Big Swan Headwaters

Big Swan Headwaters

Big Swan Headwaters Preserve is characterized by a wide variety of mature hardwoods on dry ridges, slopes, and the streamside riparian areas. Geologically, the upper and lower Fort Payne formation underlies majestic limestone bluffs and provides a resistant chert layer, creating scenic waterfalls and cascades that flow into the main streams. One of the most outstanding ecological revelations was the presence of over fifty Highland Rim Calcareous Seeps, a threatened wetland land type.  


In addition to these ecological features, the seeps flow with cool, clear groundwater year-round, despite occasional summer drought conditions, continuously replenishing the creeks with fresh water. The City of Centerville in Hickman County, many miles downstream, benefits from preservation efforts in the headwaters of Big Swan Creek, utilizing the clean waters for its municipal water supply.

Our Conservation Story

On May 8, 2017, TennGreen and Swan Conservation Trust (SCT) formalized the placement of a conservation easement on 1,358 acres known as Big Swan Headwaters Preserve—land immediately adjacent to “The Farm” in Lewis County. The conservation easement will forever conserve the forests, streams and seeps throughout the property.

The easement, a legal-tool which restricts development and timbering, has been in the works for two decades! In 1997, the visionary members of SCT began the long journey of purchasing and piecing together the 1,300+ acres of wetlands and mature forests.

Since the SCT owns the land, their board approached TennGreen to create and uphold the easement in perpetuity. By holding the easement, TennGreen takes on the promise of preservation; each year, TennGreen will be responsible for monitoring the property to ensure no infringement on the easement restrictions.

SCT’s generous support to our Land Stewardship Fund will ensure that TennGreen has the ability to counter any future legal disputes that could arise in centuries to follow.



Big Swan Headwaters

adjacent to "The Farm"