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Who we are…

Our mission…

The risks if we don’t act…

How you can help…

Who We Are

We are concerned citizens who have joined an informal Alliance to Conserve Nashville’s Highland Rim Forest. 

We are NOT a new organization but a growing community of Nashville residents, neighborhood organizations and existing non-profits sharing a common vision – connecting and conserving the Highland Rim Forest.

It’s the rolling green backdrop that cradles the west side of Davidson County from Radnor to Beaman, and through Whites Creek and Joelton “and beyond…” 

Our City’s General Plan (NashvilleNext), and our Parks Department’s Plan to Play set out bold agendas to “Champion The Environment” by preserving and expanding Nashville’s green and open spaces.

We’ve already planned for it!  Now let’s implement the plans!   Join us in helping make this happen. 

Our Mission

Conserve Nashville’s Highland Rim Forest linking Radnor, Warner Parks, West Meade, Bells Bend, Beaman, and Whites Creek, protecting our land, air, waters, wildlife, scenery, and children’s future.

For more than a decade, conservation organizations have worked to secure conservation easements and new public land additions to link existing parks at: Radnor Lake State Park (1400 acres), Warner Parks (3100 acres), West Meade Hills with a publicly accessible cave and waterfall and private conservation easements, Bell’s Bend (800 acres) and Beaman Park (2,300 acres) totaling 7,500 acres in this 50,000 acre, “green infrastructure” Corridor as identified in NashvilleNext, making Nashville’s Highland Rim Forest one of the largest urban forests in the world.

The maps in the Long Range plans delineate a 50,000 acre portion of this Forest corridor, important for our air, land, water, and wildlife.

And, if we follow through with our already agreed-upon plans, Nashville will have the largest urban forest in the world.

The Risk If We Don't Act

Exploding population growth, land speculation and development, and aging landownership are fragmenting our centuries-old forest into smaller parcels.

New homes, asphalt drives and the resulting sterile lawns threaten our forests’ contribution to our healthy environment.

Without these productive forests, we face higher summertime temperatures, increased flooding, polluted streams, degraded scenery, and even compromise the very air we breathe.

Trees provide essential ecosystem services to cleaning our air and reducing the risk of air quality related illnesses.

The jewels of our park system – Radnor Lake and other Highland Parks will be diminished if we lose the corridor that supports these ecosystems.

Additionally, Davidson County’s Climate Change Mitigation Action Plan 2021 cannot accomplish its carbon reduction goals if our intact forest no longer exists.

We’ve already said yes to this. The problem isn’t a lack of plans or approval.  It’s a matter of funding.

Davidson County must fund, fully implement, and fulfill the NashvilleNext vision of preserving these important parts of our county.

The mandate from the public was and remains clear.

Lack of public funding and implementation from the City of Nashville threaten our more sustainable future. But we can preserve this forest corridor and the benefits to our city.

Parks are popular and the public does support this. Our most desired recreational amenities are greenways and foot paths. Foot paths are THE most economical addition for our park system. (See Plan to Play)

Development, Transportation and Climate/Conservation are inseperably related.

Nashville’s Highland Rim Forest serves a critical role in Nashville’s vitality and future sustainability as a healthy city.  

It cools and cleans the air, protects us from flooding and sustains a multitude of life. It enhances property values, improves mental health and provides amenities that attract people exactly because of the city’s proximity to this natural resource. How many cities have a forest just 15 minutes from downtown?

And our Forest’s steep hills make it an extremely expensive place to provide the infrastructure necessary to support Nashville’s future growth, which really should go where the infrastructure already exists.

So it makes sense to preserve this incredible asset. That’s exactly why all of Nashville’s plans include it, and why we urge Nashville to follow through.

You Can Help!

  1. Share the phrase:”The Nashville Highland Rim Forest” with your friends and networks and let them know there’s an Alliance growing to conserve it.
  2. If you’re aligned with the vision of conserving Nashville’s Highland Rim Forest, we invite you to join our Alliance.
  3. And If you’re part of a neighborhood organization aligned with our vision, please consider inviting your Board to joining the Alliance Conserving Nashville’s Highland Rim Forest! (use the form below to get in touch!)

Overall Strategy

Our objective is to conserve 12,000 additional acres of Nashville’s Highland Rim Forest by 2040, as already called for in many of our county’s long range plans. We’re falling behind the plans.

Our first priority is to fund a conceptual Master Plan synthesizing these 17 plans into a checklist of action steps to start taking now. Then…

  1. Increase funding to identify and purchase sensitive lands and open space as planned!!!
  2. Engage Metro leaders to fulfill the NashvilleNext mission to “Champion our Environment” and to stick to the plan.
  3. Grow the Alliance
  4. Repeat.



Please note: the Alliance is not an organization. It is an all-volunteer, informal coalition of nonprofits and Nashville citizens with a shared vision – Conserve Nashville’s Highland Rim Forest.

Alliance Vision Keepers

Kathleen Williams, Co-Chair
Founding Director, TennGreen Land Conservancy
Anne Davis, Co-Chair
Former Managing Attorney, Southern Environmental Law Center; Senior Program Advisor,
Energy, Environment and Land Use Program, Vanderbilt Law School
Karl Dean, Honorary Chair
Nashville Mayor (2007-2015), Honorary Chairman, Conserve Nashville’s Highland Rim Forest

Alliance Partners

Swan Conservation Trust

Friends of West Meade Hills

Regenerative Community Ecology Consulting


Frequently Asked Questions

First, Join the Alliance! Get in touch and we’ll add you to our email list for updates and action alerts.

Beyond that, how can and do you WANT to help?   The movement grows with the diversity of talent, experience and energy offered by people just like you.   

The most important and impactful thing you can do is spread the words “Nashville’s Highland Rim Forest” 

Here’s a quick checklist of actions you can take to help Conserve Nashville’s Highland Rim Forest.

  1. Join the Alliance! All are welcome, individuals and organizations. Do so by getting in touch using the form below.
  2. Like and Follow us on Facebook and Twitter
  3. Share this website and ask your friends and family to join us.  Post  pictures of the forest and tag us #615HighlandRim.  We’re building a movement and want everyone in Nashville to know that our piece of the Highland Rim Forest needs protection.
  4. Introduce us to landowners interested in conservation.
If you can think of other ways you’d like to contribute your energy to the movement, get in touch!  

The Highland Rim is a geographic term for the area in Tennessee surrounding the Central Basin. Nashville is largely surrounded by higher terrain in all directions. Geologically, the Central Basin is a dome. The Highland Rim is a cuesta surrounding the basin, and the border where the difference in elevation is sharply pronounced is an escarpment. Nashville is located in the northwestern corner of the basin.

The Highland Rim Forest extends from Alabama to Kentucky, and a portion of it passes through the west and northern parts of Davidson County. 

The Alliance is an informal and growing coalition of organizations and individuals in Nashville committed to protecting the Highland Rim Forest. It is a movement of people and organizations rallied around a common cause:  Conserve Nashville’s Highland Rim Forest. We are not creating a new organization – we’re all advocates of an idea that we hope you’ll share and join us.

A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and a conservation organization or government agency. This agreement helps protect the land’s natural beauty, wildlife habitat, and other important environmental features by limiting certain types of development or land use. By establishing a conservation easement, landowners contribute to the preservation of our environment while maintaining ownership of their property, ensuring a greener and more sustainable future for generations to come.

Join Us!!!

We literally have so much ground to cover!   If you are interested in being part of the movement to conserve Nashville’s Highland Rim Forest, please get in touch.  We’re looking forward to hearing from you.