Proposed Bill Would Create Old Forest State Natural Area

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Good news ... This comes to you from another guest blogger, our new intern Natalie. And, yes, I'm totally loving this out-sourcing thing.

Naomi Van Tol’s goal is straightforward: To save the Old Forest section of Overton Park.

As president of the Citizens to Preserve Overton Park (CPOP), Van Tol feels obligated to protect the beloved forest she remembers as a child. The natural arboretum, home to a plethora bird and plant species and trees older than Memphis itself, has already been decreased to fewer than 150 acres today.

State Senator Beverly Marrero and Representative Jeanne Richardson — the two Tennessee state legislators whose districts cover Overton Park — recently filed a bill to create an Old Forest State Natural Area in the park.

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In the last few years, CPOP has been concerned about the Memphis Zoo's expansion plans, specifically its plans for a Chickasaw Bluffs exhibit. If the bill passes, the forest would be protected by the state from inappropriate development.

The next stop will be for Van Tol and CPOP to make their case in Nashville.

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