Area Landowners Honored at Red Hills Spring Dinner

At the recent Red Hills Spring Dinner at Dixie Plantation, Tall Timbers honored landowners who have made significant contributions to the organization or donated conservation easements in 2017 and 2018.

Board Chairman Tom Rankin presented attorney Ken Hart of the Ausley-McMullen law firm with a plaque recognizing his outstanding contribution of assisting the Geraldine C. M. Livingston Foundation in gifting Dixie Plantation to Tall Timbers in 2013. Mr. Hart gave all the accolades to Geraldine M. Livingston:

Geraldine wanted the property to continue to reflect and be like other properties in the Red Hills. She wanted it to be a safe place for wildlife. She wanted the Continental Field Trial to continue here. She wanted the Dixie House preserved. We knew what she wanted, and I think Geraldine would be extremely pleased if she saw how things are now. Not only is her property preserved, but Tall Timbers research now allows her property to influence the management of properties throughout the Red Hills. It gives Tall Timbers a chance to not only give scientific advice but for area landowners to ask “did you do that?” and “did it work?”

L-R, Tom Rankin and Ken Hart

The dinner program also recognized Tall Timbers’ 2017-2018 donors of 12 conservation easement properties.



487 acres – Terrell County, GA
Dr. James Griffith


Heard’s Pond
588 acres – Thomas County, GA
The Jackson Family


854 acres – Miller County, GA
Mark Boatright, Samuel Boatright, & Russell Henley


Wallington Plantation
500 acres – Baker County, GA
The Drawdy Family



Docwood Farm
908 acres – Mitchell County, GA
Richard & Ann Vann


Live Oak Plantation, Phase V
244 acres – Thomas County, GA
Daphne & Marty Wood


Old Growth Woods
1,108 acres – Grady County, GA
June White, Barbara White, Jane White, & Family


Patterson Tract
1,004 acres – Madison County, FL
Wade & Debra Patterson


Searcy Place
515 acres – Thomas County, GA
Daphne & Marty Wood, & Maury Shields


Finally, Tall Timbers Land Conservancy Committee Chairman George Watkins presented a special recognition of the Ware Forest Acquisition Project. The 160-acre mature growth cypress tract in the Aucilla River was threatened by extensive logging. Homeowners from the Ashville Area Property Owners Association held off the logging trucks for as long as they could. The property’s location next to the Sneads Smokehouse Recreational Area made it a great conservation candidate for increased public access. David Ward, co-founder of the Aucilla/Wacissa River Group, spearheaded the effort to find a conservation outcome. Tom Weller, a Jefferson County landowner, played a crucial role in the transaction by contributing significant funds for the purchase and eventual transfer to the Suwannee River Water Management District.  According to Mr. Watkins, “Tall Timbers used its new Red Hills Land Conservation Opportunity Fund to provide funding to assist Mr. Weller and the District to close the deal. Tall Timbers also received a grant from the Felburn Foundation.” Tall Timbers is grateful to all the parties who played a role in saving this majestic cypress tract on the beautiful Aucilla River.

At left, Shane Wellendorf, Tall Timbers Conservation Coordinator and at right, Hugh Thomas with the Suwannee River Water Management District

The Dixie House event concluded with an elegant dinner catered by Rev Café of Monticello, Florida, using locally-sourced ingredients with a modern Southern flair. Guests enjoyed venison meatballs, fresh salad, shrimp and grits, and prime rib, topped off with satsuma cheesecake.

Tall Timbers wishes to thank the sponsors of this fundraising event, which directly contributed to completing the Dixie House restoration and rehabilitation project. The event drew 44 sponsors and around 200 guests.

Additional sponsors included Chas Cannon and David Ferro.

Guests and staff at the Red Hills Spring Dinner


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