “This project was threatened several times over the decades by other priorities. Many hands made lighter work, and I’m pleased with the result today,” said Norris.
Norris, who represents Shelby, Tipton, Lauderdale and Dyer Counties in the General Assembly, is standing for election to a third term next month. He was recently endorsed by the Tennessee Conservation Voters and Sierra Club for his efforts.
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