“We do not inherit the land from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” This oft-quoted Native American adage provides a clear answer to the question, “Should the town council ask The Land Trust for Tennessee to hold conservation easements on our most important parkland?”
The citizens who once owned Rainbow Lake, Green Gorge, Coolidge Park and associated natural areas relinquished profits they could have gained from selling these lands.
Instead, they recognized their value to the community and conserved the lands, using the best protection tool available at the time - they deeded the lands to the town.
For almost a hundred years, it has been our duty as citizens to preserve these lands for our children and children’s children. We have been mostly successful; however, previous town councils have sold or given away some of these lands. We must not let that happen again.
Today conservation easements are the strongest legal tool available to protect land. They are widely used by private property owners and local governments. Although other protective mechanisms exist, they can be undone by a majority vote of a legislative body; conservation easements cannot.
There is no better instrument to protect our parklands than a conservation easement. In our case, such easements would prevent development without encumbering the town’s right to determine the recreational uses of the land.
We ask the town council to do what is necessary to protect our children’s natural legacy. Please, contact the Land Trust for Tennessee and secure conservation easements for our parkland.
Barbara & Clyde Womack
Teresa and Pete Garland
David and Melissa Cantrell