Palm warbler

Palm warbler, a species found in Kyker Bottoms Refuge. Credit: Derek Bakken

American kestrel

American kestrel, a species found in Kyker Bottoms Refuge. Credit: James Diedrick

Multiple locations in eastern Tennessee

Key Activities:

  • Planting 3,200 trees across 45 acres
  • Improving wildlife habitat and creating wildlife viewing areas
  • Stabilizing streambanks

Project Description:
Alcoa Foundation, American Forests and Foothills Land Conservancy are planting 3,200 trees at three project sites in eastern Tennessee in order to improve wildlife habitat and control soil erosion, as well as provide wildlife viewing opportunities to visitors and residents.

Why This Project:
This project is planting in three distinct categories of eastern Tennessee locations: Kyker Bottoms Refuge in Blount County, Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area in Knox County and conservation easements scattered across multiple counties. The first two mentioned are popular recreation areas, especially for birding, and all are important for wildlife habitat and watershed health. This project is focusing on planting trees to provide additional wildlife cover, increasing the potential for wildlife viewing and recreation activities and helping to stabilize soil erosion, especially on the conservation easement properties.

Why Kyker Bottoms Refuge and Forks of the River:
Kyker Bottoms Refuge is considered one of the best birding locations in eastern Tennessee. At various times of the year, it is home to American kestrel, loggerhead shrike, palm warbler, pipit, red-shouldered and red-tailed hawks, northern harrier, American bittern and Virginia rail, among others. The observant viewer may also spot the rare Nelson’s sharp-tailed sparrow, LeConte’s sparrow or Brewer’s blackbird.

Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area is a prime location to view migrating songbirds, while year-round, you can spot deer and wild turkey in its forests. Over the years, wildlife and humans alike have created a number of popular recreation trails in the area.

Interested in the other Tennessee reforestation projects in which we’ve been involved? Check out our Tennessee Global ReLeaf projects.