Howard Students Helping Cleanup Ravine Dumping Site

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - by Judy Anderson, Community Consultants

Friday was just an ordinary day — except for The Howard School students who were working to clear a ravine and build a trail along Cummings Highway. For 60+ years, the ravine was used as an unauthorized dump, but no longer.

Thanks to these students, working in  partnership with the Lookout Mountain Conservancy, the ravine is being restored to a healthy and natural waterway feeding into the Tennessee River.

This ravine is particularly important because it links the John Wilson Park and the newly acquired Sexton property which will become a local park.

When the restoration is complete it will safely connect the two parks with a trail and will help people of all ages and capabilities in Chattanooga’s first neighborhood, Old Wauhatchie Pike, get outside in a safe and enjoyable way.

But it will offer even more. Local teenagers will have a place to learn about nature, science and the challenges and rewards of hard work. The land trust is already working with students from The Howard School, one of several schools close to the land trust’s parks and trails.

“I’ve never done anything like this before,” remarked Hunter, “but I have a lot of fun with my friends, and its nice to know we are making a difference.”

A local land trust, the Lookout Mountain Conservancy is organizing these efforts, thanks to the support of its members and Tennessee American Water Company, Colonial Pipeline Company, the Osborne Foundation, Benwood Foundation and the UN Foundation.

Land trusts work with people who want to protect their land and inspire the love of conservation.

For many people, it’s important to ensure that future generations can continue to marvel at the forests and meadows, wildlife habitats and scenic views, and streams and rivers that make our region so special. There are 1,700 land trusts nationally and each one is a bit different. You can find a land trust near you using the Land Trust Alliance website, the national umbrella organization for land trusts.

Like so many other land trusts, the Lookout Mountain Conservancy is a community-supported, non-governmental, organization. It works with people from all walks of life to help them fulfill their personal, family and community goals.

This particular project offers so many benefits, including the building of a lasting commitment to nature among young people.

“We know that kids and young-adults need positive, fun, and engaging ways to connect with their peers and nature if they are going to care about it as adults,” explained Robyn Carton, CEO of the Conservancy. “In addition to helping kids with new opportunities on a personal level, we are building the next generation of conservationists, one day at a time.”

For many of the kids, working with the land trust is the first time they have spent much time in nature, let alone helped restore a natural habitat. Students are learning about the land—and they are also learning a great deal about teamwork and building community pride.

Importantly, the teenagers are picking up tangible job skills. The land trust is building a fund to hire students in the summer. These students will help with local employment by leveraging skill-building and  practical knowledge of trail stewardship.


Once they finish their summer program with the land trust, area b

usinesses have agreed to hire them as paid interns.

Winston, a young man who grew up here, puts it this way: “For me, it’s great. It’s hot sometimes, but I need a job and I want to learn. Urban jobs, close to home, outdoors, are tough to find. This summer program is doing both. It helps kids like me when we wouldn’t be able to do this sort of thing — without the help of the land trust.”





Fort Loudoun State Park Veterans Hunt Is Successful

The first Fort Loudoun State Park, Disabled Veterans Hunt took place on Monday. Six veterans from the Disabled American Veterans, a nonprofit charity that provides support for veterans and their families, joined staff and volunteers before sunrise for breakfast and a quick briefing before heading to their hunting blinds.       Joe Pike, Monroe County ... (click for more)

Ringgold's Trail Of Tears Phase II Out For Bid; Improvements To Be Made On Trailhead

The City of Ringgold’s Trail of Tears will be seeing improvements soon. Currently, the city has the Phase II out to bid. This project will be improving the trail head at the Ringgold Water Treatment Plant located on South Depot Street. The project will also create a concrete hard surface from the exiting hard surface to the wooden pedestrian bridge. Additional parking will also ... (click for more)

City Council Votes On 1st Reading To Lower Rain Retention Requirement In South Chickamauga Creek Basin

The City Council on Tuesday voted to lower the requirement for rainwater retention in the South Chickamauga Creek basin. The move from holding the first 1.6 inches to one inch had been requested by the Home Builders Association and the Berke administration. Sandy Kurtz, longtime leader of the South Chickamauga Creek Greenway Alliance, said the resolution was "not yet ready ... (click for more)

Former Pilot Regional Account Specialist Says Former President Mark Hazelwood Approved Of Fraud

When well-known attorney Rusty Hardin on Tuesday asked a former Pilot regional account specialist if she believed that former president Mark Hazelwood knew of a plan to cheat trucking firms he didn't get the answer he expected. Holly Radford told a jury in Chattanooga, "I know he had knowledge of the rebate schemes that were going on. "I had conversations with him about it ... (click for more)

Thankful For Tennessee

While Christmas reigns supreme as a holiday marking the birth of our Lord, I have always felt a special connection with Thanksgiving. These days Christmas unfortunately includes ubiquitous commercialism which can distract us from the true meaning of the day. Thanksgiving stands apart from all that. This day gives us an opportunity to reflect and take stock of our many blessings.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Thanksgiving Eve

I don’t know who was the first to do the Famous Pregnant Turkey prank but I’ll bet you a handful of giblets there will be a lot of copycats who try it today. The trick is finding a Cornish hen that is small enough to stuff inside the larger turkey. Then you skillfully pack the bird with some of that sausage-sage dressing and put your Thanksgiving dinner in the oven. When all ... (click for more)