The Regional Planning Agency recently passed a rezoning proposal for a quarry across from Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center on the west side of Lookout Creek. Shockingly, this proposal goes to the City Council on Oct. 10 for approval. The residents at Black Creek development and Covenant Logistics are justifiably against this zoning change and have many concerns about unrestricted blasting, as it's in their front yard so to speak.
But also know, a quarry in that location would be detrimental to the future of Reflection Riding and be destructive to the arboretum's purpose of exiting. Since RRs inception, one of its goals is to offer a refuge in a peaceful natural park setting to reflect in the unique beauty below the bluff of Lookout Mountain. The word Reflection in the arboretum's name isn't there just for all the beautiful reflections of the mountain and fauna in the creeks and ponds, but is there to describe a place where users can quietly reflect in and on the beauty that abounds around each curved path. The founders of Reflection Riding hoped that it could be a place to bring a sense of calm inner peace and for deep reflection.
Past president and early founder Susan Chambliss Irving best described the preservation of Reflection Riding Arboretum, as a place "to be preserved for the benefit of those that love natural settings in which they could be nourished, healed, refreshed and wrapped with peace and tranquility. We must keep it apart so our spirits can be restored from the hectic, frantic noisy world (p. 77 Reflection Riding, by John Wilson)."
If you have visited there, you understand the transformation that happens a few minutes after passing through its gates. RR's uniqueness is why Southern Living called it one of the South's best. It is a paradise for nature lovers, landscape enthusiast, and educators; a place with views and quiet wonders uniquely different from any others in our city.
I can't imagine that our city commissioners will be so short sighted as to give this plan their final approval, but it's too important not to speak up and risk irreversible damage to one of our city's unique treasures. You surely can't reflect and enjoy the beauty with explosives going off and the constant grinding of a rock crusher.
Please show up at the City Council meeting in opposition on the Oct. 10, and let your mayor and city councilmen know how you feel.
David R. Brown