FranklinIs Connected

19th National Land Trust Rally

19th National Land Trust Rally

More than 1,700 conservation leaders converged at the world’s premier gathering of land trust professionals for the 19th National Land Trust Rally in Nashville.

Williamson County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Heritage Foundation of Franklin-Williamson County played host to four of 12 pre-conference field trips that were offered to rally delegates Oct. 19 and 20. The field trips were designed to showcase Williamson County’s commitment to heritage, conservation and preservation.
Land trust professionals had their pick of four excellent tour options. “Backroad Biking Boogie” and “Conservation Easements – Protecting a Way of Life” tours enjoyed the Leiper’s Fork cultural experience with an in-depth tour of land trust property in the comfort of wagons covered with homemade quilts. They were treated to a musical experience of toe tappin’, foot stompin’ fun at Green’s Grocery with the unique local flavor of the Leiper’s Fork dancers.  To the great delight of rally-goers, these two tours finished in grand style with a trip to the creek for moonshine tasting.
“Historic Franklin – NOT Anywhere, USA” and “In the Footsteps of General Hood” were the remaining Williamson County tours that highlighted preservation efforts and successes as well as the rich Civil War history of this county.  Both tours were treated to a tour of Carnton by Robert Hicks, Franklin’s own New York Times bestselling author of “Widow of the South.” Everyone was impressed by Robert’s presence and his mesmerizing account of Carrie McGavock and her role in the Battle of Franklin. Other tour highlights included a wagon ride of Pontotoc Farm, owned by Hank and Mary Brockman followed by a true taste of Southern tradition, Mint Juleps; a compelling tour of Civil War sites given by Eric Jacobson, author of “For Cause & for Country: A Study of the Affair at Spring Hill and the Battle of Franklin,” and an overview at Harlinsdale Farm of the city’s preservation efforts by Franklin Mayor Tom Miller.
Williamson County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Heritage Foundation worked together months in advance to bring the Land Trust Rally tours to Williamson County. 

Over one-third of the field trip participants chose a Williamson County tour.  One enthusiastic land trust professional was overheard saying, “I am truly impressed by the preservation accomplishments of this community.” 

Deborah Warnick, Heritage Tourism Manager for the tourism bureau stated: “These land trust professionals will go back and tell our story to their communities and hopefully take with them information to positively impact their preservation challenges.  We look forward to the visitors who will come to Williamson County as a result of these successful tours.”

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