BELLE FOREST CAVE ARBORETUM
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS PROPERTY IS CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC.
Across two forested ridges from the West Meade Waterfall, the four-acre Belle Forest Cave is located behind the Belle Forest Condominiums in Bellevue. This property features an old springhouse leading to a small cave where bats have been sighted. The varied topography, soil types, and three small streams support a broad diversity of tree and shrub species, ranging from lowland hardwoods to dry ridge and acidic soil species.
In Fall 2018, the Belle Forest Cave was established as a certified arboretum through the collaborative efforts of TennGreen volunteer, Willi Honegger, TennGreen staff, and the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council (TUFC).
Our Conservation Story
In 2015, TennGreen purchased these four acres and successfully fundraised to complete the project. We are grateful to the Community Foundation for Middle Tennessee for supporting our effort of restoring the land through native plant removal.
Award-Winning Research at the Belle Forest Cave
Belmont University biology alumna Lindsay Millward (2016) received the first place Frank G. Brooks Award for Excellence in Student Research in Ecology at the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society National Convention in St. Paul, MN in June 2016. Lindsay’s research was on “Leaf Decomposition Rate Differs Between Invasive Exotic Lonicera maackii and Native Acer saccharum in a Temperate Deciduous Forest” that she completed as part of her senior research project with biology professor Dr. Darlene Panvini. In April, Lindsay won first place in the regional Tri Beta District II oral presentation session and received an award that paid for her expenses to the national convention. Lindsay will begin a Master’s program in ecology in the fall of 2016 at Central Washington University where she received a teaching assistantship.
The Belle Forest Cave is closed to the public.