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Land Trust for Tennessee celebrates 20th anniversary

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On Thursday, May 9, The Land Trust for Tennessee celebrated its nearly 400 conservation wins and 126,000 acres conserved since 1999 during a special 20th anniversary gathering at The Loveless Barn in Nashville at the northern terminus of the Natchez Trace Parkway. 

To celebrate its milestone year and chart its path forward, the organization unveiled a new logo and website, previewed its strategic conservation plan, and recognized the landowners and leaders who have helped achieve this success. 

“The Land Trust for Tennessee has accomplished so much because of landowners, donors, inspired staff and volunteers, and the foundation of visionary leaders from the start,” President and CEO Liz McLaurin said. 

The celebration began with a special gathering of conservation leaders to convey the organization’s highest honor of Board Member Emeritus to the Honorable Phil Bredesen, Mary Brockman, Martin Brown Sr., Alice Hooker, Byron Trauger and Ridley Wills II. These distinguished supporters of the organization joined Jeanie Nelson, The Land Trust for Tennessee’s first executive director and longtime leader, as those with this distinction. 

“Board Member Emeritus is the highest honor conferred by The Land Trust for Tennessee,” McLaurin said. “It recognizes those who have made extraordinary gifts of service, conservation easements, land or financial assets to the organization.”

During the event, Phil Bredesen, founder of The Land Trust for Tennessee and former governor of Tennessee, addressed the 200-plus people in attendance. 

“There are families whose grandparents who are not born yet who will be enjoying some of these places here in Tennessee,” he said. “It’s been an honor for me to be involved with this organization.” 

National Geographic photographer Stephen Alvarez, and proud Tennessean, also recounted his time spent photographing landowners who have made the decision to conserve their farms, fields and forests with the organization. 

“The human story is written in the landscape,” he said. “The Land Trust for Tennessee is not only preserving land for future generations – this organization is helping preserve stories of those who came before us, and those who will follow.” 

To view The Land Trust for Tennessee’s new logo and website, visit

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