Land Trust for Tennessee
PO Box 41027
Nashville TN 37204
Protected Farmland
Mission Statement
The Land Trust for Tennessee's mission is to preserve the unique character of Tennessee's natural and historic landscapes and sites for future generations.
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Liz McLaurin
Board Chair Mr. Gentry Barden
Board Chair Company Affiliation
History & Background
Year of Incorporation 1999
Organization's type of tax exempt status 501-C3
Financial Summary
Graph: Expense Breakdown Graph - All Years
Projected Expenses $2,166,735.00
Projected Annual Revenue 1603194 (2019)
Mission The Land Trust for Tennessee's mission is to preserve the unique character of Tennessee's natural and historic landscapes and sites for future generations.

The Land Trust for Tennessee was founded in January 1999 by Jean C. Nelson, Phil Bredesen, and a group of local citizens committed to conserving Tennessee’s magnificent, yet rapidly-disappearing, natural and historic landscapes and sites. The shared vision of land conservation with respect to quality of life, public health, and personal enjoyment by future generations of Tennesseans remains the driving spirit and passion behind The Land Trust for Tennessee. Compelling need and growing community support have fueled our rapid 18 years of growth and the conservation of over 100,000 acres of open land. 

An accredited, statewide not-for-profit 501(c)(3) founded in 1999, the Land Trust works with communities and landowners to protect our open spaces. Our work often involves the donation of conservation easements, which allow people to continue to own their land while placing limits on its development.

We also purchase or accept donations of land to be protected. We work with communities and partner organizations to develop strategic conservation plans and to raise funds for land protection. And we serve as stewards of protected lands, ensuring that conservation agreements are respected.

Although The Land Trust for Tennessee has conserved over 120,000 acres since our founding, we’re not an anti-development organization. We simply believe in balancing growth by protecting lands for the environmental, aesthetic and economic benefit of Tennessee, making it a better place to live, work and play.


To date, over 125,000 acres of land in 69 counties have been protected through The Land Trust for Tennessee. As a result, park lands, farms, working forests, river corridors, historic landscapes, critical watershed areas, urban land, community and cultural resources, and recreational places are created, enhanced and protected drawing new residents, tourists and business to Tennessee. Our work has helped conserve signature places including Castle Rock, Fiery Gizzard, Mayfield Farm, Ropers Knob, critical lands around the Natchez Trace Parkway, and Leiper’s Fork Gateways, as well as thousands of acres of family farms throughout the state. We have partnered with the city of Nashville on the Davidson County Open Space Plan to conserve critical urban green space as the city expands. With an office in Chattanooga, we continue to strengthen our reach across the entire state and become the voice of conservation for all who love Tennessee... making our state a better place to live, work and play.

Needs Generous donations, gifts of land and the tireless work of our volunteers all play critical roles in achieving our mission. Thank you for your support.
Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer Gifts of cash (check, credit card, online, phone), gifts of land, gifts in-kind, gifts of appreciated securities, matching gifts, wills and bequests, event sponsorship, and volunteering (events, educational programs).
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Environment / Land Resources Conservation
Secondary Organization Category Environment / Natural Resources Conservation & Protection
Tertiary Organization Category Environment / Forest Conservation
Areas of Service
Areas Served
Under our statewide charter we assist communities and landowners throughout the state of Tennessee.
Board Chair Statement
Statement from the President:

During this period of rapid growth in certain regions of our state, especially in Middle Tennessee and in the Chattanooga region, the Land Trust for Tennessee is challenged to prioritize, fund and strategically undertake land conservation projects in both proactive and responsive ways; ensure our ability to steward these protected properties forever; and bolster awareness of our work to help ensure the permanence of our work. To address these challenges, we will define statewide conservation priorities – in partnership with communities, government agencies and other NGOs – to protect critical landscapes. We will maintain and enhance conservation values on lands protected by the Land Trust and ensure that we have the financial and staff capacity to manage our stewardship obligations. We will leverage our conservation successes so that Tennesseans recognize the importance of conservation to our communities and see the Land Trust as an essential resource. We will develop a financial master plan to ensure our short- and long-term financial stability and to meet bold conservation and organizational goals. We will ensure that the Land Trust has the talent and infrastructure to support a respected and robust organization. Our 17 years of operation with a reputation for integrity, collaboration, significant acreage under protection and strong staff and board leadership positions us well to meet the statewide conservation opportunities and undertake funding campaigns to accomplish our goals.

CEO Statement

The distinctive, authentic, historic, natural lands of Tennessee connect and inspire all of us – visitors here for a day and those who live here for a lifetime. Our commitment is to leverage every available resource to ensure that places we love and the sense they instill are conserved forever.

Each region and each community in our state has its own special natural character and its own needs and desires for the economy; for the health of its people; for its natural resources; for its farms, forests and waters; and for the needs of its families.

¡ We see vibrant cities and towns, where residents have access to parks and green space, with abundant and accessible fresh local food and clean water.

¡ We see a statewide urban green plan with green corridors connecting communities.

¡ We see small communities that have retained their natural and historic characteristics.

¡ We see expansive, vibrant working forests and natural forests.

¡ We see diverse, lively wildlife habitats in every region of our state.

¡ We see a rural landscape with a robust agricultural economy. We see a future where age-old farming communities thrive, while new faces join old with a clear intention of making rural Tennessee their home.

¡ We see a visitor’s vision of Tennessee as one to behold and experience for its bustling cities with access to green spaces that reflect the natural beauty found in rural communities. We see a future when the protection of our scenic routes and small towns forever brings travelers to all parts of our state.

¡ We see citizens across Tennessee with an understanding of and commitment to the deep connection between land conservation and sense of place. We see a future when the hearts, minds, and everyday choices of Tennesseans make this a place where rich and poor, urban and rural, children and elders all have a connection to the land and its importance in their lives.

¡ We see Glen Leven Farm as a regional, if not national, center for conservation excellence, showcasing the work of The Land Trust and providing a direct connection to the land for people from all walks of life.

Our work demands that we be a strong and healthy organization that is known and respected throughout the state. To support our vision, we need to grow our organization for the future.

¡ We envision a future where The Land Trust for Tennessee works statewide with projects and impact across the counties of Tennessee.

¡ We envision a future where Tennesseans know why this work is essential, know who we are and recognize the difference we have made.

¡ We envision a future where the Land Trust for Tennessee has expert staff and ample financial resources, including significant and ever-growing endowed funds that support operations, stewardship and land protection projects. Our work requires that we have the capacity and the capability to take on the biggest - sometimes heroic - conservation projects.

The conservation of land through the gift, devise, bequest, purchase, through fee simple acquisition or otherwise, real and personal property and interests therein, including without limitation, the acquisition of permanent conservation easements in real property. This program has conserved over 125,000 acres in 69 Tennessee counties, with 383 projects completed.
Population Served , ,

Provide outreach to the general public relating to the conservation of land and natural resources such as productive agricultural and forest lands; recreational, scenic, ecological, historically, and culturally significant lands, preservation of valuable wildlife habitat; watershed and water quality lands; and urban open space.

Population Served , ,
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Gentry Barden
Term May 2018 to May 2021
Board Members
Mr. Gentry Barden Voting
Mr. Robert Brandt Retired JudgeVoting
Mr. Martin Brown Jr.Adams & Reese LLPVoting
Mr. Doug Cameron Community VolunteerVoting
Mr. David Darst Morgan StanleyVoting
Mr. Charles Elcan China Healthcare CorpVoting
Ms. Sara Finley CVS Health CorporationVoting
Mr. Kelly Gill Diversicare Healthcare Services, Inc.Voting
Mr. Joe Hodgson Hodgson DouglasVoting
Ms. Kim Kaegi Kaegi ResourcesVoting
Ms. Lynn Lassiter Kendrick Pinnacle Financial PartnersVoting
Mr. Mark Manner Bass Berry & SimsVoting
Ms. Rosemary McIlhenny Community VolunteerVoting
Ms. Liz McLaurin The Land Trust for Tennessee
Ms. Vicki Pierce Turner VPT VenturesVoting
Ms. Kate Sherrard Chinn Nashville Chamber of CommerceVoting
Mr. Brian Tibbs Moody Nolan ArchitectureVoting
Mr. Greg Vital Morning PointeVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 0
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 11
Female 7
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Does the organization have written Board Selection Criteria? No
Does the organization have a written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Does the Board include Client Representation? Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Standing Committees
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Board Governance
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Program / Program Planning
Risk Management Provisions
Accident & Injury Coverage
Commercial General Liability
Crime Coverage
Directors & Officers Policy
General Property Coverage
Property in Transit & Off Premises
Umbrella or Excess Insurance
Workers Compensation & Employers' Liability
Fiduciary Liability
Employment Practices Liability
Special Event Liability
Computer Equipment and Software
Fine Arts and Collectibles
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ms. Liz McLaurin
Term Start May 2016

As President and CEO, Liz oversees the day-to-day management of The Land Trust for Tennessee. She is a graduate of The University of the South and a resident of the Leiper’s Fork community in Williamson County. She has been involved with The Land Trust since its early days and has led a number of successful initiatives, including the revitalization of The Land Trust’s Glen Leven Farm.

Liz grew up all over the country, from the mountains of Vermont and North Carolina to the urban centers of New York and Philadelphia. She started her career in theatre, acting in both New York and in regional theatre. Since then, she’s worked for organizations including Vanderbilt University, Nashville Public Television, and Nashville Public Radio, Rhode Island School of Design Museum and Colgate University. She also served on the boards and committees including Stand for Children, the Metro Arts Commission, Community Access Corporation and the Nashville Film Festival.

Former CEOs
Ms. Jean Nelson 1999 - May 2016
Full Time Staff 16
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 50
Contractors 0
Plans & Policies
Does the organization have a documented Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Does the organization have an approved Strategic Plan? Yes
Number of years Strategic Plan Considers 5
When was Strategic Plan adopted? June 2015
In case of a change in leadership, is a Management Succession plan in place? No
Does the organization have a Policies and Procedures Plan? Yes
Does the organization have a Nondiscrimination Policy? Yes
Land Trust Alliance1999
External Assessments and Accreditations
External Assessments and Accreditations
Land Trust Alliance2015
Land and Soil Conservationist of the YearTennessee Conservation League2001
Selection for National Mentoring Partnership, one of 10 selected from 1,200+ land trustsNational Land Trust Alliance2003
The Statewide Restoration AwardTennessee Preservation Trust2003
Our President & Executive Director elected to BoardNational Land Trust Alliance2004
National Preservation Honor Award WinnerNational Trust for Historic Preservation2010
Governor’s Award for Excellence in Natural Heritage ConservationState of Tennessee Department of Environmental Protection2009
Trails and Trilliums Service AwardSt. Andrew’s-Sewanee School, Sewanne, Tennessee2009
Farm of the Year, Awarded to The Land Trust for Tennessee's Glen Leven FarmDavidson County Soil Conservation District2015
Conservation Farmer of the Year, Awarded to The Land Trust for Tennessee's Glen Leven Farm Shorthorns (Chris Mullican and Blair Myers)National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Tennessee2015
Conservation Promotion, Awarded to The Land Trust for Tennessee's Harvest & History Program at Glen Leven FarmNational Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Tennessee2015
Conservation, Awarded to The Land Trust for Tennessee's Harvest & History Program at Glen Leven FarmTennessee Association of Conservation Districts (TACD)2015
Senior Staff
Title Vice President of Conservation
Title Director of Finance and Operations
Title Senior Director of Development
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Apr 01 2018
Fiscal Year End Mar 31 2019
Projected Revenue $1,603,194.00
Projected Expenses $2,166,735.00
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Detailed Financials
Revenue and ExpensesHelpFinancial data for prior years is entered by foundation staff based on the documents submitted by nonprofit organizations.Foundation staff members enter this information to assure consistency in the presentation of financial data across all organizations.
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Revenue$3,698,571$3,587,000$3,180,605
Total Expenses$2,730,838$2,888,541$4,193,915
Revenue Less Expenses$967,733$698,459($1,013,310)
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201720162015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$1,284,830
Individual Contributions$3,453,174$3,301,860$1,273,539
Investment Income, Net of Losses$54,132$55,475$59,247
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$193,131$216,064$114,298
Revenue In-Kind$3,318$5,177$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$2,437,265$2,517,915$3,877,889
Administration Expense$194,760$89,711$70,457
Fundraising Expense$98,813$280,915$245,569
Payments to Affiliates--$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.351.240.76
Program Expense/Total Expenses89%87%92%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue3%8%8%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$17,315,278$17,657,202$17,005,790
Current Assets$7,030,036$4,376,803$4,431,820
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$73,279$75,678$67,744
Total Net Assets$17,241,999$17,581,524$16,938,046
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities95.9457.8365.42
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, Gifts and Grants $3,453,174Contributions, Gifts and Grants $3,301,860Federal Government Grants $1,284,830
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising Events $193,131Fundraising Events $216,064Contributions, Gifts, and Grants $1,273,539
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountInvestment Income $54,132Investment Income $55,475Foundations and Corporations $440,169
IRS Letter of Exemption
Capital Campaign
Is the organization currently conducting a Capital Campaign for an endowment or the purchase of a major asset? No
Capital Campaign Goal $0.00
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount 0 as of
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
TN Charitable Solicitations Registration Yes - Expires Sept 2019
Solicitations Permit
Charitable Solicitation Permit
Registration No Financial Comments
Financial figures taken from Form 990.
Financials prepared by Kraft CPAs, PLLC.
Comments provided by Kathryn Bennett 3/9/18.
Nonprofit Land Trust for Tennessee
Address PO Box 41027
Nashville, TN 37204
Primary Phone (615) 244-5263
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Liz McLaurin
Board Chair Mr. Gentry Barden
Year of Incorporation 1999

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