MC Board Member and Penrose Farm owner receives conservation commendation

July 6, 2011
Contact: Chloe Kennedy, News and New Media Writer

Maryville College Board Member Christine "Teenie" Hayworth has received a Garden Club of America Club Conservation Commendation for her conservation efforts in the Knoxville community and at Penrose Farm, her working horse farm that is now home to Maryville College’s equestrian team.

She was nominated for the award by the Knoxville Garden Club.

“It’s a distinguished honor, and I’m most grateful,” Hayworth said about the commendation, which is given to a person or group who are not members of a Garden Club of America club and have made significant contributions to conservation in their community. She added that she hopes the award sets an example for others.

Hayworth's efforts include putting her 130-acre Penrose Farm, a horse farm in West Knoxville, in a conservation easement with the Foothills Land Conservancy in 2007 “because of her passion for conserving open space and her interest in being a good steward of the land,” wrote Karen Smith, president of the Knoxville Garden Club, and Mary Hugh Bedinger, awards committee chair of the Knoxville Garden Club, in Hayworth’s nomination letter.

Hayworth said she is “very proud” of her efforts to place her property in a conservation easement.

Through the generous gift of a lease from Hayworth, Penrose Farm is now home to the Maryville College equestrian teams. Acquired by Hayworth’s family in 1961, the farm includes a main barn with 30 stalls, fully furnished tack rooms for boarders and students, as well as wash areas, tack up areas and storage; two competition barns that offer another 56 stalls; one all-weather show-jumping ring; an additional dressage ring; and one large covered arena with mirrors used for dressage instruction and practice, as well as jumping during inclement weather.

Other Maryville College groups that have also benefited from the farm include Maryville College science faculty and students, who have made visits to the farm to learn more about its efforts toward sustainability, according to the nomination letter.

“Such visits have resulted in some protected land and water areas being fenced to encourage natural plant and wildlife to replenish itself,” the letter stated.

Hayworth has also been involved in supporting Ijams Nature Center and was presented the “Spirit Award” in 2008 for her longstanding support. She served as co-chairwoman for Ijams’ 100-year anniversary campaign, and a part of the center's new Ross Marble Natural Area was named Hayworth Hollow in her honor.

In 2001, Hayworth was part of a group that founded Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum, which has four gardens that have been restored and planted. She has also supported the Knoxville Museum of Art and is credited with “being a visionary for the plan for a north garden and continues to work on KMA’s Building and Grounds Committee,” according to the nomination letter.

“Teenie’s leadership in providing the facilities at Penrose Farm to enhance the curricular, extracurricular, and service activities of Maryville College is more than most people do, but only a small part of her activities,” said Maryville College President Tom Bogart. “I am delighted to see that her efforts are being recognized in such a prominent way and hope that her example continues to inspire others.”

Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2016 semester is 1,198.