A Chattanooga-based nonprofit received the 2020 Outreach and Education Award from the Tennessee River Basin Network (TRBN) at its annual meeting on Saturday. WaterWays, represented by Executive Director Mary Beth Sutton, was presented with a plaque and a $5,000 check from TVA to continue its water quality outreach and education programs in Southeast Tennessee.
WaterWays uses education programs, green infrastructure projects, and a diverse network of partners – including Hamilton County officials – to empower students and community members to protect and restore their waterways.
Skyuka Hall (formerly Scenic Land School ) was the site of WaterWays’ first Tennessee Valley school program, at which it led the effort to install a water quality wetland onsite. Other examples of green infrastructure programs at schools include rain gardens installed at Thrasher Elementary and more recently stream bank stabilization at Red Bank Elementary School and a bioswale at the Mountain Creek Church of Christ. During Covid, they have continued to work to get students and community members learning outside, constructing an outdoor classroom for Hardy Elementary and working with Enterprise South Nature Park on new programs and learning spaces.
Ms. Sutton said of the award, “We are so grateful to TVA and TRBN for this award, which will enable us to expand our outreach and education programs. When students and community members are empowered to act, we can achieve measurable water quality improvements in Chattanooga and the surrounding areas.”
For additional information, visit mywaterways.org.