For immediate release July 24, 2008
BREDESEN ANNOUNCES HERITAGE CONSERVATION TRUST FUND GRANTS
TRUST FUND BOARD APPROVES FIVE PROJECTS PROTECTING MORE THAN 4,600 ACRES IN TENNESSEE
Nashville, Tenn. – Governor Phil Bredesen and the members of the Heritage Conservation Trust Fund Board have announced that five projects protecting more than 4,600 acres have been approved for $2.2 million in grant funding.
"I continue to be very pleased with the work and focus of the Heritage Conservation Trust,” said Bredesen. “The Trust Fund Board has leveraged funds carefully and worked with other public and private partners for the conservation and protection of priority land across Tennessee.”
Funding for this round of grants comes from allocations and interest earned in the trust fund over the past three budget years. To date, the Heritage Conservation Trust Fund has approved just over $30 million dollars in grants to leverage for a total of $117,609,000 in conservation purchases to protect approximately 42,600 acres of priority land in Tennessee.
The projects approved Thursday for grant awards from the Heritage Conservation Trust Fund include:
- Friends of Radnor Lake State Park and Natural Area, Radnor Lake Acquisition, Davidson County – A $500,000 grant to assist in the acquisition of 7.4 acres of undeveloped land to add to the natural area’s boundary. An additional 36 acres owned by the Friends of Radnor Lake also will be donated to the State of Tennessee. The preservation of this property will ensure wildlife observation opportunities and protect wildlife habitat at Radnor Lake, improving the quality of both its watershed and view shed.
- Metro Nashville Parks and Recreation, Davidson County Landowner Conservation Assistance Program (Beaman Park to Bells Bend Conservation Project), Davidson County – A $306,000 grant to establish a program and fund to facilitate and to encourage the establishment of conservation easements in Davidson County by providing technical guidance and financial assistance for the transaction costs to landowners. This cost-effective program will leverage conservation easements by helping defray landowners’ expenses and will protect 330 strategic acres valued at $4.6 million as greenways, upland trails, wildlife corridors and farmland in two pilot areas. The Land Trust for Tennessee is a project partner.
- Cumberland Trail State Park, Kinzalow Acquisition, Hamilton and Rhea Counties – A $1 million grant put a conservation easement on 3,200 acres critical to the Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail. The Kinzalow connection would provide for 10.5 linear miles of the Cumberland Trail between Dayton in Rhea County and Sale Creek in Hamilton County. Project partners include the Land Trust for Tennessee, Cumberland Trail Conference and the Friends of the Cumberland Trail.
- Civil War Preservation Trust, Saving Shiloh Battlefield, Hardin County – A $235,000 grant to protect 161.42 acres adjacent to Shiloh National Military Park. The 159-acre Fullwood and the 2.2-acre Eledge tracts are located in the battlefield core and within the 1984 authorized park boundary. The Battle of Shiloh, which occurred on April 6-7, 1862, ranks as one of the most significant events in American history. The Eledge tract was the campsite of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s Army of Tennessee. The Fullwood tract adjoins the 1862 bridge crossing site on Owl Creek and is the site of a grist mill that operated during the battle. Both tracts are prime development targets, and their preservation will allow for interpretation and public access. The Tennessee Historical Commission is a project partner.
- Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Roller-Young Tracts – Short Mountain, Cannon County – A $154,000 grant to protect the Roller and Young tracts, which consist of 942 acres seized by the U.S. Marshal’s Office during a federal drug investigation in 2006. The defendants were convicted and the tracts subsequently forfeited to the U.S. Department of Justice and available for bargain sale. About half the tracts are contiguous with protected lands at Short Mountain. Two other tracts adjoin TWRA lands at Pea Ridge Wildlife Management Area located on the DeKalb/Cannon County line. Unique habitats include limestone caves, ephemeral wetlands and several rare plants and animals. The tracts are subject to becoming sold to different owners at auction. Kept intact, however, they serve as important areas for wildlife-related recreation and hiking as well as wildlife conservation and water quality protection. Project partners include The Nature Conservancy, Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation, Cannon County and Middle Tennessee State University.
The projects approved for grant awards must meet certain criteria before the funds are provided, including property surveys and appraisals, environmental assessments and enactment of mechanisms like conservation easements to guarantee the permanent protection of the properties.
“Greater prioritization for funding is given to projects that involve partnerships, leverage state funds and enhance or connect existing public lands,” said Trust Fund Chair Drew Goddard. “This round of grants will help protect more than 4,600 acres with an estimated value of more than $9 million. The
participation of the Heritage Conservation Trust fund in these projects provides the maximum benefit to Tennesseans while leveraging available funds.”
Eligible projects range from the preservation of tracts for the purposes of tourism and recreation to projects focused on protecting or restoring the state’s physical, cultural, archaeological, historical and environmental resources.
The application deadline for the next grant funding cycle will be in early 2009, with grants to be announced in the spring of 2009. Projects demonstrating a level of urgency for threatened lands also may be considered by the Heritage Conservation Trust Fund Board at any time. Pre-application instructions and forms and additional information about the Heritage Conservation Trust Fund are available at https://tn.gov/environment/trustfund/.
For more information contact: