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Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
Ellington Agricultural Center
440 Hogan Road
Nashville, TN 37220
(615) 781-6500
Big Swan Headwaters Conserved for Future Generations

In May 2017, the Swan Conservation Trust (SCT) and the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation (TennGreen) announced the placement of a Conservation Easement on more than 1,300 acres of forested land adjacent to "The Farm Community" in southeastern Lewis County. The conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between the SCT and TennGreen that permanently limits uses of the land to protect its conservation values.

The SCT was founded in 1992, and beginning in 1997, began acquiring parcels of land in a heavily-forested area on the north and west sides of The Farm Community. The intention was to protect the natural heritage, water quality, and biodiversity of the land due to its unique topography and significant wetland and riparian habitat.

Big Swan Headwaters Preserve is characterized by a wide variety of mature hardwoods on dry ridges and slopes, as well as streamside riparian areas. Geologically, the upper and lower Fort Payne formation underlies majestic limestone bluffs and provides a resistant chert layer, creating scenic waterfalls and cascades that flow into the main streams. One of the most outstanding ecological revelations was the presence of over fifty Highland Rim Calcareous Seeps, a threatened wetland land type.

In addition to its ecological and recreational benefits, the Preserve's seeps flow with cool, clear groundwater year-round, despite occasional summer drought conditions, continuously replenishing the creeks with fresh water. The City of Centerville in Hickman County, many miles downstream, benefits from preservation efforts in the headwaters of Big Swan Creek, by receiving clean waters for its municipal water supply.

Read or download a pdf on the complete story of Swan Headwaters Preserve.

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