April 3, 2011
The West Meade Conservancy’s Mission: to identify and conserve the unique natural features of mature woods in West Meade, Nashville, TN.
(West Meade’s woods serve as an important piece of Nashville’s singular Ecological Arc.)

One of the purposes of the West Meade Conservancy's gathering last Saturday was to remind people of the group's mission and of that mission's value. You can read reports of the gathering in the NEWS, but two WMC supporters took the trouble to put into writing what they see as the group's importance, and what they've written is worth sharing. Don't miss their words--right after the "business" parts of this newsletter.

  1. The WMC has been invited to participate in the Hillsboro Village Art Walk on Thursday, April 7, from 5 - 8 pm. The WMC's table will be stationed in front of Pancake Pantry, so tell your friends to stop by and say "Hello."

  2. Volunteers needed! The WMC will have a tent at the Nashville Earth Day Festival in Centennial Park on Saturday, April 23. Jane Bibring is coordinating the WMC's display and needs volunteers to sit at the WMC's tables for the following times: 9:00 -11 am (setting up); 1-3 pm; 3-5 pm; and 5-7:30 pm (taking down--probably will end earlier). The event is fun, and the company is beyond compare. If you can help during one or more of the times, please contact Jane Bibring (356-0977; jane@bibring.net).

  3. Small-group Meetings have traditionally been the means by which newcomers have learned about the WMC and seasoned supporters have enjoyed getting together with fellow WMC volunteers to learn about the group’s progress towards its goal of creating collections of easement groups to carry out the mission. Three small-group meetings are scheduled for April - May. Come to one or to all, and bring your neighbors and friends!

      Tuesday, April 26, at 7 pm -- Hosts, Charles & Ann Riddle
             6544 Rolling Fork Dr. (353-9447)

      Tuesday, May 10, at 7:00 pm -- Hosts, Mary Kowalski & Carol Nestler
             6510 Rolling Fork Dr. (353-6606)

      Saturday, May 21, 10:00 am -- Host, Clare Silverstein
             6600 Jocelyn Hollow Rd. (352-0956)

George Schnitzer, Jocelyn Hollow Road
    The West Meade Conservancy serves as a reminder of the importance of controlling our environment so that all residents can live in harmony in this extraordinary natural setting that attracted us in the first place. Through information and education WMC demonstrates the precious balance that exists between development and preservation and the volunteer actions necessary to protect the woods of west Nashville for current and future generations. The ironic by-products of these efforts are increased land values and a remarkable place to live, which is located conveniently to just about anything one would need or want.
Joanna Carnahan, Robin Hill Road
    On first noticing that tiny blurb in the paper about a meeting to form West Meade Conservancy, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. We live in the "flatlands" of West Meade, so have no old trees to save. The only trees on our lot were planted by the couple who moved into this then-new ranch in the 1950's, and whose son sold the house to us; so some people ask why we want to help conserve old natural parts of our neighbors' lots.

    Well, if we help neighbors who live in the hills around us save some of their old trees, then we and our grandchildren get to breathe the air those trees help clean.

    If we help our neighbors preserve parts of their lots for wildlife to travel through, we and our grandchildren get to live among the natural balance that those bugs and bucks help maintain.

    And if we work as a neighborhood to keep our part of the city woodsy and healthy, doesn't that help make the whole city healthier?

    Of course, helping our neighborhood stay clean and green helps keep property values up: nice if we ever wanted to sell, but we don't. What we do value is getting to know neighbors who love natural beauty and like working together to take care of it: a big bonus prize for being in WMC.

March 14, 2011

10:00 am – 11:00 am at the circle (after the Dead End sign) on Jocelyn Hollow Rd.

    It’s also time to celebrate spring, so if you have some photographs (they don’t have to have been taken this year) of spring sights in West Meade’s woods, please bring them to put on posters to be used at the West Meade Conservancy’s exhibit at the Earth Day Celebration in Centennial Park.

    There will be more turtles to name, copies of Noah and the Arc to view and to purchase, and news to hear.

    Volunteers, beginning with Elaine and John Purdy, Cindy Smythe, Marna McKinney, Susie Denes, Pat and John Post, and Sharon Charney, have begun putting out flyers attached to advertisement/order forms for Noah and the Arc.

    There are still more flyers to distribute along Neilwood, parts of Vaughn's Gap and Robin Hill, parts of Bresslyn and Currywood, Cornwall, Brownlee, Brook Hollow, and in the Carnavon area--wherever you live and wherever you think people would be interested in the WMC's cause. If you can help, please contact us.

    There are many new West Meade residents, so tell your neighbors about the WMC and bring them with you to the circle on Saturday, March 26 (10:00 am - 11:00 pm). Between now and then, just keep repeating, "It will NOT rain; it will NOT rain!"

    Nancy Smith says, "Don't forget to save things for the next Garage Sales Day."

  1. Friends of Warner Parks and Metro Parks will hold a second public meeting on the master plan for development of the Burch Reserve (the area on the north side of Highway 100 that includes the southern part of the North Reserve, or Hill Tract). There will be a further exchange of ideas with the landscape architects, Hodgson & Douglas. The meeting is on Tuesday, March 22nd, 6:30–8 p.m. at Warner Park Nature Center, 7311 Highway 100 (more information at www.friendsofwarnerparks.com).

  2. From Richland Creek Watershed Alliance (RCWA):

  3. Metro Water Services (MWS) will hold a public meeting to review their plan to upgrade combined sewer/stormwater infrastructure in order to reduce or eliminate sewage overflow into waterways. The meeting for West Nashville is on Thursday March 24th, 5-7 p.m. at Metro Public Health Dept. Lentz Center Auditorium (311 23rd Avenue North).

  4. Metro Water Services (MWS) is developing of a new volume of the Stormwater Management Manual to encourage Low Impact Development (LID) in Nashville. They will also assess their current floodway and floodplain regulations during this process. For more information see nashville.gov You can send written comments to Sue Amos, Metro Water Services, 1600 Second Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37208 or email sue.amos@nashville.gov.

January 8, 2011

FAMILY FUN RUN Wins Friends and Makes Money!

    10 sponsors of "Run for the Hills" and 94 registrants brought in enough money to pay all expenses and send profits of almost $5,000 to The Land Trust for Tennessee's West Meade Conservancy fund!

    Thanks and admiration are due to the dedicated, hard-working, creative, and SUCCESSFUL Run-for-the-Hills committee--Chairman, Tina Allocco; Co-Chairman, Marna McKinney; Stasia Holdren, Rob Keese, Kim Matthews, Colleen Prim, Elaine Purdy, and Becka Rosenblatt--and to everyone who helped them with the event.

    See photos and details here. Sponsors' names are posted on our Home Page; please thank them by giving them your support.

NOAH AND THE ARC Ready for Bookshelves in Nashville and Beyond!

    The hard-cover, full-color, 10"x8" book tells the story of the beginning and the mission of The West Meade Conservancy. It explains the importance of West Meade's woods to the city of Nashville and ends with the determination of a growing group of citizens dedicated to preserving those woods for future generations. The 64 pages are filled with photos taken by Conservancy members. The cover announces "by The West Meade Conservancy," so if you've supported the WMC's mission, you are one of the authors!

    The book is designed for readers of all ages, and the photos are labeled to make identification (and learning) easy. There are, of course, lots of box turtles.

    The book is a fund-raiser as well as an educational tool. Help the cause by purchasing copies to keep and to give as gifts and by spreading the word. The price for hand delivery (within West Meade) is $16.95 per book; for mailed delivery, $19.95 per book. You can see sample pages and order directly from this website, or by calling one of the following people: Jane Bibring (356-0977), Sharon Charney (352-8875), Alys Venable (356-2423), or Anne Williams (352-0412).

    Your help is needed! If you've got ideas for marketing--slogans, venues, contacts, events--, contact one of the people above. You can make an important contribution to the project.

  1. Some people have raised questions about deer-hunting stands in the neighborhood. Here is our current understanding of the laws:
    • All hunting requires landowner permission, whether or not the land is posted (TCA § 70-4-106)
    • No hunting is allowed within 100 yards of a visible house without the residents' permission. (TCA § 70-4-108)
    • A variety of other regulations apply to hunting, and summaries of all of these can be found in this PDF produced by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (Go to page 16 for a quick overview of the general regulations). To talk to a TWRA officer, you can call 615-294-5553

  2. Tracks and Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates, of which Noah Charney (WMC's founder) is a co-author, won the 2010 National Outdoor Book Award, Nature Guidebook category!

October 5, 2010


    The West Meade Conservancy's Garage Sale Day earned $4,500+!

    Chairman Nancy Smith, Co-Chairman Susie Denes, and a host of enthusiastic, hard-working volunteers arranged, priced, and sold hundreds of donated items. [See more details at the end of this newsletter.]


    The Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation has awarded the WMC a grant of $1,000 through money made available by Tennessee Gas Pipeline--an El Paso Corporation company. The grant money is in support of the WMC's pilot group of conservation easements.

    Greenways for Nashville has given a $1,000 gift to the WMC in memory of Bob Brown, the beloved naturalist who was a charter member of most of Tennessee's and Nashville's environmental organizations and who wrote a letter of support to the WMC. Bob Brown’s letter continues to be a source of inspiration and it can be found at the “About the Landscape” link on the WMC’s website www.westmeadeconservancy.org

    The cost of a collection of nine easements (our pilot group) is $41,000, and the WMC has currently raised $22,625! We’re more than halfway there!
    A family fun run–“Run for the Hills”–that promises to involve an even wider group of volunteers and participants is next on the calendar. A second newsletter this week will have more information, but to see what’s going on and learn how you can help, go to this website: http://www.runforwestmeade.com
    If you missed Anne Paine's article in Monday's TENNESSEAN ("In the world of insects, the tiniest tracks tell a story"), you can read it and see a slide show from the field guide here.

    The + after the $4,500 is there because money is still coming in from "left-over" items taken to a consignment store after the Sale was over.

    Congratulations go not only to the organizers, helpers, and the many donors but also to the three sets of homeowners who hosted the sale: Nancy and Collins Smith, Althea and Louis Jenkins, and Lynn and David Barton.

    Thanks to the efforts of Helen Neuhoff, Kim Matthews, Tina Bennett, Alan Dooley, and Kip Kirby various neighborhood organizations got news of the Garage Sale Day. Part of the success of that day is due to the work and the shopping of members of West Meade Park Neighborhood Association, Hillwood List/Serv, Warner Parks Neighborhood Association, and West Meade Hills Neighborhood Association

August 30, 2010

Don't wait until the last minute to bring that picture or planter or book or vase or tray or whatever (as long as it isn't clothing and is in good condition). Volunteers (want to join them?) are already working on organizing the collection. (contact us for more information)

Organizers for the event need bags, boxes, and tables. Can you supply some of these? Children are invited to help with the lemonade stand on the 11th.

If you can help price, arrange, preside, please contact Nancy or Susie. Questions about what to bring? Call Nancy or Susie. They are especially looking for people who can help on a specific day and time (before the 11th to arrange, price, and set up; on the 11th to help sell and monitor).

You can bring items any time to Nancy's basement, which will be open: 6573 Jocelyn Hollow Rd. So--stop accumulating and start contributing.

The sale will take place on Saturday, September 11, from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm. Setting up will begin on September 8.

This event is FUN. If you have no garage sale experience, come and get it! If you're already a Garage Sale Expert, come and share your expertise

June 26, 2010

Mark your calendar for these three events in July:

  1. Thursday, July 15, 6:30-8pm -- Warner Parks Nature Center Slide show/lecture by naturalist Noah Charney related to his book "Tracks and Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates". Book sales benefit the WMC. Call 352-6299 to register. (Check out the details at the Nature Center's program schedule. There are some errors, though: Charley Eiseman, the co-author, will not be present, and the Center has the wrong date on its program list, so be sure you mark the 15th!)

  2. Sunday, July 18, 5:00 - 8:00pm -- 700 Vosswood Drive A Special Evening of Cool Jazz with hosts and performers Margaret Smith and Larry Weitz. $25 per person. Sales benefit the WMC. Call Margaret Smith to make reservations -- 356-8886. (More details in next newsletter.)

  3. Friday, July 30, 6:30 --7:30pm -- Hodge House, Warner Park The lecture, "Hodge House--Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow," that was postponed because of The Flood has been rescheduled. (More details in next newsletter.)

Did you read about the WMC in these recent articles in The Tennessean?
    In one article WMC is praised for its involvement in helping University School and Friends of Warner Parks raise money to purchase the H.G. Hill property. In an article by Anne Paine about the "Nashville: Naturally" workshops, WMC is mentioned as a model for citywide efforts to increase green spaces.
We have a winner on Jocelyn Hollow!

MOVING ON: Progress and Future Events
May 19, 2010

The biggest news in any part of Nashville in May 2010 is that The Flood came and changed lives, including many in West Meade. Recovery for some people will be a long, painful process. One positive outcome of the disaster is that we've learned we live in a community that cares and comforts, and the knowledge strengthens us.

The West Meade Conservancy's news is that The Land Trust's WMC Fund continues to grow, thanks to the many supporters who responded to requests in the last newsletter and in the mailed-out letters and brochures and to those who spread word about the Conservancy to people in West Meade and beyond.

The Hodge House lecture, which was postponed in the aftermath of the flood, will be rescheduled.

Fund-raisers: The Fun Run planning group is meeting at Tina Allocco's house (6588 Jocelyn Hollow Rd.) on Thursday, May 30. The group of 6 is looking for 2 more volunteers. To join them, contact us. There are also plans for a Garage Sales Day that ends in a party. If you would like to help out or if you have ideas for other events, contact us.

We have an opportunity to speak up for preserving West Meade's woods as a step toward "a greener, more resilient Nashville" by having a strong turn-out at "Nashville: Naturally," an event on June 3. The event is part of the Open Spaces Project that is a collaboration between Metro and The Land Trust for Tennessee. Register now for a morning or evening session: nashvilleopenspace.wordpress.com.

April 20, 2010

1. Support WMC's Campaign to Raise Funds for its "Pilot" Easement Group.
    Donate: Unless you got the information at the Spring Fling, you'll soon receive a letter, a brochure, and a donation card. BE SURE TO SEND IN THAT CARD! Participate: If you have special talents or interests - hosting, making music, cooking, woodworking, painting, hoarding things for garage sales, helping out – or if you have ideas for projects, CONTACT CINDY SMYTHE, Events Director (356-9419; smythed@bellsouth.net). Projects already in the works: a Jazz Night, a Fun Run, a Garage Sale, a Book. (Those first three events all need helpers.)
2. Add Your Citizens’ Input to Open Spaces Project by MAY 15th
    The Nashville Davidson County Open Space Project, a public/private partnership between the Metro Gov’t and The Land Trust for Tennessee, will create a long-term vision for preserving the natural and cultural resources of this county. The Project is now requesting citizens' input. This is how Metro Gov’t will know what open space (public or private) Metro residents want to protect and/or create. To register your support for West Meade’s wooded hills (something that every group in last year's West Nashville Community Character meetings endorsed):

    • Go to Project's website at www.nashvilleopenspace.wordpress.com and follow the instructions to use Google Earth to place pins on the county map to indicate where you want green space. (This choice is for the technologically adept and/or those familiar with Google Earth).

    • E-mail Audra Ladd at aladd@landtrusttn.org and give her the addresses and descriptions of the 'places that matter.'

    • c) Call Audra Ladd at 244-5263 and give her the above information.

    Questions? Contact Anne Williams (352-0412; arwilliams401@gmail.com).
3. Attend a Public Lecture Given for the WMC by Metro Parks
    Heather Gallagher of Warner Parks Nature Center is giving a lecture about Hodge House, the oldest structure in Warner Parks and would like the WMC to address the audience and display its posters and brochures at this event. Date: Friday, May 7, at 7:00 pm. Place: Hodge House, reached from the Chickering Rd. entrance to the park. Title: "Hodge House: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow." Details in the next newsletter.

The Methods Improve; The Mission Stays the Same

December 13, 2009

As you sift through the many requests for end-of-year donations, consider the wisdom of seeing to the wholeness of this bit of earth we share, the trees on it that clean our air, the wildlife that depend on it and keep it in balance, the beauty and harmony we have the power to nurture and pass on; then consider the West Meade Conservancy for your giving. Now is the time when donations to the WMC's fund solidify our work.

The first steps--boundaries and title opinion letters--have been finished for the first easement group, and now surveys are going on. What was only a vague dream when we began is actually taking place! Completing this first group will establish the credibility of our project and leverage funds from agencies to pay for future easement groups.

Two new ways to donate:

  1. Use the link on the Home page of the WMC's website.
  2. Ask for one of the beautiful new brochures containing donation cards and envelopes. (Go to the "Contact Us" section on the website. Or you can send a personal check to "The Land Trust for Tennessee, 209 10th Ave., South, Suite 530, Nashville TN 37203." Don't forget to write "West Meade Conservancy" on the subject line.

Another innovation: There's now a "West Meade Conservancy" page on Facebook.

August 22, 2009

Jeanie Nelson, Director of The Land Trust for Tennessee, is featured in the Summer 2009 issue of Vanderbilt Magazine. Nelson was general counsel for the EPA before working with Phil Bredesen to set up a land trust for the state.

Jeanie Nelson has been one of The West Meade Conservancy's mentors since 2006, and now her agency and Metro Greenways will be co-grantees for the WMC's easements. Although The Land Trust for Tennessee began by preserving large tracts of land, the agency's role has expanded to include the lasting protection of small privately held land that has "conservation value." That's a description that fits The Conservancy!

One of Jeanie Nelson's statements in the article could serve as a motto for the WMC: "Our forests allow birds and our souls to keep singing."

To read the whole article online, go to http://www.vanderbilt.edu/magazines/vanderbilt-magazine/2009/08/big-ideas-for-a-small-planet/

Catching Up with The West Meade Conservancy
August 7, 2009

Good News:
Thanks to those of you who donated, the Conservancy is roughly 15% of the way to its initial fund-raising goal of $35,000. In addition to underwriting WMC projects such as the creek/woods group of nine properties currently going through title searches and preparing for surveys, the money will serve to leverage support from environmental agencies in order to fund future easement groups.

The Challenge: The WMC needs everybody's help. You can donate on-line at www.landtrusttn.org (be sure to scroll down to the "Comments" box and write in "The West Meade Conservancy"). You can mail a donation, made out to "The Land Trust for Tennessee, 209 10th Ave. S, Suite 520, Nashville, TN 37203" with "West Meade Conservancy" on the subject line, or you can go to the Contact Us section of the WMC's web site, and request a donation card and envelope. There are plans for expanding fund-raising efforts through direct contacts, events, and publications; however, individual donations form the backbone of the campaign.

Opportunity: The time is right for the WMC's mission, and the partners--The Land Trust for TN and Metro Greenways--are right too. THE TENNESSEAN's editorial on Aug.4 and guest editorials by Mayor Dean and Jean Nelson of The Land Trust for TN praised the city's determination to preserve the "green spaces" that are an important part of its character. WMC's easement groups will be examples of that determination in action.

Thanks: The WMC is grateful to Kate Rosenthal of Chapman and Rosenthal Title Company for giving a special price for title searches. (Kate's daughter Jake has named one of WMC's Box turtles--see Turtle #26 on WMC's web site.)

Meeting at the Kowalski/Nestler home are some of the participants
in the WMC's first official easement group - click image to enlarge.
1st row: George Schnitzer, Stephanie Sephel, Mary Kowalski, Kathy Osten;
2nd row: Greg Sephel, Carol Nestler, Maureen Mowry, David and Lynn Barton;
Not Pictured: Althea and Lewis Jenkins, Julie and David Petcu, Bette Schnitzer, Nancy and Collins Smith, Lucinda Trabue

June 1, 2009

Now that the WMC is moving into the phase of establishing official easement groups, it needs to fund the process. Participating landowners are not charged any fees, and they receive full surveys free of charge. The Land Trust for Tennessee has set up a special fund for donations to the WMC's costs: title searches, surveys, legal services, and stewardship (yearly maintenance and legal fees if an easement agreement is violated).

There are three ways in which the fund can grow: through grants (there is already a grant application out), through private donations, and through matching funds from other agencies.

The Land Trust for Tennessee's WMC Fund

  • Purpose: to cover costs for the initial easement group, to start a stewardship fund, and to "leverage" matching funds from other sources. It is essential to produce a first group of official easements to prove the WMC's project is realistic.

  • Who: Anyone who cares about preserving the woods of West Meade or preserving the green “corridor” surrounding much of Nashville (see map under Ecological Corridor section) . You can make a voluntary, tax-deductible donation to The Land Trust for Tennessee's "West Meade Conservancy Fund" by mail or on-line. The WMC, though a registered non-profit, is not a 501 ( c ) (3) organization and so cannot accept donations directly.

  • How: By mail--send a donation to The Land Trust for Tennessee, 209 10th Avenue South, Suite 530, Nashville, TN 37203, and write "West Meade Conservancy" on your check's subject line. You will receive a special donation card and envelope this week (an image of the front of the card is attached to this newsletter). On-line--go to http://www.landtrusttn.org; be sure to write "For the West Meade Conservancy" in the "Comments" box. Donors may request that their donations be anonymous.

    About the Card: at the WMC meeting on April 13, when people saw the donation cards for The Land Trust for TN, someone commented, "But we're not on the card!" Now, thanks to two WMC photographers (Sharon Charney, "Trout Lily," and Brenda Batey, "Red Fox") and artist Anne Williams, the WMC has its own card.

    The quotation on the card: the paragraph is from a letter written by Bob Brown to the West Meade Conservancy a month before his death in 2007. Bob Brown (naturalist and charter member of conservation groups in Tennessee and Nashville) took an interest in the WMC from the beginning.


May 25, 2009

Although the West Meade Conservancy's recent events were rained out, the WMC spirit remains undampened. Below is the first installment of the news you would have learned at the Celebration. (The Creek Workshop, cancelled because of lightning, will be rescheduled).

[Next Newsletters' Topics: Special Cards, Can you help the WMC get on Youtube? Schedule of small-group meetings.]
  • Signed-up Properties

    Click on image to enlarge.
    We started with only 7 households signed up to be part of the WMC's conservation easement collection. Now there are SIXTY-THREE (63!) households signed up (shown on the attached map). At the April 13 meeting Audra Ladd (Projects Director of The Land Trust for TN) complimented WMC members for the area's unprecedented enthusiasm and commitment. The First Group ready to begin the steps to official easements will probably be a Jocelyn Hollow/Rolling Fork Dr. collection. As other groups fill in enough gaps to form cohesive easement collections, these groups will move up in line.

  • Who Is Helping

    The Land Trust for Tennessee and Metro Greenways have agreed to become co-holders of the WMC's easements. Having two agencies bear joint responsibility is a protection for the easements because one group cannot make changes without the other's consent. Kate Rosenthal of Chapman and Rosenthal Title Company and Tommy Mallard of Complete Surveying Services have given the WMC special low prices for title work and surveys. Landowners are not charged for these services or for easements and stewardship. Costs will be paid from a special fund set up by The Land Trust for Tennessee.

Saturday, May 2, 10:00 am at the Circle on Jocelyn Hollow.

Come celebrate the Conservancy's continued growth and the fellowship of people joined by the their love of woods and wildlife. See rain garden displays, new photographs by residents, and several surprises.

"What you've been doing is a great model for other communities."--Audra Ladd, Middle TN Projects Director for the Land Trust for Tennessee (WMC meeting at the JCC, April 13)

The meeting featured maps showing the Conservancy's place in Nashville's Unique Ecological Arc and 60 of the 61 properties currently signed up to be part of the Conservancy's collection of conservation easements. There was explanation and discussion of the steps required for establishing conservation easement groups. The audience had so many good suggestions that there will be a new committee for "marketing/publicity."

The most exciting news is that The West Meade Conservancy will soon have something tangible to show that it is carrying out its mission. Everyone (wooded lots or not, Registry sign-ups or not) who cares about that mission is important to the cause.


The West Meade Conservancy is ready to begin building its first official easement groups. Whether you are a current Registry Signer, a potential Registry Signer, or simply someone interested in the preservation of West Meade’s woods, wildlife, history, and streams, you are invited to come to a “Nuts and Bolts” meeting to:

  • See maps with participating lots
  • Learn the next steps to implement the easements
  • Meet Audra Ladd, Middle Tennessee Project Manager for The Land Trust for Tennessee
  • Learn about phases and deadlines
  • Have your comments heard and your questions answered

If you can go to only one WMC meeting all year, THIS IS IT

Monday, April 13, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
The Gordon Jewish Community Center
801 Percy Warner Blvd.

DIRECTIONS: Going toward Bellevue on Highway 70 S, turn Left at light right after Carnavon; JCC entrance will be on your Left. Going toward Highway 100 from Jocelyn Hollow, cross Highway 70 S on Vaughn's Gap, turn Right onto Percy Warner Blvd. (stop sign) and then Right into JCC parking lot; watch out--the JCC entrance is easy to miss. Map is attached.

January 22, 2009

There are now 57 households signed up to be part of the Conservancy's easement collection, each household conserving a small or large piece of woods, whatever owners choose, to help create the patchwork quilt of forested slopes that will remain intact in West Meade.

  1. Rain Gardens for Green Infrastructure: WMC's Patty Ghertner has produced RAIN GARDENS (A Do-It-Yourself Guide for Homeowners in Middle Tennessee). The booklet is filled with easy-to-follow steps, lots of pictures, and lists of native flowers and shrubs suitable for shady, sunny, or partially sunny rain gardens. Patty will part with a booklet for cost, $7; contact WestMeade@gmail.com for more information.

  2. Hill Property Mission: The WMC has received a letter from Warner Bass saying that the Hill Company has reduced the price of the 300+-acre Hill Property from $13,250,000 to $10,800,000. Friends of Warner Parks has already accumulated $9,000,000 toward the purchase of the property and is approaching a goal that once seemed almost impossible. Now the group is working on its final round of donations. To learn more, visit the group's web site: www.friendsofwarnerparks.com .

  3. Community Character Meetings: the next meeting will be on February 2 at 6:00 pm at St. Ann's Catholic Church on Charlotte Ave. At this stage, the Planning Commission is reporting on the plan that has incorporated suggestions from residents who attended earlier meetings. You can read the current plan later this week on the Metro Planning Commission's web site.

  4. RCWA: The Richland Creek Watershed Alliance has completed a film about the creek and its various branches, including the Jocelyn Branch. The group's web site is www.richlandcreekwatershedalliance.org.

December 4, 2008

Small-group meeting: Saturday, December 6, 2:30 PM Hosts: Elaine and John Purdy. Contact us for directions. If you're new to the Conservancy, come see the map, have your questions answered, and learn about the group's progress and its contact with realtors. If you're already an enthusiastic participant, come and explain why the Conservancy's mission is good for homeowners and the neighborhood.

Excerpts from a letter from Warner Bass, Friends of Warner Parks, to the West Meade Conservancy:
"Thanks so much for your letter of September 17, and for your support for Friends of Warner Parks efforts to acquire the Hill Property....You may be sure that Friends of Warner Parks supports the efforts of the West Meade Conservancy to acquire conservation easements and protect the "ecological arc" that you mentioned in your letter....The goals of Friends of Warner Parks and the West Meade Conservancy are very much the same."
[Want to share something interesting you've seen or learned about West Meade's plants and animals? Send comments to WestMeade@gmail.com.]

From Willi Honegger: In her lecture, LinnAnn Welch mentioned Tupelos or Blackgums, and Willli has found delicious honey from blackgum trees at Whole Foods. Willi says that blackgums and sourwoods (also a source of honey) grow on the hillside between RollingFork and Jocelyn Hollow. For people who want to plant trees, Willi suggests sourwoods as they have pretty flowers and dark red fall foliage. Willi also commented on the giant puffball mushrooms (Cavatia gigantea) seen on Rolling Fork Drive. They are edible and apparently one of the most collected mushrooms in the U.S. [There are two puffball pictures on the WMC's website's "Plants and Animals" section. Willi says, "Tim allowed me to take the puffball, but it was already too old for eating."

From Jeff Krebs: "Jeff & Michelle saw a very healthy looking coyote in the street on Rolling Fork at 10:30 one morning recently. "We stopped and continued to watch, or be watched, from about a ten foot distance for ten minutes or so until. WE got bored. The coyote just stood there unafraid even after I honked my horn to try to get it to run away."

[CORRECTION: An earlier newsletter reported that Metro will not pick up a deer carcass on private property. That is apparently incorrect. If a property owner gives permission, Public Works will pick up a dead animal.]

Information about the West Meade Conservancy--its mission, goals, current projects, future plans, and "wish" list for the city--was solicited by the Natural Resources Sub-Committee of the Mayor's Green-Ribbon Committee on Environmental Sustainability. Jane Bibring represented the WMC at the sub-committee's meeting on Nov. 24. Anne Williams represented the WMC in sending suggestions to the Mobility Sub-Committee of the Green-Ribbon Committee.

Been meaning to sign a Registration Form but haven't gotten around to that? Not exactly sure what the West Meade Conservancy is and what it is doing? Call or email Alys Venable (356-2423, alys_venable@comcast.net), and she'll be glad to walk you through the registration process, explain what the Conservancy is all about, and answer your questions. [Low key, no obligation. Testimonials available upon request.]

Monday, December 8, 6:00-8:00 PM: date and time of the Metro Planning Commission's next Community Character meeting ("Concept Plan Workshop") in which there will be a presentation of a proposed plan that incorporates residents' suggestions from the previous meeting ("Visioning Workshop"): The meeting will be at St. Ann Catholic Community, 5101 Charlotte Ave.

At its first Community Meeting, the Planning Commission outlined the criteria for creating the Community Character Manual (CCM), a document that replaces the Land Use Policy Application. This document is extensively used in local government for things like zoning, and will incorporate the Sub-Area 7 Plan Amendment worked out with the help of Emily Evans last year

The third meeting, a "Visioning Workshop," put people in groups to look at a big map of the area and discuss what they would like to "preserve, enhance, and create" in the community. "The woods of West Meade" figured in each group's report as something to "preserve."

November 16, 2008

Elaine and John Purdy, are hosting a small-group meeting at 2:30 PM on Saturday, December 6. The phone number given for them in the preceding newsletter was incorrect. Contact us for more details.

The Tree Lecture you asked for is this Thursday, Nov. 20, at 6:30PM at the Warner Park Nature Center. Don't miss this! It's open to everyone.

As the first step in explaining to realtors the importance of West Meade's woods and the Conservancy's mission and methods, Jane Bibring and Alys Venable gave a presentation last week to 24 realtors. Sue Chilton of Shirley Zeitlin Realtors was the host, and Richard Courtney of Fridrich and Clark also brought a group to the meeting. The audience was especially interested in West Meade's woods' role as part of Nashville's Ecological Corridor/Conservation Arc (look for this map at the Tree Lecture) and suggested including that information on the brochure the Conservancy will prepare for realtors to share with clients. The Conservancy will offer similar presentations to all realty companies doing business in West Meade.

Been meaning to sign a Registration Form but haven't gotten around to that? Not exactly sure what the West Meade Conservancy is and what it is doing? Call or email Alys Venable (356-2423; alys_venable@comcast.net), and she'll be glad to walk you through the registration process, explain what the Conservancy is all about, and answer your questions. [Low key, no obligation. Testimonials available upon request.]

  • The Metro Planning Commission's next Community Character meeting ("Concept Plan Workshop"), Monday, Dec. 8 at 6:00 PM, St. Ann's Catholic Community, 5101 Charlotte Ave [At this meeting residents will hear an MPC plan that incorporates suggestions they made at the "Visioning Workshop."]

  • Details about schedules for and reports from meetings of the Mayor's Green Ribbon Commission on Environmental Sustainability [See next newsletter and/or use this link: http://www.nashville.gov/mayor/green_ribbon/meetings.asp . At least two members of the West Meade community attended the committee's public meeting this past Saturday.]

  • A beautiful collection of photographs of the Hill Tract's woods [Go to this website: www.friendsofwarnerparks.com .] Friends of Warner Parks are beginning the final phase of their campaign to raise money to purchase the Hill Tract for the city. The Hill Property forms an important link in Nashville's Ecological Corridor/Conservation Arc.

  • The latest newsletter from RCWA (Richland Creek Watershed Alliance) [Go to this website: www.richlandcreekwatershedalliance.org .]


October 1, 2008

The last newsletter requested photographs for the Conservancy's website, and many of you obliged. Plants and Animals List: Animals – 89, Plants – 64 (19 contributors); Box Turtle list: 31 turtles (12 contributors). Thanks to your diligence and Noah Charney's management, the website has become a valuable biological resource. Now, how about screech owls or great horned owls? fall colors?

The Conservancy has been contacting realtors to inform them about the WMC's mission and activities. Two realtors are currently working on an "advisory" group with representatives from each realty company working in West Meade. Realtors can then explain to buyers and sellers about the increased property value from proximity to protected natural areas, the nature of conservation easements (no threat to ownership),the WMC's commitment to honoring individual residents' choices about easements.

  • WMC representatives were invited to attend "Growing Together I & II," receptions for "environmental leaders" at the LeQuire Gallery. Mayor Karl Dean, speaker at "Growing Together I," gave permission for the WMC to quote him at the beginning of the Conservancy website: "Nashville needs to be a leading city for sustainable living with clean air, clean water and plenty of preserved open space."

  • Warner Bass, Chairman Emeritus of The Friends of Warner Parks, sent a request to the WMC for an endorsement of the Hill Property Project. Registration Form Signers and charter members who have signed Support Forms chose to give the endorsement and to ask for one in return. [See attached letter and WMC's response.}

It's almost time for the Conservancy's next public lecture. What should the topic be? Insects? Stream Creatures? Geology of West Meade? Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Trees but Were Afraid to Ask? The Fungus Among Us? What else??? [Don't let the titles sway you; the initial suggestions began tamely, but the suggestors got mischievous.] You can respond to the question by Gmail or by calling Jane Bibring (356-0977), Alys Venable (356-2423), or Anne Williams (352-0412). NOTE: Conservancy member Patty Ghertner, under the aegis of the Richland Creek Watershed Alliance, conducted a recent "Rain Garden Workshop" and will lead further workshops. [See "RCWA" link at the end of this letter.]

  • The Hill Property Project (www.friendsofwarnerparks.com)
    You might want to contribute to this cause.

  • RCWA (www.richlandcreekwatershedalliance.org)
    You might like to participate in the Watershed Cleanup Event, October 25.

  • Metro Planning Commission's Community Meeting Schedule for discussing the Plan for the West Nashville Community (www.nashville.gov/mpc/subarea/subarea7.htm)
    Although Subarea 7's Amendment will not be debated this year, it is to West Meade's advantage to have a large turnout at the meetings and continue to be seen as an area that cares about planning. If you haven't received a postcard with the meeting schedule, you can get one at the above website or call Anita McCaig (862-7156) or Cindy Wood (862-7166).

  • Greenways for Nashville (www.greenwaysfornashville.org)
    This is a nonprofit organization that raises funds and promotes events for the Metro Greenways Commission, one of the Conservancy's assisting agencies.

  • Mayor's Green Ribbon Committee on Environmental Sustainability
    If you haven't already done so, you can take the Environmental Survey available at this website.

  • Environmental Sustainability Manager, Jenna Smith (jenna.smith@nashville.gov), the person to contact if you have questions about environmental concerns in Nashville. Jenna is Mayor Dean's representative, and she attended the first "Growing Together"


A. CALLING ALL NATURE PHOTOGRAPHERS This is a good time of year for taking pictures to add to the Species List on the Conservancy's website. Neighbors have reported seeing fawns, and one neighbor even saw a doe giving birth. There are mammals, insects, reptiles, butterflies, summer birds, and nests galore, so please keep your camera handy.

Here are some gaps you can help to fill in the Species List: beetles, lizards, skinks, snakes (be careful), fawns, crayfish, individuals in the category "Ants, Bees, Wasps, and Kin," and anything else that strikes you as interesting. Send in your shots even if the animal or plant is already pictured on the website. Sometimes new photos replace or accompany the old ones.

You can email your pictures as attachments to WestMeade@gmail.com or send prints to The West Meade Conservancy, P.O. Box 58406, Nashville, TN 37205.

B. THANK YOU to everybody who has recently filled out Landowner Registration Forms, put up West Meade Conservancy signs, or contacted the WMC for information. WELCOME to those of you who are new to the area but not new to the idea of conservation; we're lucky to have you in our midst.

C. STORMWATER TALK In May Council Representative Emily Evans gave a talk on stormwater issues that can affect the creeks and streams in West Meade. She said that although wooded hillsides contribute significantly to the health of a watershed by absorbing stormwater, there are still many things residents can do to help prevent polluting the two branches of Richland Creek in this area: Jocelyn Branch and Vaughn's Branch.

  1. Limit use of fertilizers and weed killers.
  2. Limit use of concrete around running water (polluting salts and metals can leach out).
  3. Grow plants around streams and ditches.
  4. Wash cars at local carwashes (to keep sudsy water from running down driveways).
  5. Pick up pet waste (a bacterial contaminant) near streams and ditches.
  6. Use permeable material on driveways and parking areas so that stormwater can be absorbed by the soil.
  7. Report any sediment discharge or illegal construction discharge to 880-2420.

At the Stormwater Talk, Monette Rebecca of the Richland Creek Watershed Alliance invited West Meade residents to become part of the effort to keep Richland Creek clean and healthy. You can learn more about this group from its website. Learn more about the group at www.richlandcreekwatershedalliance.org . If you don't use the Internet but would like information about RCWA, call Monette at 525-3379.

Another neighborhood conservation group, located in Bells Bend, has contacted the Conservancy. Their website is www.bellsbend.org.

Example and Good News from The Hillside Trust of Cincinnati

March 30, 2008

The Hillside Trust maintains many conservation easements on large areas of land, but it also maintains The Duermit Trust, a collection of individual easements on several urban properties, a small version of what The Conservancy is building. Eric Russo, Director of The Hillside Trust, has been encouraging and advising The West Meade Conservancy, and you'll be interested in his comments about the positive effect of conservation easements on property values. [See below.]
[Excerpt from Cincinnati newspaper article – page 5, section H, The Enquirer, 11/18/07: "Land donation can enhance property value," by Amy Howell]

Some homeowners, however, want to protect their land's future conservation without giving up their property rights and choose to place a conservation easement on the land. "In a conservation easement, the homeowner still owns the property and underlying title but has permanently extinguished the present and future development rights," Russo says.
The "do not disturb" terms of a conservation easement pass from one owner to the next. Despite the restricted use, a preserved plot of land can contribute to a home's marketability when it's time to sell...and the home often boasts a higher appreciation rate. "Numerous studies around the country have shown if you have property within 1,000 feet of a dedicated green space, your house will have a higher appreciation rate, of about 6 percent (over) your counterparts," Russo says.

In August, the owners of a four-acre estate in Hyde Park donated 2.6 acres to the Hillside Trust through an easement and placed the conserved land, the home and its 1.4-acre lot on the market. The selling price of the property wasn't reduced on account of the 2.6 acre's limited use. Ted Mack, the Realtor for the property admits he was hesitant. "There was the thought, If we restrict the use to a buyer, would it diminish (the value)?" Mack says. "But it was our feeling that the right buyer would be very happy to buy it this way," Mack says. Mack didn't have to wait long for an answer. The property received an offer the first day it was for sale.

February 24, 2008

The West Meade Conservancy is graduating from good intentions to official actions.

Good intentions caused owners of wooded properties in West Meade to sign non-binding Landowner Registration Forms indicating a desire to preserve the woods by placing conservation easements on parts of them. Residents without wooded properties signed Support Forms to show support for protection of those natural areas. This was Phase One of the Conservancy’s effort to fulfill its mission of conserving a unique natural area.

Once it was clear that there is strong community approval of that mission, the Conservancy sought agencies to assist with Phase Two, turning the informal registrations into legal agreements (“easements”).

The WMC is now actively working with two conservation agencies to provide official support and funding to create a collection of individual conservation easements. For a full description of such easements, see the “Conservation Easements” link on the this website,

The first easement collection will involve properties on Rolling Fork Dr., Jocelyn Hollow, Wayside Ct., Saxon Ct., Grayson Dr., and Rodney Ct. These have been chosen because 1) they enclose some of the oldest sections of woods; 2) the wooded pieces that owners have designated are contiguous; and 3) the position of these woods between other natural areas (Beaman Park, Warner Parks, Radnor Lake) makes a natural corridor important to the city’s character and health.

The agencies who will jointly maintain the easements require legal surveys and legal descriptions of the land bearing easements (an individual benefit of granting an easement will be a free survey). These organizations are helping to create a plan for carrying out the surveys and recording the easements and will work with landowners to define borders that suit the terrain and the residents.

Although many landowners have entered Phase Two, Phase One is on-going. As new owners sign up, the easement collection can continue to expand and new groups can form, so send in your Landowner Registration Form or ask for the form and lot diagrams through the " Contact Us" link on the website.

All of the woods and wildlife on West Meade’s ridges are vulnerable to the pressures of development; however, the WMC has always relied on the personal choices of landowners to determine which sections of woods will receive the protection of conservation easements.

Additional News:

Conservancy member Mary Entrekin Agee led a group of middle school students on a photography field trip through the magnificent 322-acre Hill Property (for the purchase of which Friends of Warner Parks is raising funds); the result of that trip was a beautiful book of students’ photographs and reflections, with mention of the Conservancy’s mission, website, and members Noah Charney and Jane Bibring. To borrow a copy of the book, contact Anne Williams.