Coming to FLC in 2007 from 25 years as proprietrix of Native Gardens, a native plant nursery, Meredith was delighted to have the opportunity to assist FLC in field work. FLC had recently changed leadership and needed an able body to assist with various field work tasks. Her formal education focused on botany and ecology along with agricultural training in animal science and horticulture, including some Peace Corps time in Costa Rica, so being outside was truly her main specialty. Little did she know where this would lead.
Looking back, growth and change define the 15 years since. After those early, easy days learning the beautiful backroads of Blount County, her trajectory became steep and most of her work as Land Director focused on monitoring all properties and on developing the Baseline Document Report (BDR). This is essential for each Conservation Easement project and serves as a snapshot of the property at the time the easement is put in place. BDRs include descriptions of all biological and cultural resources of the property and are used as a critical reference for protecting those resources into the future. As FLC rapidly grew, so did the need for ever more detailed BDRs and the need for her to train more field biologists. For a few years the workload was intense (thanks Bill!), and she also worked with multiple consultants across several states to spread out the load.
Happily, Matt and Shelby Lyn came on board in 2017 and were a pleasure to work with as Meredith helped them negotiate the ever-changing FLC maze. They fledged quickly with flying colors as the Next Gen of FLC biologists, leaving Meredith to spend more time with projects that get dirt under her nails! Aside from still helping out with any easement duties when needed, enhancing the landscape and habitats of the Harris Farm offer her endless opportunities to get back to the dirty jobs. Her focus now includes guiding the addition of native species diversity, within an attractive landscape, while keeping maintenance manageable. Do stop by and enjoy our progress!