The Trust For Public Land Names New Tennessee Director

For Noel Durant, the new leader of The Trust For Public Land’s Tennessee office, starting a new chapter is really about returning to his roots.

Durant, a Chattanooga native and McCallie School alum (‘04) who has served in a variety of roles for The Trust For Public Land (TPL) since 2013, assumed the role of Tennessee State Director on November 1. An avid outdoorsman with a degree in Natural Resource Management from Clemson University, he was previously the office’s Institutional Giving Manager and Program Director. Before returning to the Tennessee office of TPL in 2020, he led the Crested Butte Land Trust in Crested Butte, Colorado.

“My wife and I welcomed our first child last year, which made our decision to return to the Tennessee Valley very easy,” Durant says. “I’m lucky to have had the experience of learning a lot in Colorado, about land and about leadership, but it was important to us that our son grow up in this incredible part of the country. After all, what is this work about if not creating and protecting public lands for future generations to enjoy?”

TPL has big plans for Tennessee in 2022, including the completion of the South Chickamauga Creek Greenway, the development of a new trail to connect Red Bank’s White Oak Park with Chattanooga’s famed Stringer’s Ridge, and a significant expansion of Lockeland Springs Park in East Nashville. 

As Tennessee State Director, Durant will be responsible for the timely completion of these and other projects, in addition to managing the office’s operations staff and collaborating with the state’s Director of Philanthropy to secure financial support for the region’s many efforts to protect land and create parks for people.

“Noel is the ideal person for this job, both because of his long history with TPL and his unique understanding of where our organization can go next,” says Franklin Farrow, a longtime TPL volunteer and supporter of their work in Tennessee. “The creation and protection of high-quality public space is essential to healing damage to our environment and divisions in our community. Noel knows how to do both, and The Trust For Public Land will be stronger because of his leadership moving forward.” 

About The Trust for Public Land

The Trust for Public Land was founded in 1972 on the conviction that all people need and deserve access to nature and the outdoors, close to home, in the cities and communities where they live, as a matter of health, equity, and justice. While many conservation organizations set aside wildlands for biodiversity or habitat restoration, our founders sought to bring the benefits of parks and nature to the places, people, and communities that needed them most. 

For more information on TPL’s work in Tennessee, visit