In partnership with TennGreen Land Conservancy, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) announced in a press release the addition of five acres of property adjacent to Cedars of Lebanon State Park and Natural Area in Wilson County.
“This is an opportunity for the state to add a small piece of protected land in a region that has seen increased development,” Roger McCoy, director of TDEC’s Division of Natural Areas said in a statement. “It further protects a great natural resource in our state, and we are grateful for the partnership with TennGreen Land Conservancy to make this addition possible.”
This is an opportunity for the state to add a small piece of protected land in a region that has seen increased development. We're grateful for our partnership with TennGreen to make this addition possible! https://t.co/euY42mL5Fs
— TNEnvironment (@TNEnvironment) March 10, 2022
Cedars of Lebanon “represents a unique habitat of limestone cedar glades,” a rare ecosystem found in Middle Tennessee, and hosts “thousands of guests per year,” according to TennGreen. The new acquisition of five acres “expands the Cedars of Lebanon State Park boundary and enhances protection of the area’s unique habitat with rare and endangered species.” Cedars of Lebanon State Park is part of the Cedars of Lebanon State Forest, named for the eastern red cedar trees found throughout the area. The trees reminded early American settlers of the Biblical cedar forests that thrived across Mount Lebanon in what is now the Mediterranean region, according to TDEC.
According to the press release, TDEC found the property for sale last year and requested TennGreen to work with the department to make the purchase.
The purchase was the state’s second collaboration on land acquisition in recent weeks. In February, TDEC, TennGreen, and the Open Space Institute announced the acquisition of 358 acres known as Piney River Bluffs in Rhea County to expand the Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park.
“This is an outstanding addition to a unique state park,” TDEC Commissioner David Salyers said at the time. “This is a major step in conservation and preservation of natural beauty for the trail. We are grateful to TennGreen Land Conservancy and the Open Space Institute for their partnership on this project.”
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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.
Photo “Cedars of Lebanon State Park” by Brian Stansberry. CC BY 3.0.