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September 4, 2003

TDEC OFFICIALLY DEDICATES TYLER SYKES MEMORIAL TRAIL

Couchville Cedar Glade State Natural Area

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Betsy L. Child today announced the opening of Couchville Cedar Glade State Natural Area's first trail. Located adjacent to Long Hunter State Park on the Davidson/Wilson County line, this marks the first time the natural area has been opened to the public.

"The Tyler Alley Sykes Memorial Trail will serve as a lasting tribute to the dedication and passion that Tyler brought to her work and to all of those who were fortunate enough to have known her," Child said during ribbon cutting ceremony for the trail. Sykes' children and family members cut the ribbon officially opening the memorial trail.

The trail was officially dedicated in the memory of Tyler Alley Sykes, a dedicated young biologist, wife and mother, who unexpectedly passed away last spring at the age of 31. Sykes was an employee of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and previously worked for the TDEC Division of Natural Heritage. Sykes played a critical role in working with the state on a federal grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to acquire that 25 acres and protect the remainder of the Tennessee Coneflower population that was outside of the natural area's boundaries.

"She was a rising star, and put her heart into protecting and recovering threatened or endangered species found in Tennessee and Kentucky. The results of her hard work can be seen throughout these states, and now visitors to Couchville Cedar Glade State Natural Area can also see the legacy of her work," said Lee Barclay, Supervisor of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Tennessee Field Office. "Tyler was a living testimony to the adage that it's not how much time you have, but what you do with it."

"We are thrilled Couchville Cedar Glade State Natural Area is now open to the public, realizing the goal we had when we purchased the first tracts to create this area," said Scott Davis, state director of The Nature Conservancy. "We are also happy that trail is being dedicated in Tyler's memory. She worked on many important projects with us, and we miss her."

Governor Bredesen signed legislation into law on May 14, 2003, expanding Couchville Cedar Glade State Natural Area by 25 acres. Legislative sponsors included Representatives Kim McMillan, John Hood and Kent Coleman and Senators Ward Crutchfield and Larry Trail.

-MORE-

Couchville Cedar Glade State Natural Area and the Tyler Alley Sykes Memorial Trail will be open to the public daily. For more information, contact Long Hunter State Park at 615-885-2422, or the State Natural Areas Program at 615-532-0434. For more information on the State Natural Areas Program, visit our Web site at www.tennessee.gov/environment/nh

 

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