The Land Trust for Tennessee Celebrates 25th Anniversary

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photo from Land Trust of Tennessee

The Land Trust for Tennessee marked its 25th anniversary with an Annual
Celebration held on May 9th, bringing together landowners, supporters, staff, and Board members to reflect on a quarter-century of conservation achievements and to envision the future. The event was hosted by Laura and Roy Nichol at their picturesque 152-acre property, Cardinal Hill Farm, located just over the Williamson County line.

Founded in 1999 by former Governor Phil Bredesen and a group of dedicated conservationists, The Land Trust for Tennessee has grown into a statewide force for land preservation, with over 450 conservation projects protecting more than 136,000 acres across 76 counties. The organization’s mission is to conserve the unique character of Tennessee’s natural and historic landscapes for future generations.

The evening began with drinks and hors d’oeuvres provided by Menu Makers catering. As the sun set over the Nichols’ forested property, guests gathered for a program of remarks from The Land Trust for Tennessee President & CEO Liz McLaurin and Vice President Emily Parish, as well as event hosts Laura and Roy Nichol. The speakers highlighted the significance of land conservation in Tennessee, the organization’s past successes, and the vital work ahead.

Over the past 25 years, The Land Trust for Tennessee has successfully conserved a variety of landscapes, including Century Farms and historic sites, prime farmland, wildlife habitats in the Sequatchie Valley, buffers to State parks and mountain lands in East Tennessee, and scenic viewsheds along the Hiwassee River and routes in Lynchburg.

In the last year alone, the organization completed conservation easements on 10 properties, including 1,048-acre site in the Smoky Mountain Foothills and a 217-acre recreation area named Walden’s Ridge Park. Additionally, they protected 1,330 acres resilient to climate change and conserved 253 acres of prime farmland. The stewardship team at The Land Trust conducted over 420 visits to protected properties in the past year, ensuring the ongoing preservation of these lands.

The celebration also introduced newly elected Board members Kristin Paine, Patrick Warfield, and Mandy Haynes Young, while recognizing the contributions of outgoing members. President & CEO Liz McLaurin expressed gratitude to the landowners and supporters who have been instrumental in the organization’s success. “I’m in awe of the conservation power represented in this community of landowners and supporters, and I’m confident that this energy will fuel our journey for the next 25 years. We owe our achievements to our community’s dedication and hard work. We look forward to continuing our mission over the next 25 years with renewed energy and commitment,”
McLaurin said.

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