Michelle Haynes and her daughter Sarah Haynes-Brin have taken a big step in conserving their historic family land for generations to come. The family recently signed a conservation easement with The Land Trust for Tennessee to protect 84 acres of pastureland and scenic land near Gallatin, TN in perpetuity.
The Haynes’ partnered with The Land Trust for Tennessee, a statewide conservation organization, to permanently protect the property that was originally given to the Haynes family as part of a land grant after the Revolutionary War. The property came back on the market in 2020 and the family took advantage of the opportunity to reclaim a piece of its history, which includes a family cemetery.
“There’s something special about conserving this land for generations to come because I feel like it’s saying ‘we’re not gonna just do a subdivision’,” said Sarah Haynes-Brin.
This is the fifth property that the Haynes family has protected with The Land Trust for Tennessee and adds important scenic value to the area, as it can be seen from Bledsoe Creek State Park. Additionally, the land is adjacent to another property protected by the Haynes family and The Land Trust for Tennessee, forming a conservation corridor of more than 140 protected acres.
The Haynes are not against development as a whole. In fact, Sarah’s mother, Michelle Haynes, said, “There’s places that need developing, because I am a developer, and there’s places that need preserving. And this is just one of those beautiful places that need preserving. I think it’s important to have open space in the future, and if we just keep developing everything, we won’t have that.”
“The Haynes family has been a longtime partner in conservation with The Land Trust for Tennessee, and we are so grateful for their continued commitment to protecting places our state can’t afford to lose,” said Emily Parish, Vice President at The Land Trust for Tennessee. “We are honored that we could help the Haynes family conserve another piece of our shared history.”
The Land Trust’s role going forward is to ensure that the conservation easement is permanently upheld no matter who owns the land in the future, which is key to achieving the Haynes’ family’s goals.
Michelle and Sarah did not donate their land or give it up in any way. One of the many advantages of a conservation easement is that the family still owns the land and can manage it as they wish.
“I would like to see it be a regenerative place,” Sarah explained. “So, instead of just cows and old farmland or a big house for someone to live in, I’d like to see it regrow. So, we’re looking and talking with people that are experts, because I’m not, on what trees and plants grow in Tennessee. I’d love to see us have a replanting, regeneration plan so that we’re bringing back trees that will help us with climate change, that we’re bringing back in trail systems, and we’ve had cows that have been fertilizing the soil.”
The property is within 10 miles of five other properties protected by The Land Trust for Tennessee, totaling more than 1,000 acres.