NASHVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, TennGreen Land Conservancy (formerly the Tennessee Parks & Greenways Foundation) announced that philanthropist George Lindemann has donated 1,998 acres. This property, known as the Soak Creek Farm, is located in Rhea and Bledsoe Counties and abuts the Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park (the "Cumberland Trail"). Through this generous donation, TennGreen Land Conservancy acquires nearly 2,000 acres of mosaic habitat, including forested streams, grassland and open space, and upland wooded areas suitable for forest management.
The Soak Creek Farm has more than 16 miles of streams—including Dunlap Creek, Evans Branch, and Shingle Mill Branch—that flow to the Piney Creek watershed. This watershed includes significant recreational areas, such as Soak Creek, which was designated a State Scenic River in 2017, the first such designation since 2001. Piney Creek River is the most recent river to earn Tennessee's State Scenic River designation. George Lindemann was instrumental in both the Piney and Soak Creek designations.
Conservation of land along creeks on the Soak Creek Farm is essential in order to protect water quality and habitat for fish, wildlife, and plant species.
Mr. Lindemann and TennGreen Land Conservancy's long-term goal is to establish the Soak Creek Farm as a research station, evaluating habitat management techniques and medicinal plants. TennGreen Land Conservancy will identify partners in higher education for research projects and potential management of the land. Before transferring the Soak Creek Farm to new ownership, TennGreen Land Conservancy will place a conservation easement on the property to ensure it remains undeveloped, other than a research station.
This generous, nearly 2,000-acre donation expands TennGreen Land Conservancy's successful history of conservation in the region. Since 2001, TennGreen Land Conservancy and its partners have conserved more than 13,000 acres within ten miles of the Soak Creek Farm. In 2017, Mr. Lindemann donated a 1,034-parcel to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to establish the Soak Creek section of the Cumberland Trail.
The region continues to be an area of focus for TennGreen Land Conservancy due to its significant conservation resources, such as its large forested tracts, rich biodiversity, and the ample recreational opportunities that the Cumberland Trail provides.
While this donation is for conservation and research, it’s important to remember that our environmental assets are an economic driver for the entire region. People come to paddle or birdwatch or hike or just enjoy the quiet, but they also shop in our stores, eat in our restaurants and buy their supplies from local businesses. This awful pandemic won’t last forever, but with good care, our natural treasures will.
“TennGreen is honored to be the recipient of this magnificent land gift. We are so grateful to George for the trust he has placed in us to ensure his conservation vision becomes reality. Through our continuing work with George and building new partnerships with educational institutions, we have a unique opportunity to permanently protect the land and establish it as a demonstration site for habitat management and cutting-edge research.” – Steve Law, Executive Director, TennGreen Land Conservancy
About George Lindemann
George Lindemann is a father, philanthropist and farmer. He’s a successful businessman, developer and devoted conservationist. He loves paddling and skiing and hiking. He’s learned to appreciate the value of a great controlled burn and he is passionate about forest botanicals and is working with scholars and the state to find better ways to manage and cultivate useful herbs on existing logging land. He’s managing the farm with a combination of new technology and thinking, coupled with some of “the old ways.” In the process, he’s developing ways to feed his longhorns native grasses while encouraging new growth. The native grasses bring back native flora and fauna that departed after years of clear-cutting.
About TennGreen Land Conservancy
TennGreen Land Conservancy (formerly the Tennessee Parks & Greenways Foundation) is a 501(c)(3) environmental nonprofit and the oldest accredited statewide land conservancy in Tennessee. Through sound science and partnerships, TennGreen identifies and conserves land across Tennessee for wildlife corridors, critical habitat, and public benefit. TennGreen protects, cares for, and connects people with Tennessee’s natural world by providing meaningful outdoor experiences, establishing conservation easements, supporting restoration efforts, and acquiring (or assisting in the acquisition of) privately-held land. To learn more, visit tenngreen.org.