Project to be Completed by Summer 2023
MIDDLETON, Tenn. – Construction has officially begun on a new stream at the University of Tennessee’s Lone Oaks Farm, located in Hardeman County, Tennessee. The stream is located on the northwest side of the property, near Lake Hardeman Road and is visible to traffic.
“We have a lot of construction going on at Lone Oaks Farm, and with this newest project so visible to the public, it’s only understandable people would be curious,” said Director of Lone Oaks Farm Ron Blair. “We’re excited about this new stream, and we hope the people who live in the area will be as well.”
The 20,000-foot restoration is part of the stream mitigation agreement between Ford Motor Company and Lone Oaks Farm announced earlier in 2022. The agreement totals $16.5 million, and along with stream restoration, it will also provide long-term financial sustainability for Lone Oaks’ educational programs. Lone Oaks Farm is a part of UT Extension, and has many educational outreach programs including a new STEM Center and 4-H camp.
“From our current understanding of restoration and our natural environments we are confident that this project will be a benefit but we have gone a step further. We have several ongoing studies with multiple universities to look at groundwater connection, stream flow, fish passage and even mussel restoration. We expect these studies to track and verify all of our successes,” said David Blackwood, executive director of the West Tennessee River Basin Authority.
The stream originates from springs and upland hills, flows through the Lone Oaks Farm property, and eventually enters the Hatchie River. Along with partnering with Ford, Lone Oaks Farm has also partnered with the West Tennessee River Basin Authority and the Tennessee Wildlife Federation to create a living classroom.
“Tennessee Wildlife Federation is excited to partner with University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, alongside West Tennessee River Basin Authority, to complete stream restoration work at Lone Oaks Farm,” said Mike Butler, CEO, Tennessee Wildlife Federation. “As part of Ford’s BlueOval City project nearby, the automaker needed to offset their impacts. The Federation is proud that our partnership with UT was able to produce the mitigation work at Lone Oaks Farms. Lone Oaks plays an integral part in agricultural and natural resources education through 4-H and extension programming. This work ensures a restored stream will improve the environment at Lone Oaks, and provide a living classroom for students.”
The new stream is expected to be completed summer of 2023. By that time, Lone Oaks Farm will be fully operational as the first purpose-built 4-H camp in the state of Tennessee. For more information about Lone Oaks Farm, visit loneoaksfarm.com.
Through its land-grant mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. utia.tennessee.edu.