Keeping Tennessee Green
Flying into Nashville provides the viewer with a literal sea of green that extends in all directions, crisscrossed by rivers and lakes. During the past 10-15 years, this panorama has changed dramatically. Areas that were once blankets of green are now subdivisions and shopping malls and it can be hard to keep up with all of the changes. Lucky for us, there is a nonprofit group working hard to conserve as much of our farmland and wild, open space as possible: The Land Trust for Tennessee protects our natural and historic landscapes, both public and private, to make Tennessee a better place to live, work and play. Longtime staff member and Vice President of Conservation Emily Parish is passionate about the Land Trustâ€TMs mission of “giving landowners peace of mind, while accomplishing a vision for the future. Weâ€TMre helping to conserve the character of Tennessee in perpetuity.” The trust helps farmers like late Williamson County native Elizabeth Crunk, who worried what would happen to her beloved land when she passed. Mrs. Crunkâ€TMs family had been on the land since the late 1800s and she didnâ€TMt want her 150+ acres being cut into lots. Her land was as much a part of her as her granny. She gave and tended the land and the land in return sustained her both inside and out. According to Varina Willse, author of the Land Trust for Tennesseeâ€TMs “Home to Us: Six Stories of Saving the Land” publication, Mrs. Crunk spent “at least 10 years looking for some way to preserve, some way to keep this all in the family. Some way that she could pass it on.” At 90 and still working her farm, she partnered with the Land Trust on a conservation easement that has secured her land for future generations. All kinds of landowners are able to participate, not just farmers and families. The Land Trust also works in urban areas and with government and nonprofit partners to create land conservation solutions.