Chattanooga To Host National Leaders From Rails-To-Trails Conservancy, Adventure Cycling And America Walks

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Chattanooga will host a series of planning and educational meetings from May 12-14,with Jim Sayer, executive director of the Adventure Cycling Assoc.; Marianne Fowler, senior vice-president of Federal Relations for the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy; and Katherine Kraft, coalition director for AmericaWalks. Meetings will focus on the recreational, health and economic benefits of bicycle tourism and on how to use rail-trails for tourism and recreation and as a means of connecting neighborhoods.

The meetings include two public events:

·       “On the Road and on the Trail.” Outdoor Chattanooga, 200 River Street in Coolidge Park, 6 p.m., Monday, May 12. The public is invited to learn about Adventure Cycling, America Walks and Rails-to-Trails Conservancy—their organizations, missions and success stories—and about how cities like Chattanooga have become involved and benefited.  Free bicycle parking.

·       “Bicycle Tourism, Trail Development and Connectivity.” 10-11:30 a.m., Public Library Auditorium, 1001 Broad St., Chattanooga, Tn. 37402. Topics will include case studies demonstrating the considerable economic impact of bicycle tourism, insights on rail-trails nationwide, the positive impact of trails on neighborhood connectivity, and the significant economic benefits rail-trails such as the Silver Comet Connector brings to its trail towns.

“It’s rare that a city gets the chance to host even one of these experts,” said Philip Pugliese, director of Active Living and Transportation Network, which, along with Outdoor Chattanooga, is organizing the events. “This is a unique opportunity to tap the expertise of all three at the same time.”

While here, Mr. Sayer, Ms. Fowler and Ms. Kraft will meet with public and private sector officials working to promote Chattanooga as a regional hub for the U.S. Bicycle Route System, a developing national network of bicycle routes—currently at nearly 6,000 miles—that will link urban, suburban, and rural areas, and the Adventure Cycling Route Network, a network of more than 40,000 miles of rural and low-traffic bicycling routes through some of the most scenic and historically significant terrain in North America.

The group will also look at local opportunities to leverage existing railroad rights of way to expand the region’s greenway network, resulting in improved neighborhood connectivity and local and regional recreational and transportation opportunities. This includes a possible connection between Chattanooga and the Silver Comet and Chief Ladiga Trails, which run nearly 100 miles from Smyrna, Ga., outside Atlanta, to Anniston, Ala.

The three leaders are coming to Chattanooga at the invitation of local trails advocate Jim Johnson, whose company, BikeToursDirect, is underwriting the cost of their visit and is a leading corporate sponsor of Adventure Cycling.

“This is a unique opportunity for the community and our leaders to interact with leading experts in fields that could have such an impact on us for generations to come,” Mr. Johnson said.“Even looking at the Silver Comet alone, it attracts nearly 2 million people per year who spend about $57 million. The impact on Chattanooga’s tourism industry and the local economy could be huge. And overall, trails and improved connectivity make Chattanooga more attractive to residents and visitors.”


Crabtree Farms Fall Plant Sale And Festival Is Sept. 9-10

Crabtree Farms fall plant sale and festival celebrates the abundance fall and winter gardens can provide.  The sale takes place Saturday, Sept. 10, from 9 a.m-4 p.m. with a member’s preview sale on Friday, Sep.t 9.   The event provides garden enthusiasts with an opportunity to purchase vegetable, fruit, herb and flower starts for the fall planting season.    ... (click for more)

TWRA Emphasizes Boating Safety Ahead Of Labor Day Weekend

The Labor Day holiday, the final major weekend of the 2016 summer boating season is Sept. 2-5. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency wants to emphasize the use of life jackets while boating in a safe and responsible manner. The TWRA wants all those who visit the waterways to have an enjoyable time. However, TWRA officers will be on the watch for dangerous boating behavior, ... (click for more)

2 Officers Testify That Miller Sped Toward Them In Vehicle; Woman Describes Frightening Carjacking

Two Chattanooga Police officers testified Tuesday that James Bryan Miller drove an SUV directly toward them, and both said they expected to be hit in an Aug. 1 incident in which Miller at one point drove north in the southbound lanes of I-75. Investigator Ty Cooper said he was bracing to have Miller ram into his police vehicle in reverse at a house on Watts Avenue, but he said ... (click for more)

Committee To Try To Reach Consensus On The Location Of The Planned Charles H. Coolidge Medal of Honor Heritage Center

In partnership with Chattanooga City Councilman Jerry Mitchell and Retired Major General Bill Raines, the Medal of Honor Heritage Center on Tuesday announced the formation of a special ad hoc committee that will develop a list of consensus recommendations for the proposed Charles H. Coolidge Medal of Honor Heritage Center. The committee, which is composed of local business ... (click for more)

Proud To Be A Conservative Conservationist

I was born and raised in Chattanooga and was brought up to be a Tennessee conservative. That means that my family conserved our spending, our resources, and yes, even our environment.  I think we were inspired to do so because Tennessee is one of the most beautiful places in the entire United States. We have stunning mountains, wild rivers and quiet backcountry. And many of ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why I Adore America

If Heather Cross weren’t married and didn’t have such a fine-looking family I’d swear I might propose. The dazzling lady just wrote a “By Gumbo! letter” to all the major news outlets in the world to inform them that half of the Pelican State is still submerged by “a 1,000-year flood” and where the heck are they with their cameras? She knows it is vital for the rest of America to ... (click for more)