SHELBYVILLE, Tenn., August 2, 2022 (Newswire.com) - Tennessee drivers now have a refreshing new choice for their automobile license plate with the launch of the bright and inviting River Life specialty plate, made possible through a project coordinated by the Shelbyville-Bedford Community Foundation.
"Now, state drivers can proudly show and share their love of Tennessee rivers wherever they go," said Shane Hooper, President and CEO of the Shelbyville-Bedford Partnership, in announcing the plate's availability for pre-order. "This is the essential tag for Tennesseans who want to support safety and sustainability for our state rivers, for outdoor enthusiasts, or for anyone who wants to sport a scenic Tennessee plate on their vehicles."
Funds from the plate will initially go toward rescue, conservation and education initiatives related to the Duck River. North America's most biologically diverse river and one of the top 3 rivers in the world for fish and mussel diversity, the Duck River is also a vital component of the state's recreational economy, drawing an estimated 150,000 boaters, kayakers, canoers and anglers annually. It is also the sole water source for 250,000 Middle Tennesseans.
"The Duck River is a true Tennessee treasure," said Hooper, who noted that the program's long-term goal is state-wide river support. "Eventually, as sales of the River Life plate expand, the focus of our assistance will broaden to include all of the rivers of Tennessee, creating an exceptional opportunity for local communities to support and sustain their rivers."
Drawing on the talent and enthusiasm of student artists
Artwork for the River Life tag was created through a contest held in collaboration between the Foundation's River Life committee and Shelbyville Central High School art teachers Megan Straub and Angie Jackson. In a semester-long program, SCHS students researched different aspects of the Duck River, including history and biodiversity, and used their research as the basis for unique works of art that conveyed the story and essence of the River Life project.
Ultimately 580 student artworks were submitted for contention, and three works of art were recognized and rewarded. The vibrant art of SCHS student Alejandro Contreras Cabrera was selected for the plate, as judges deemed his artwork best captured the river's natural beauty and biodiversity.
An on-going program promising downstream impact
Approximately 5.5 million license plates will be issued this year, Hooper noted. "We know that Tennesseans love our rivers and our great outdoors, and the people of our state are always ready to support a good cause. That gives the River Life program nearly unlimited potential to support Tennessee rivers."
Pre-orders must reach 1,000 by June 2023 for plate production to begin. "I urge everyone to pre-order now," said Hooper. "Support the great rivers of our state. Get the River Life plate."
Visit shelbyville-bedford.com/river-life to pre-order.
Director of External Affairs
Source: Shelbyville-Bedford Partnership