by Vesta Griswold
A plant does not live unto itself, but is part of an organized community. The decimation of the natural communities that had become established here before the first settlers arrived, and which had been only slightly interrupted by the Native Americans, was an inevitable result as cities, industries, and farms expanded. Now that our thoroughly mechanized and economically oriented society is in the midst of a population explosion, the decimation of natural areas for immediate use and profit has accelerated phenomenally. We can no longer take it for granted that there will forever be forests of mighty trees with all the lesser dignitaries and the diminutive beauties beneath.
Fortunately, mindful people have taken necessary steps to set aside natural areas in our beautiful countryside. It is now our good fortune to enjoy them as well as to protect them. When human kind descends on an area for recreation, delicate wild flowers are trampled, beaten down, broken off, and wiped out by the masses. Our state parks are well used and enjoyed. We are fortunate, indeed, for we in Nashville are rejuvenated by a walk through Radnor Lake Natural Area, and Warner Park as well as all our lovely parks. We need to use them with care, however. One person traveling straight down a hill can so dislodge loose humus-soil and little roots that the next rain will initiate a gully which more rain will enlarge. The steeper the slope is, the greater the damage. Zigzag paths can prevent that to some extent.
Our Tennessee countryside presents us with an amazing panorama of beautiful landscapes and plant species. We are fortunate, indeed, to have the opportunity to help preserve them for future generations. Our many parks are there for us to enjoy and our State Natural Areas are rare gems. We will never know our beautiful land as the early explorers saw it for it is now forever changed. We have the obligation to help preserve all that we can. We have nurseries that grow our native plants, and we can grow and enjoy them in our yards. We should never take them from the wild unless that area is about to be developed. We can walk with care as we go to and from our beautiful rivers. We can tread with care in our forests. Our creed should be “TAKE ONLY PICTURES FROM OUR BEAUTIFUL WILD PLACES AND LEAVE ONLY FOOT PRINTS” made with care.
What is a landform anyway? Landforms are arches, waterfalls, rocks, peaks, balds, and lakes. The University of Tennessee has a very detailed listing that includes 549 waterfalls in our state, and thats just the beginning. Click here to find out more.