Monday, June 24, 2024
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TennGreen Invites UC Residents To Join Hike-A-Thon

TennGreen Land Conservancy is holding its annual Hike-A-Thon to preserve the state’s natural landscape, Like Cummins Falls.

Executive Director Alice Hudson Pell said some 650 people have already signed up. She said people can enter mileage virtually after hiking, climbing, paddling, biking, or trail running. She said people can donate to the conservancy to help protect the bounty of natural resources throughout Tennessee.

“There are so many benefits to being in nature,” Hudson Pell said. “No matter your fitness level or your activity level, there have been a lot of studies about mental health benefits. Obviously, just being able to move your body and get outside is great for everyone.”

Hudson Pell said people can also participate in teams of up to 10 people. She said the organizations came up with the Hike-A-Thon during COVID as a means of capitalizing on the fact that people are already getting outside at an increased rate.

She said people can sign up on the TennGreen website, put on their boots, and hit the trails.

“Being able to appreciate nature,” Hudson Pell said. “Being able to understand that the ecosystems that we have that provide us with food and clothes, clean air and clean water are all very interdependent, and we need to be very proactive in protecting them. Just as much as we are our fellow humans.”

Hudson Pell said TennGreen used to hold a gala in Nashville each year to raise funds, but it was expensive to put on and limited how many people across the state could attend. She said funds raised help the organization work with partner agencies on land acquisition, and develop conservation easements.

“Cummins Falls is a great example of one of the works that we did,” Hudson Pell said. “It was for sale. It was for sale to developers and some of our board members were able to get outside in the pouring rain at a live auction and raise that paddle to create this new, wonderful state park.”

She said the loss of that land would have been devastating, as there were plots for some 70 homes lined up. She encouraged people to participate to improve their health and contribute to the boots-on-the-ground work that secures the states’ magnificent forests, mountains, and waterfalls.

She said the most active participants can win prizes from sponsors like REI and Patagonia.

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