The Tennessee Wildlife Federation (TWF), formerly the Tennessee Conservation League, recognized Swan Trust as “Conservation Educator of the Year” at their annual awards ceremony. The event took place on March 23rd at the downtown Sheraton in Nashville. Conservation leaders, public officials, and Tennessee Congressmen attended the event, where 18 other awards were also presented.
David Lincicome, Rare Species Protection Program Administrator in the Department of Environment and Conservation’s Division of Natural Heritage (DNH), nominated Swan Trust for the award.
The DNH and the Tennessee Native Plant Society (TNPS) partnered with Swan Trust in 2004 to fulfill the Trust’s EPA environmental education grant.
The purpose of the grant was to raise awareness about threatened native plant communities on the Western Highland Rim of Tennessee.
An additional objective was to educate landowners about options that land trusts offer in assisting with the protection of natural resources.
Monthly outings from spring through fall took the public to some representative habitats on the Western Highland Rim where rare plants and threatened plant communities are thriving. These sites showcase special places that need protection, such as beautiful Rattlesnake Falls, outside Summertown, Tennessee. Guest speakers from DNH, TNPS, GroWild Nursery in Fairview, and Tennessee Parks and Greenways spoke to a variety of audiences throughout the season as part of the educational effort.
“Swan Conservation Trust has been a leader in reaching out to the public to educate the region’s citizens on the importance of protecting and conserving the natural heritage of the Western Highland Rim,” said Mr. Lincicome. “The Trust’s efforts will benefit the citizens of this area for many years to come.”
“We are truly honored to be acknowledged by Tennessee’s oldest conservation organization, established in 1946 by a group of avid outdoorsmen, naturalists, and environmentalists,” said Cynthia. “ It was inspiring to be part of an event where the goal of protecting Tennessee’s natural resources was shared by a diverse group of individuals and organizations.”