Compare Tennessee to other places on Earth; we live in paradise – “the greenest state in the land of the free.” Green, because we are water rich with more than 60,000 miles of rivers and streams.
Tennessee is located just south of where once the great ice sheets that scraped off most life in ice ages over two million years. The ice sheet stopped just north of us so ancient species that were eliminated in Ohio still live in Tennessee.
Tennessee has the most fish, crayfish and mussel species on the continent. We support half of the freshwater species in the United States. Our Duck River has more kinds of fish per mile than any other river in North America.
Tennessee has more cave openings than any state in North America, with cathedrals to astound.
Tennessee has more species of trees than throughout all of Europe with 150 different kinds of native trees. Our garden blooms with them in the Spring and blazes with them in the Fall.
Our wildflowers and salamanders. Our elk and deer, wild turkeys and fox, black bear, river otters, squirrels that fly and bobcats that prowl and no one knows how many species of insects but they make our soils bountiful for use.
Travel some back road on a misty morning and see the dew rise over the good farm land still tended. The rows of bountiful cropland that Tennessee is blessed with to feed us and sustain us.
And in every small town and all across our State, remnants still bear witness to our storied past, our ancient forbears, our frontier settlements, our Civil War battlefields, our idyllic town squares and historic neighborhoods.
The Economic Case for a Forever Green Tennessee.
Tennessee is growing. By 2050 Tennessee’s population will have grown to 9.3 million and will need access to clean drinking water and adequate water for farm land and recreation.
Water remains one of the key driving points for economic development in Tennessee, as well as the global economy. The site selection process for new or expanding business is often based on the availability of capable and efficient water and wastewater services.
These services are not possible without available natural resources that can meet both the current and future demands of business while also creating a desirable quality of life for the employees of those interested businesses.
Parks boost local economies by attracting residents and businesses: Many businesses today, such as the booming health care and health tech sector, are not tied to locating near specific raw materials or transportation modes. Businesses often select locations with high quality of life, such as those with parks, open space and easy outdoor access, to attract highly skilled workers.
One thought on “Tennesee is green. We’d like to keep it that way. And there are compelling economic reasons to do so.”
I write to wholeheartedly support “Forever Green Tennessee”. As secretary of the Memphis canoe club and the Memphis Camera Club (BOTH!) I do represent about 200 people in Shelby County. Each of us cares about the trees, the water and the land. Let’s keep it healthy.