The Nature Conservancy Announces Laurel Creech as New Tennessee State Director

State and nationally recognized leader joins The Nature Conservancy in Tennessee.

A haze covers a row of mountain ridges.
Great Smoky Mountains A slight haze from a hot summer day blankets a valley of green trees in the Great Smoky Mountains. © Byron Jorjorian

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A woman with long hair smiles at the camera.
Laurel Creech Laurel Creech is The Nature Conservancy's state director in Tennessee. © Courtesy/Laurel Creech

The Nature Conservancy has named Laurel Creech as State Director in Tennessee. She brings a wealth of leadership and sustainability experience to the program, which opened its doors in 1978. 

Creech comes to TNC from the Metropolitan Government of Nashville & Davidson County, where she helped create and serve as the Assistant Director for Metro Nashville’s Division of Sustainability. While there, Creech oversaw environmental initiatives including renewable energy, energy efficiency, green infrastructure, waste reduction practices and an education program. Under her leadership, the Division received two Governor’s Environmental Stewardship awards and four U.S. Green Building Council Impact Tennessee awards.

“We are thrilled to have Laurel at the helm to lead The Nature Conservancy’s work in Tennessee,” says James McDonald, Board Chair. “Her experience in government, alternative energy, sustainability and other environmental issues make Laurel a great addition to our talented staff and growing program.”

Creech’s experience and involvement with various environmental and sustainability groups position TNC to continue making progress in protecting Tennessee’s land and water. Creech previously served on the Board of Directors of the Nashville Parks Foundation, Cumberland Trails Conference and the Tennessee Nature Academy. She also served on the advisory boards of Urban Green Lab, Walk/Bike Nashville and Tennessee Women in Green, which she co-founded in 2008.

On a regional level, Creech has served on the Southeast Sustainability Directors’ Network’s (SSDN) Steering Committee and has been co-host of the SSDN’s Green Minds podcast. She has also been an on-air radio air talent on two Nashville radio stations: WXNA 101.5FM and WMOT 89.5FM.

Creech was nationally recognized as one of the Smart Energy Decisions’ inaugural Women in Smart Energy (WISE) in 2022, the Women in Sustainability Award for Local Public Sector in 2021 and in 2019 served as a U.S. Delegate on the European Union Sustainability Delegation Tour.

Creech's love for nature was seeded at a young age growing up in the beautiful mountains of Chattanooga, TN as a long-distance runner, cyclist and triathlete. She took that love to Nashville where she created and directed an outdoor adventure program for 13 years called Team Green Adventures. Team Green connected thousands of Middle Tennessee residents with the beauty of the outdoors across the state and beyond.

Growing up in a family dedicated to improving the health of others, Creech took that same passion and determination towards conserving nature's greatest assets so others can get as much pleasure from the outdoors as she does. From spending time hiking and backpacking to serving on numerous organizations with the same vision, her dedication to enhancing our planet is boundless and contagious.

“In addition to her professional experience, Laurel brings passionate enthusiasm for the outdoors and a love of Tennessee to her new role,” adds TNC’s Tennessee Board of Trustees Vice Chair, Christy Smith. “I look forward to witnessing the many ways Laurel will advocate for nature, and for Tennesseans, around our beautiful state."

"I am honored to lead such a revered organization as The Nature Conservancy whose impact is made possible through the support and collaboration of diverse, committed and visionary partners and friends," says Creech. "I look forward to working with my new conservation family towards a healthier, more beautiful Tennessee for today and tomorrow."

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 more than 70 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.