The Land Trust for Tennessee Celebrates Conservation Success Near Winchester

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Supporters recently gathered at Dr. Linda Mayes’ 58-acre property near Winchester to commemorate a conservation easement finalized with The Land Trust for Tennessee last
October. The event showcased a shared commitment to preserving Tennessee’s natural character.

Attendees were welcomed by Dr. Mayes herself, alongside The Land Trust for Tennessee staff. Notable guests included faculty and students from Sewanee: The University of the South, reflecting Dr. Mayes’ ties to both academia and conservation.

The afternoon commenced with refreshments provided by a local eatery Lunch, featuring a selection of southern-style treats. Emily Parish, Vice President, and Gaston Farmer, Conservation Project Manager, of The Land Trust for Tennessee, delivered the program’s opening remarks, highlighting Dr. Mayes’ decision to safeguard her family’s historic farmland, ensuring its legacy for future generations.

Former Vice Chancellor of Sewanee, Dr. Joel Cunningham, expressed gratitude for the ongoing partnership with The Land Trust for Tennessee, underscoring Dr. Mayes’ contributions, and accomplishments at Sewanee. Dr. Mayes then shared more about her journey with the audience, recounting her family’s deep connection to the land going back to the 1930s and emphasizing the importance of reconnecting with nature for future stewardship.

Professor Jerry Smith, reflecting on his rural upbringing and urban students’ perspectives, emphasized the urgent need to preserve landscapes like Dr. Mayes’. He framed such conservation efforts not as nostalgic gestures, but as essential steps towards securing our collective future.

Following the program, guests explored Dr. Mayes’ property, taking in its natural beauty and historical landmarks, including a century-old graveyard.

The event served as a testament to 25 years of conservation achievements and a rallying call for continued efforts to protect Tennessee’s irreplaceable landscapes. The Land Trust for Tennessee extends its gratitude to all who joined in this celebration of conservation.

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