Red Bank Elementary “Stream Team” Gets To Work On Erosion

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A partnership with TenneSEA (Tennessee Student Environmental Alliance) and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), will give fifth graders at Red Bank Elementary a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn about science.

TDEC presented TenneSEA with a check for $78,500 today for its efforts to restore the Mountain Creek Watershed. The project includes developing an award program for watershed friendly homes and businesses, installing Green Infrastructure at a home and church, and working with partners to plan protection for the upper reaches of the Mountain Creek Watershed. The ultimate goal is a cleaner Mountain Creek and a more involved public who takes even better care of it. Education is essential in the process, both within the communities and through the schools.

TenneSEA is the local arm of Caribbean SEA, a Chattanooga-based environmental organization that collaborates with communities to teach children about their connection with nature and empower them to become environmental leaders who make changes from within. They are a grassroots organization working within communities to help improve the water. Their goal is to start with education and proceed to taking positive action for the watershed.

TenneSEA focuses on watershed and stormwater education and installation of Green Infrastructure as well as utilizing water monitoring volunteers, the community based Stream Team members, to keep watch on the quality of the streams. TenneSEA provides resources for educators, students in grades K-12, and also collaborates with universities. Caribbean SEA Executive Director Mary Beth Sutton loves working with the students at Red Bank. “After helping connect the teachers and students to the creek, the students now call it “their creek” and are passionate about taking care of it.”

The Red Bank Elementary School Stream Team is playing an integral role in the process. The fifth grade students had to apply for a position on the stream when they were fourth graders. While they have spent part of their time learning more about Mountain Creek, part of their job is battling stream bank erosion. The Stream Team learned the engineering design process with TenneSEA educators and have been challenged to imagine solutions to the stream bank erosion next to the school. As Ms. Sutton said, “Our Stream Team will present their ideas for stabilizing the stream bank to our TenneSEA team and our community volunteers from Propex, Wright Brothers and Chattanooga Engineering Group.  Then they will learn how to take engineering design into action! We plan to have the stream bank stabilized before the end of the school year.”

Red Bank Elementary Principal Haley Brown is thrilled her students have the opportunity to take on such a worth-while cause, right in their own backyard. “At RBES, we strive to facilitate real-world learning for our students on a daily basis and to give them experiences that will allow them to find something in their life that they are passionate about. This project accomplishes both of these goals. Our STREAM Team students are committed to solving this real-world problem because it involves their creek and they are excited about the opportunity to present their solutions,” said Ms. Brown.

TDEC Deputy Commissioner Dr. Shari Meghreblian said this effort is just one example of the good work being done to improve this watershed and others across Tennessee. “We were very impressed with the Tennessee Student Alliance’s proposal to create a program that would award homeowners and business owners for their efforts to improve the Mountain Creek Watershed. Getting others involved expands our reach and helps improve watersheds across Tennessee,” said Dr. Meghreblian.

The project is slated for two years, with a program launch for the award system slated for late fall or winter. Integrating the creativity and intelligence of our young people with the actions led by community volunteers makes for a great way to solve our community’s problems. 

Ron Travis Recognizes Area Institutions For Earning Reward School Status

Rep. Ron Travis on Monday recognized three academic institutions in District 31 for earning Reward School status from the Tennessee Department of Education. The status is the top distinction a school can achieve in Tennessee. Recipients include approximately 318 schools in 85 districts — 20 percent of the state’s schools — who have demonstrated improvement in overall student ... (click for more)

Lee’s Murray Represents CCCU In Education Meeting

Dr. Debbie Murray, vice president for academic affairs at Lee University, was invited to participate in a meeting between the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and members of the U.S. Department of Education.  “I was honored to be included in this very interesting meeting,” said Dr. Murray.  The primary purpose of the meeting was to discuss issues of ... (click for more)

Girl Killed When Vehicle Is Struck From The Rear On Cummings Highway In Lookout Valley

A girl was killed when a vehicle was rear-ended while waiting to turn into the new Taco Bell on Cummings Highway in Lookout Valley late Monday afternoon. Four vehicles wound up being involved in the 5:18 p.m. crash, and several people were taken to the hospital. On 09/24/2018 at approximately 5:18 p.m. a fatal injury crash occurred at 3210 Cummings Highway . Traffic ... (click for more)

Pedestrian Killed By Hit And Run Driver On Lee Highway On Monday Night

A pedestrian was struck and killed by a hit and run driver on Lee Highway on Monday night. At 8:49 p.m., Chattanooga Police Traffic was notified about a possible pedestrian struck at    7356 Lee Highway. The caller said she was driving south on Lee Highway and noticed a shoe in the center turning lane and a body in the ditch. Hamilton County EMS arrived on ... (click for more)

Why I'm Voting Republican And So Should You

For much of my life, the commitment to the Democratic Party has puzzled me. I was raised to analyze both sides of issues and to make an intelligent decision based upon that information. The values of self-reliance, hard work, and individual liberty that I grew up with were the same American values that have made this country exceptional. As I have grown older, I have witnessed ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: UT’s Genius Stroke

If all goes as (very carefully) planned, the most dynamic president to be hired at the University of Tennessee since the legendary Andy Holt retired in 1970, will be ushered into office today by the university’s board of trustees. The selection of Randy Boyd to take over his ala mater is a genius stroke and certainly seems to solidify two of life’s greatest truths. The first ... (click for more)