(Certified Best Practice by BMPCOE)
City of Chattanooga - Chattanooga, TN
During the late 1980s, Chattanoogans began to evaluate the assets that had been abandoned by factories and foundries along the Tennessee River. A citizen's task group realized that the whole riverfront should be considered and include Moccasin Bend, a former location of the Cherokee Indian tribe encampments, as well as the downtown area. Consequently, partnerships with the Tennessee Valley Authority, private groups, and the local government created the first section of the Tennessee River Park.
A citizen's task force-the Greenway Board-was subsequently developed, and advocated a high quality Greenway path along the riverfront, creeks, and scenic corridors that connected housing, parks, businesses, and tourist attractions. To assist in the planning and implementation, the City contracted with the Trust for Public Land, a nonprofit organization, to provide technical assistance, coordination, and land purchases, and land protection for the Greenways. Land for the Greenways and most of the easements have been donated.
Chattanooga is networking these Greenways into a linear park reserved for environmental and recreational use. One Greenway that follows the North Chickamauga Creek for more than four miles (of its proposed 15-mile route) connects to the Greenway Farm, a 180-acre facility used as a park and which features a renovated mansion used as a conference center. On the south side of the Tennessee River, the 22-mile Greenway is 40% complete and will eventually link the Chickamauga Dam with the Tennessee Aquarium.
Four other Greenways will link the Tennessee Aquarium, parks, and neighborhoods while providing protected trails for people to ride bikes, jog, and walk. With the completed Greenways and another 75-100 miles of Greenway planned for the future, the community has generated pride and enthusiasm that is considered a benchmark for other communities.