Outstanding Media Award

Nominees must have demonstrated significant and sustained efforts to provide positive public exposure and education in the field of trail use, planning, design, implementation, or policies. The nominee must have demonstrated a willingness and receptiveness to provide free public service exposure about trails.


The Tennessee Conservationist

This nomination recognizes the tremendous contributions of The Tennessee Conservationist magazine to significantly demonstrate sustained and exemplary positive public exposure and education in the field of trail use, planning and construction.​

The magazine has been a public source of reliable information and a strong advocate for trail development on a local, state, regional and national level for many years.

During the eligible period of recognition (June 1, 2006 to May 31, 2008) The Tennessee Conservationist magazine has covered:

  • The nationally known and beautiful Fiery Gizzard Trail in the Grundy Forest State Natural Area on the Cumberland Plateau
  • The re-routing of hiking trails in a Murfreesboro, Tennessee city park to protect Timber Rattlesnakes
  • Volunteer opportunities on the Appalachian Trail
  • An historical hike through Lookout Mountain and the Tennessee River Gorge
  • Hiking and backpacking at Big Frog Mountain
  • Trail work by the Tennessee Youth Conservation Corps
  • The fortieth anniversary of the Tennessee Trails Association

In addition, since 2005 The Tennessee Conservationist has featured Fran Wallas’ “Great Hikes in Tennessee State Parks” in each bi-monthly issue of the magazine. Her hiking recommendations are available as a free public service on the Tennessee Conservationist Web site.

Fran is an accomplished hiker and trail-builder with a gift for sharing her experiences from a variety of pathways crisscrossing Tennessee State Parks. Drawing upon her first-person encounters with state park hiking and walking trails, Fran offers helpful insight ranging from each trail’s degree of difficulty to the types of unique natural features one should expect to find along that hike. Although she works as an attorney for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation in Nashville, she volunteers to write for The Tennessee Conservationist.

During the eligible period her stories have covered:

  • May/June 08: Hike Back in Time at Old Stone Fort
  • March/April 08: Three Trails Make One Great Hike at Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park
  • January/February 08: Cumberland Mountain State Park – A Hike that Sparkles
  • November/December 07: Savage Gulf – A Winter Hike for Views
  • September/October 07: Roan Mountain State Park’s Hike for Athletes-in-Training
  • July/August 07: The Obed Wild and Scenic River Segment of the Cumberland Trail
  • May/June 07: Burgess Falls State Natural Area Offers the Most Waterfalls in the Shortest Distance
  • March/April 07: The Lake Trail’s in Bloom at Standing Stone State Park
  • January/February 07: Three Ways to Hike the Perfect Winter Trail at Long Hunter State Park
  • November/December 06: Montgomery Bell State Park – A Six-Mile Overnight Hike for Beginners of All Ages
  • September/October 06: Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park – A Colorful Woodland Loop
  • July/August 06: Buggytop Cave – A Cool Hike for a Hot Day

The Tennessee Conservationist magazine is well known for its outstanding photography and well written articles and fills a unique niche for the state of Tennessee. No other publication specifically has as its mission “to educate the public about the preservation, protection and wise use of the state’s natural and cultural resources.” The magazine is published bi-monthly and currently has over 16,000 subscribers. The magazine is available at over 1,000 schools and public libraries across the state. Its focus is on conservation and environmental education with an emphasis on native species, Tennessee history, archaeology and culture, and programs and activities at Tennessee State Parks. Each issue features high quality photographs and articles, with no commercial advertising. Even though its mission covers a broad range of conservation issues, it devotes a significant number of pages to promote trails.

Since 1995, when budget constraints caused the elimination of contributor payments, unpaid volunteers have supplied the articles and photographs appearing in The Tennessee Conservationist. During the course of a year, over 100 individuals from a variety of organizations contribute articles and photographs to produce this publication.

More winners of this award

2015: Governor's 100 Missouri Miles

2013: Michigan Department of Natural Resources

2010: Bob Fulcher

2006: Des Moines Register, Iowa

2004: Joli Harrington

2004: Barbara Krebs

737 views • posted 12/25/2017