Land Acquisition

Over the last 48 years, Friends of Radnor Lake has worked with the State of Tennessee, landowners and other partners to acquire additional land around Radnor Lake State Natural Area. This has been a comprehensive effort with the overall goal of maintaining Radnor Lake in the same natural state as it was when designated as the State of Tennessee’s first natural area in 1973. We strive to protect the watershed, viewshed, sensitive plant species, native grasslands and future hiking trail opportunities.

Cartwright (2018)

Efforts to protect land surrounding Radnor Lake starts with our adjoining landowners. John and Betsy Cartwright have been Radnor’s neighbors to the east for decades. After two years of planning, in January 2018, the Cartwrights bestowed their five acres of property, forever protecting this critical viewshed, watershed property on Radnor’s eastern border, from development.

Without the sizable and generous in-kind donation from John and Betsy Cartwright, this property would not have been attainable at market value for Friends of Radnor Lake. Special thanks also to TDEC, State of Tennessee and the Heritage Conservation Trust Fund for their support in this acquisition.

Harris Ridge (2010-2019)

Thanks to a private/public partnership which began in 2010 between the Harris family, Friends of Radnor Lake, and the State of Tennessee, this six-year, $4 million initiative to acquire 89 acres guaranteed the preservation of this unique property along Radnor’s southeastern border.

The Harris Ridge acquisition provided us a unique opportunity for new trail opportunities and enhanced wildlife viewing while also protecting the last undeveloped ridgetops viewable from our trails.

Thanks to our largest private donation from the Adams family, Friends of Radnor Lake was able to acquire the last remaining acres for this project in April 2019.

Since acquiring the last remaining acres of this project, Friends of Radnor Lake and the State of Tennessee have worked with numerous partners to plan, prepare, and start the development of a new trail from Franklin Road to Otter Creek Road known as the Harris Ridge Trail Project.

Once completed, this project will add three new miles of trail, improve visitor access with a new trailhead and 100 vehicle parking area on Franklin Road near Old Hickory Boulevard.

yarbough tract

Yarbrough Tract (2016)

The Yarbrough family’s relationship with Radnor Lake dates back to the 1930s. Sparked by an interest in bird watching, the Yarbroughs have resided near and explored the land that is now Radnor Lake State Natural Area.

Landowner Ed Yarbrough worked patiently with Friends of Radnor Lake and Tennessee State Parks to orchestrate the sale of two ridgetop acres of land, including a generous and significant in-kind contribution, in honor of longtime Radnor supporter and friend John Hollins, Sr. This property added two critical acres along the northwestern boundary.

The Tennessee Heritage Conservation Trust made a generous grant award of $175,000 to Friends of Radnor Lake which enabled this land purchase and the transfer of a total of 13 new acres of protected land to the State of Tennessee’s Radnor Lake State Natural Area.

Viewshed Protection: Park visitors to Radnor Lake will not have to worry about future development along this portion of ridgetop view from Otter Creek Road thanks to the partnership between the Cheek Family, Friends of Radnor Lake, The State of Tennessee and the Land Trust of Tennessee in 2015.

Cheek (2001-2015)

On September 13th, 2015 Kay Cheek joined Friends of Radnor Lake, The Land Trust for Tennessee, and the State of Tennessee in celebrating a capstone collaboration that permanently conserved 20 acres of wooded natural area visible from the trails of Radnor Lake. This land and the view will remain protected forever through a conservation agreement with The Land Trust for Tennessee, with 15 of those acres acquired by the Friends of Radnor Lake to be transferred to the State of Tennessee for the natural area.

Over a period of 14 years, the Cheeks have generously offered a total of 75 acres of land for purchase by Friends of Radnor Lake so that this land can be protected as part of Radnor Lake State Natural Area. This beautiful, untouched natural area was generously offered by the Cheeks for Friends of Radnor Lake to purchase for approximately 20% of market value. This land, along with the five acres that remain in private ownership, are preserved through a conservation agreement and are protected forever in memory of John Hancock Cheek, Jr. and John Hancock Cheek, III.

Picture of the Hideaway Tract along the Southwestern Boundary of Radnor Lake State Natural Area 2014. Pix courtesy of Charlie Tallent

Hideaway (2012-2013)

Friends of Radnor Lake and Land Trust for Tennessee purchased a forty-acre parcel known as the “Hideaway” tract along Radnor Lake’s southeastern boundary on December 30, 2012. The land was secured by Friends of Radnor Lake and Land Trust for Tennessee, with assistance from The Conservation Fund, then purchased by the State of Tennessee in May 2013, protecting it as part of Radnor Lake State Natural Area. This large acquisition is a critical piece of the overall protection of the area surrounding Radnor Lake.

Other Land Acquisition Partners


Adams family

Andrea Waitt Carlton (AWC) Family Foundation

Cal Turner Family Foundation

Frist Foundation

Heritage Foundation Trust

Memorial Foundation