“Where is the TV?”
“Where did they buy the milk to put in the Dairy?”
“What did they need horses for?”
“Why were the homes made out of logs and not cement?”
“Is General Harding at home today?”
Questions… We love questions at Belle Meade. Questions means you are thinking, and if you are thinking, learning cannot be far away. These were questions asked by one class on a field trip out of the hundreds of classes that come from across the State to Belle Meade to learn… and to ask questions. All of these kids spent an incredible day outdoors learning about history, thanks to you.
Many Nashville and surrounding area schools cannot afford to attend a field trip without assistance. This need seems to double yearly and we refuse to say no to any group. Your help bringing Title One Schools (majority of attending children live under the poverty level) is one program we hope to increase next year… Which means even more questions.
Drought! I hate the word. It used to be a plague that only affected me from the pages of a Sunday School lesson. Today the drought affects every visitor to Belle Meade. We were a State Arboretum with over forty species of trees up until last year; many dating to the founding of Belle Meade. That was until they started dying at a rate of three a month due to lack of water.
There is the physicaly cost which will be in the thousands of dollars to cut and remove these old friends. There is the aesthetic value which leaves holes in the fabric of our historic landscape and the disappearance of shade and all that means. And then there is the emotional cost. The engagement ring given under the sugar maple, the favorite tree that the English Setter likes to tree squirrels up and the gingko that rewarded us each fall with a rain of golden leaves are all dying. We need a plan. And the plan needs to be one of smart reforestation, and where possible, a means to irrigate. We want your input, your prayers, and yes, financial assistance to do this right. Let the canopy of hickories and oaks, magnolias and ash be providing shade for your as yet unknown great-grandchildren.
“Where are the horses?”
This is the number one question asked at Belle Meade and we may just have an answer, thanks to the City and our friends like you. Plans are in the works to bring a pair of horses back part-time to Belle Meade for our education programs, our visitors’ enjoyment, and yes, because it would be so cool to hear hoof beats across the brick pavers of the Carriage House!
Ask anyone that knows, horses are expensive, but an expense we think is worth it to see a child’s face light up the first encounter with the nuzzle of a horse. If you grew-up with a horse, you know the feeling. Help us share that joy and return the tradition of horses to this once world-famous Thoroughbred Nursery. Bring your kids and grandkids and let them share in the magic of watching a retired racing thoroughbred graze in an open paddock.
Field trips, replanting trees and prancing horses… just a few of the pieces of the mosaic that is Belle Meade Plantation, in this, its third century of opening its doors to friends, family and visitors. You have been a part of the landscape here and we ask if this place we love has enhanced your life in any way, please continue to assist us in becoming Tennessee’s most visited historic house museum. As the year end calendar stares at us, won’t you please consider a gift of cash, stock, IRA contribution or remember to include Belle Meade as your plan your estate? Each presents significant tax savings as we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit and do not receive any State or Federal assistance and must rely on our friends and visitors to support all we do.
Many companies will match charitable gifts. If your company or firm has a matching gift program, simply enclose the form along with your check.
Our Annual Campaign makes up a significant portion of our budget and we cannot exist without friends like you. Thank you for your consideration of Belle Meade as your plan your year end giving choices. I can assure you we are good stewards of funds and that the dividend you receive will not only be in tax advantages, but in smiles, laughter and joy of all that step on the grounds to learn more about this place we call home.
President, Belle Meade Plantation
Please keep in mind that a gift in any amount helps contribute to our mission of education, preservation and interpretation. THANK YOU!