Shirley Caldwell Patterson

Shirley Caldwell-Patterson is a legend in the river conservation movement. Born in Nashville, Tennessee, she was raised with a deeply rooted respect for the rich history and natural resources of the area. After raising a son and a daughter, Shirley participated in archaelogical digs in Greece and Israel and traveled extensively.

Shirley is a great lover of rivers, a great advocate for rivers and a great friend to many river groups, including several in Tennessee where she lives and in Wyoming where she spends much of her summer. In fact, several river and other environmental groups owe their very existence to her, as she either founded them, helped them get started and/or helped them through their toughest times.

For all that she has done for the Cumberland River and for conservation as a whole, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation recently awarded her its Lifetime Achievement Award. Indeed, while no one is more deserving of such an honor, Shirley makes it clear on a daily basis that her work for the environment and for social justice causes is hardly over.