Tennessee RiverLine Releases First Research Findings, Recommendations To Expand Relationships

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

The Tennessee RiverLine has released comprehensive research findings and recommendations from its first immersive community outreach program. Each river community that participated in the Pilot Community Program benefits from the research insights and recommendations specific to their communities, and the findings are available to all communities along the Tennessee River and beyond.

A collaborative project between the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the Tennessee RiverLine Partnership, the Tennessee RiverLine will be a continuous system of paddling, hiking, and biking experiences along the Tennessee River’s 652-mile reach from Knoxville to Paducah, Ky. River communities that become a part of the Tennessee RiverLine benefit from economic development and entrepreneurship opportunities, quality of life amenities that improve public health, increased access to the river for all, and generations of river advocates who are active participants in its stewardship. Participating communities also receive support to understand their current relationship with the river and a framework to enhance that relationship with community programming and data-driven recommendations.

In summer 2019, a Tennessee RiverLine team consisting of UT students, Tennessee RiverLine staff, and partnership members engaged with the first five communities through the Pilot Community Program. Those first to partner include Benton County, Tn.; Roane County, Tn.; The Shoals, Al.; Bridgeport, Al.; and Paducah/McCracken County, Ky.

In August 2020, each community received its unique Pilot Community Program Report, a comprehensive document containing results of qualitative and quantitative research conducted onsite and online by the Tennessee RiverLine team. The reports aggregate feedback from community residents and leaders, data collected during leadership workshops, and research derived during river experiences and community engagement events in the communities.

Research findings shared with communities address topics including current river use patterns and maps of existing river assets, each providing insight to the community’s current relationship with the Tennessee River. The reports share how community leaders and residents would like to improve that relationship in the future and conclude with individualized recommendations for how this may be accomplished with support from the Tennessee RiverLine. The reports are available to download as PDF files.

Bridgeport, Alabama, Pilot Community Report

The Shoals, Alabama, Pilot Community Report

Benton County, Tennessee, Pilot Community Report

Roane County, Tennessee, Pilot Community Report

Paducah-McCracken County, Kentucky, Pilot Community Report

“These efforts will no doubt reshape our collective perception of the Tennessee River,” says John Johnsonius, Tennessee state park manager in Benton County. “I commend the team for their outstanding work on the Tennessee RiverLine, and our community is looking forward to working alongside the team in the next phase, the Tennessee RiverTowns Program.”

The substantial research data also is available to offer insight and ideas to other river communities.

As a result of what was learned and the overwhelming interest witnessed during the Pilot Community Program, the Tennessee RiverLine is taking its next step toward a realized vision with the Tennessee RiverTowns Program. River communities that are interested in participating applied in August, and the inaugural cohort of RiverTowns will be announced in October.

Called North America’s next great regional trail system, the Tennessee RiverLine originated in 2016 in the School of Landscape Architecture at the UT College of Architecture and Design and Herbert College of Agriculture. Part of UT’s land-grant mission, it is conducted by the Tennessee RiverLine Partnership with ongoing strong financial support from UT and TVA.

Since the Tennessee RiverLine’s inception, the Tennessee RiverLine Partnership was founded as a diverse group of subject-matter experts and river advocates, including UT; TVA; the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program; and several others, to achieve the Tennessee RiverLine vision.


Volunteers Needed For National Trails Day On The Scenic Bluff Trail On Lookout Mountain June 4

Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center Host Brunch And Blooms Sunday

MGHC's 3rd Saturday Free Gardening Classes May 21 Is "Identifying Nature" With Tom Stebbins


Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, the American Hiking Society and the Southeastern Climbers Coalition are looking for volunteers for National Trails Day on Saturday, June 4. ... (click for more)

Reflection Riding is inviting the Chattanooga community to the first Brunch and Blooms to promote the sale of native plants. The event will be held at the Reflection Riding Native Plant Nursery ... (click for more)

The Master Gardeners of Hamilton County, in association with the University of Tennessee Extension, announce that their third Saturday Gardening Classes will be offered in person, as well as ... (click for more)



Outdoors

Volunteers Needed For National Trails Day On The Scenic Bluff Trail On Lookout Mountain June 4

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, the American Hiking Society and the Southeastern Climbers Coalition are looking for volunteers for National Trails Day on Saturday, June 4. All volunteers are invited to meet at the Lookout Mountain Battlefield Visitor Center’s parking lot (behind the building) at 9 a.m. "Join National Park Service staff and other volunteers ... (click for more)

Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center Host Brunch And Blooms Sunday

Reflection Riding is inviting the Chattanooga community to the first Brunch and Blooms to promote the sale of native plants. The event will be held at the Reflection Riding Native Plant Nursery on Sunday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. “There are many reasons to shop local and buy native plants," said Reflection Riding's Administrative Coordinator Mary Corson. "It helps preserve Chattanooga’s ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Man Bowfishing On Nickajack Lake Dies When Boat Sinks

Ronnie D. Gholston, age 24, of Whitwell, along with two other men, were bowfishing Thursday evening on Nickajack Lake. Around 10:30 p.m. their 15-foot Lowe fishing boat started to take on water. The three men jumped into the water to swim to shore. As they swam, two men in the group observed that Mr. Gholston was no longer communicating with them. The two men swam to an island ... (click for more)

Temporary Sanctioned Encampment Begins Admitting Residents To Help Alleviate Homelessness

The city’s temporary sanctioned encampment for people experiencing homelessness will begin admitting residents this weekend through a referral-driven application process. The city-owned encampment, which is operated by nonprofit organization Help Right Here, is designed to give residents a safe space to begin the process of securing permanent housing, and will provide tents, ... (click for more)

Opinion

The Unfairness Of Tennessee's Open Primary System

Republican supporters have complained for years about the inherent unfairness of Tennessee's open primary system, which allows Democrats to choose Republican nominees for state and local offices. Yet despite supermajorities for the past few terms and plenty of opportunities to respond to grassroots' concerns, the Republican leadership failed to act. How ironic - and illuminating ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: No Longer ‘Pure’

There was a time, in the not-so-distant past, when college athletics were pure. There was no transfer portal, where the disgruntled athletes could scoff at commitment, loyalty, and tradition in vain pursuit of the NFL. And there was no “name, image, and likeness” (NIL) where college-aged teenagers are now paid for endorsements, autographs, appearances, and the like. During this ... (click for more)