Ford Investing $16 Million in Tennessee for Conservation and Education
In addition to stream restoration efforts, the investment will support hands-on STEM education and 4-H youth development.
MEMPHIS, Tennessee — As part of the BlueOval City megasite in West Tennessee, Ford Motor Company announced Friday that it will invest more than $16 million to restore Lone Oaks Farm creeks and wetlands in the county. by Hardeman.
Lone Oaks Farm is part of the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture.
The announcement was made during the 2022 Memphis International Auto Show. The agreement will boost economic development, education and conservation in the Mid-South.
During a Friday morning roundtable, it was revealed that this project will restore and provide community access to approximately two miles of severely degraded waterways and several acres of wetlands along Cub Creek, 40 miles southeast of BlueOval City in Middleton, Tennessee. In addition to restoration efforts, the investment will support hands-on STEM education and 4-H youth development in Loan Oaks.
UT Extension is developing Lone Oaks, a 1,200-acre facility, into a world-class 4-H and STEM (science, technology, education, and math) education center in Middleton. Lone Oaks is located 45 minutes east of Memphis and near Ford’s BlueOval City.
UT said Lone Oaks education programs already serve about 5,000 K-12 students each year. The new facility will allow the program to continue to grow and offer overnight STEM programs and camps.
“Each year, UTIA provides valuable life skills and STEM education opportunities to nearly 112,000 students across Tennessee,” said UT President Randy Boyd.
The size of the BlueOval City project required Ford to invest in a major stream restoration project, and the UT Institute of Agriculture was poised to meet that need with a restoration project at Lone Oaks Farm.
“At Ford, our goal is to create a positive impact on people and the planet. We are proud to enter into this innovative partnership with the University of Tennessee that will help restore and protect waterways and areas wetlands on Lone Oaks Farm and create educational opportunities that will inspire and benefit future generations,” said Bob Holycross, vice president of sustainability, environment and safety engineering at Ford.