Frequently Asked Questions

What is The Land Trust for Tennessee?

The Land Trust for Tennessee is a leader in land conservation. We are a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization working in communities across the state to protect private and public land that defines the character of Tennessee. We are driven to protect Tennessee’s irreplaceable landscapes and sites before they disappear forever.

When was The Land Trust for Tennessee founded?

The organization was founded in 1999 by Jean C Nelson, Phil Bredesen and a group of visionary leaders. Our first conservation successes took place in Leiper’s Fork and our organization has since expanded its successes across the state of Tennessee.

What types of land do you protect?

We protect many types of land, including private farmland, forestland, open spaces in urban and suburban areas, historic landscapes and public parks. We are driven to protect the conservation values of the land. These include:

  • Soils for growing crops and pastures for livestock and horses
  • Woods where plants and animals live and thrive
  • Scenic views and historic places that add beauty and a sense of place
  • Open spaces for communities to play, learn and experience the outdoors
  • Land along rivers and streams.

How many acres of land have you protected?

Since 1999, we have protected 125,000 acres by working in partnership with communities, private landowners, public organizations, families and individuals across the state.

Do you protect private and public land?

Yes, while we work with private landowners to conserve their family properties, we also work with conservation partners on projects to expand or create protected public areas, including state and municipal parks.

Do you work across the state?

Yes. Our work currently spans 70+ counties across Tennessee. We also work directly across the state line in a limited number of Kentucky counties. Currently, our offices are located at Glen Leven Farm in Nashville and the Wheelhouse in Chattanooga.

Are you a government organization?

No. The Land Trust for Tennessee is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit land conservation organization. We are supported through the generosity of individuals, foundations and corporations.

How does The Land Trust for Tennessee protect land?

In most cases, we work with private landowners to conserve their land with a conservation easement. In some cases, The Land Trust purchases land through community fundraising efforts or partnerships. We also work with communities and partners to develop regional and community plans to protect open space and to expand and connect existing protected land to maximize our land conservation impact.

Do you own most of the land you protect?

No. We own less than 1 percent of the total acres we have worked to protect. The remaining acres are owned by private landowners or qualified organizations.

What does it mean for The Land Trust for Tennessee to be “accredited”?

Accredited land trusts are recognized for meeting the highest national standards for excellence and conservation permanence. The Land Trust for Tennessee was the first land trust in Tennessee to earn accreditation by The Land Trust Alliance Accreditation Commission and the first to become re-accredited.

Do I have to own land to support The Land Trust for Tennessee?

No. There are many ways you can help. You can make a gift to support our work, volunteer with us or help us spread the word on social media.

Can I visit land that The Land Trust for Tennessee has protected?

Yes! While much of our work protects private farms, forests and other green spaces, we have partnered on fundraising campaigns to expand public land areas across the state and add layers of conservation protection to public parks. Examples of these places include, Shelby Farms Park in Memphis, Lakeshore Park in Knoxville, parts of the Fiery Gizzard Trail and many more. Click here for more about our public projects.

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