Celebrating 40 Years of Conservation in Tennessee
The Nature Conservancy reflects on four decades of accomplishments and a vision for future conservation work in the state.
The Nature Conservancy in Tennessee proudly announced its 40th anniversary as of December 2018. In four decades, the organization has preserved over 340,000 acres and has contributed to 46 different public lands in Tennessee.
The legacy of TNC’s work in Tennessee began in 1978 with the acquisition of its first property, the Taylor Hollow Preserve in Sumner County. Today, Taylor Hollow boasts a rich forest with several endangered and threatened plant species, a spring-fed stream, and a hidden cave. Since 1978, TNC has continued to identify areas like Taylor Hollow that are critical to land, water and wildlife conservation.
“Our 40th anniversary represents an opportunity to reflect on what we have learned,” says TNC’s Tennessee state director, Terry Cook, “and determine how to tackle environmental issues that are more significant and complex than ever before.”
With more caves located in Tennessee than in any other state, TNC has become a national leader in bat conservation through its unique Cave and Karst Program. Established in 1981, this program has helped protect endangered species, such as the gray bat and Indiana bat, as well as monitor bat populations, research white-nose syndrome, and develop an artificial bat cave for research.
Moving forward, TNC is focusing on innovative solutions to some of the world’s most urgent environmental challenges such as climate change. The organization intends to test cutting edge strategies, side-by-side with traditional conservation tools, at the 5,800-acre Bridgestone Nature Reserve at Chestnut Mountain. This property is TNC’s newest Tennessee preserve thanks to a donation from Bridgestone Americas, Inc.--the largest land donation in TNC’s history in Tennessee. A first step includes enrolling the property in TNC’s Working Woodlands program which engages private landowners in sustainable forest management practices that generate revenue from timber management and the carbon market.
The organization is also concentrating on building healthier cities across Tennessee, using its science to make an impact. TNC has embarked on a public-private partnership with Metro Nashville as part of “Root Nashville,” a project that focuses on improving the city’s tree canopy. Together, the partners intend to plant 500,000 trees across Davidson County by 2050.
Visit www.nature.org/tennessee to support this work and learn more about the TNC’s work in Tennessee.
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The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries and territories: 38 by direct conservation impact and 34 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.