Saturday night was the fifth annual Sunset on the Harpeth event to raise money for the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation. TPGF is a non-profit organization that has saved many of the most endangered and beautiful of Tennessee's natural treasures, places like Virgin Fall and Stillhouse Hollow Falls and Cummins Falls and Black Mountain and Devilstep Hollow Cave and others. In addition to saving specific beautiful places, TPGF has helped keep thousands of acres of rural Tennessee, rural and scenic by encouraging conservation easements and being recipient and guardian of the easement. The founder and Executive Director of the organization is my sister, Kathleen Williams, of whom I could not be more proud.
|Senator Jack Johnson; Kathleen Williams, my sister Executive Director of Tennessee Parks and |
Greenways Foundation and me (Rod Williams)
Senator Jack Johnson is a Republican and the State Senator Representing Williamson County. In his remarks, Senator Johnson praised Johnathan Openheimer for establishing a conservation easement on 1363 area in Williamson County and he said, Mr. Openheimer has taken that acreage and created a business and is creating jobs. “Don’t let anyone tell you that conservation and job creation can’t go together.”
“One of the things that make Williamson County so appealing is the green space,” he said. “Tennessee is one of the most beautiful States in United States of American,” said Senator Johnson. “We have such incredible Natural Resources and they need to be preserved and that is why I am happy to be here and why I am happy to write a check to support the Tennessee and Parks Greenway Foundation."
“The great thing about Parks and Greenway Foundation is that they are preserving those valuable resources we have. With this effort, to take the private dollars which you are raising right here today (by being here) and marrying those with certain tax dollars, we are protecting those resources. People are looking to relocate their business, they are looking to relocate their families, and people are coming to Tennessee in droves, and one of the reasons is because of our beautiful natural resources and I am just grateful that you are here today to help us preserve as many of those as possible.”
I am delighted that Senator Johnson went out of his way to honor and support TPGF. Conservatives and liberals may disagree on some particulars of environmental policy, but there should be little disagreement on conservation and the importance of saving and protecting Tennessee's natural treasures.
This the third of the Sunset on the Harpeth events I have attended. A downpour mid-afternoon swelled the river and canceled any canoeing or nature walk along the river bank but did not distract from the evening and luckily there was no rain during the actual event. It was a beautiful cool evening with a bright moon and I stayed until late in the night. I enjoyed the beautiful outdoor sitting, Blue Grass music, grilled hamburgers and other good fare, and good conversation and adult beverages, and just relaxing. Having been stressed by my wife's advancing illness, it was great for me to have a fun and relaxing evening and I could not think of a better place to have it.