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.”

Tellico Hatchery Announces Winter Hours

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency announced winter hours for the Tellico Hatchery in Tellico Plains. Holidays along with hours of daylight and alterations in operations are the primary reasons for changes. Fish eat less during colder months. This reason, along with a reduction of seasonal responsibilities such as mowing grass and hatchery upkeep, means fewer people on staff. ... (click for more)

Wildlife Officer Pete Geesling Honored In Veterans Day Observance Ceremony

Brandon “Pete” Geesling, a wildlife officer for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency in Warren County, was one of five veteran state employees recognized during a Veterans Day observance event held at the Tennessee Tower Plaza.     Previously, Mr. Geesling served as a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was a combat engineer which included a deployment ... (click for more)

Darrel Jones, 43, Shot And Killed On Central Avenue

Darrel Jones, 43, was shot and killed on Central Avenue on Thursday afternoon. Chattanooga Police responded to the 3600 block of Central Avenue around 3 p.m. on a report of a shooting. They located a single victim, who  succumbed to his injuries on scene. Witnesses to the incident declined to cooperate with the investigation.  Investigators continue ... (click for more)

Family Escapes Early Morning House Fire

A home was damaged by fire early Thursday morning.  The Chattanooga Fire Department received a fire call at  3:48  a.m.  and responded to 1825 Dixon Street with four fire companies. The family inside the home was awakened by a passerby knocking at the door. All of them quickly made their way outside the home to safety.  Once firefighters ... (click for more)

An Extra Helping Of Gratitude

After being thankful for the grace of God, my family and good health, this year I have an extra helping of gratitude to live in a special place called Chattanooga.   We endured the trauma of terrorism on July 16 and emerged more united and stronger than ever before.  We claim our heritage and celebrate our diversity like no other city in America.  We honor our ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Cometh ‘The Black Dog’

I am one of 350 million people in the world who suffers from clinical depression. The doctors trace it back to my first decade of the 21 st century when constant surgeries and infections knocked me loopy but the more I have found, I believe I am more like Sir Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln and pro football star Terry Bradshaw – I think I have had it all my life. Today it ... (click for more)