WaterWays Celebrates 20th Anniversary Helping Communities Take Care Of Their Water

  • Wednesday, April 3, 2024
WaterWays is celebrating the 20th Anniversary of its founding this April and is kicking it off with Save Water, Drink Wine at Coolidge Park this Saturday. Tickets are available here.

"It’s so appropriate to be at Coolidge Park with our hosts from Chattanooga’s Parks and Outdoors and Stormwater Resources Departments," official said. "We will be celebrating next to the Tennessee River, a focus of our work to protect our water resources.
Come support our efforts with wine, local beer, small bites and large fun.

"WaterWays began as a small nonprofit dedicated to working with students to be the change agents for environmental protection. Now we are making waves. We installed the first litter trap (boom - a litter boom) on Chattanooga Creek which has collected over a ton of trash in seven months. We have incorporated stream restoration projects, mine remediation and community engagement to better protect our streams and rivers.

"Our work wouldn’t be possible without partnerships throughout our region, from the City of Chattanooga, to Lee Smith Trucking, to the Tennessee Riverline, to Brainerd High School. We bring everyone to the water together."

Founder and Executive Director Mary Beth Sutton, “I am so proud of WaterWays accomplishments since 2004, particularly that we are an organization of action, not just of talk. We are truly making a difference through education, community action and restoration projects across our region. Add to that the incredible impact of our former staff, interns and volunteers, who are making such a difference for our world. It gives me hope for our future.”

Officials said, "Just this past year, our dedication to ecosystem restoration is shown by the establishment of four mine remediation wetlands on Signal Mountain and the installation of over 300 live stakes along Reads Creek rejuvenating 680 feet of stream bank. Many more live stakes were installed by students at Red Bank Elementary and Silverdale Baptist Academy.

"Moreover, our commitment to biodiversity preservation culminated in the founding of the Wild Plant Rescue, safeguarding native plants before development occurs.

"We run the RainSmart Yards program to encourage more homeowners to do easy things in their yards to take care of our streams. Remember the Mountain Challenge last year that Lookout Mountain won by a mere one yard? That’s one of those things if everyone did it would make a huge difference.

"We have also provided educational programs for over 5,350 students from more than 40 Hamilton County schools, while orchestrating enriching park field trips with 1,834 participants and completing an outdoor learning area for East Lake Elementary School."

As former staff member and current Auburn PhD student, Savanna Wooten said, "WaterWays knows that to care about water is to care about people, and that’s why we reach across all segments of our communities to empower them to take care of our water."

"WaterWays Tennessee based team of 14 staff and interns and innumerable volunteers are doing amazing things. Thank you all who have helped us grow into the thriving 20 year old organization we are today. We appreciate you," officials said.

For more information on how you can get involved in their programs, visit www.mywaterways.org or call the office at their outdoor gear resale shop, The Gear Closet, at 423-413-3298.
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