Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center has added additional acreage to its entrance on Garden Road and will place this land in a permanent conservation easement to preserve it for the community, forever.
This week, with the generous support of an anonymous donor and a private landowner, Reflection Riding acquired approximately three additional acres just outside its doorstep. This transaction will allow Reflection Riding to retain this land forever through the same process used for its existing 300 acre property. The result is that the organization has secured permanent public access to adjacent popular trails. This mechanism uses federal grants to permanently conserve and protect important lands where the battles of the Civil War were fought, so that they cannot be developed.
Reflection Riding is partnering with the American Battlefield Trust to protect its historic, scenic and important landscape through a permanent historic conservation easement. This partnership will amplify and consolidate Reflection Riding’s long-term vision to restore the vital connection between people and nature. Through this partnership, Reflection Riding will continue to provide access to the outdoors for this generation and those to come. As dedicated stewards of the land and natural resources, Reflection Riding and the Trust together will add permanent legal protection that will prevent development of the land. This donation will benefit the Chattanooga area and its people for decades to come.
“It’s truly inspiring to work with our anonymous donor and our neighbors on Garden Road to make this happen,” said Mark McKnight, President and CEO of Reflection Riding. “These amazing people have made possible a unique opportunity to permanently conserve this property, which benefits our community in many ways. This transaction expands the amount of land we can protect and restore, creates permanent public access to the Kiddie Trail, and ensures that our children, grandchildren and those who come after them will experience this beautiful historic landscape even more. We hope that other landowners and private donors will be interested in working with us to achieve a similar long term impact for this community.
“While individual buildings may come and go, this historic landscape and its botanical heritage will remain unchanged for future generations once this additional layer of legal protection is in place,” noted Santosh Sankar, Chairman of the Board of Reflection. Riding. “As the Chattanooga region develops, we are losing opportunities every day to conserve land – especially open fields and meadows. Our leaders believed that the continued protection of this place and the protection and restoration of the surrounding landscape as much as possible is one of the most important ways to leave a strong legacy for the people of our community.
By announcing the framework for the future over the summer, Reflection Riding made significant progress in developing a comprehensive vision for its long-term future, including improved accessibility, trails and opportunities. improved recreation and better connections to Lookout Creek and adjacent national park lands. .
Reflection Riding is delighted to partner with the Trust as we work to further protect our beloved natural resources. “My kids grew up coming to Reflection Riding, attending a summer camp, learning to walk longer distances and discovering how to paddle the creek,” recalls Jim Catanzaro, former chairman of the board. and long-time volunteer. “I can’t imagine my hometown without this place. With our partners in the American Battlefield Trust and the generous support of our community of Chattanooga, this landscape and the connections to nature it holds will be protected forever. There is not much more important than that.
About reflective horseback riding.
For over 65 years, Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center has worked to re-establish the vital connection between people and nature. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to experience nature, regardless of where they live or their economic status.
Located on 300 breathtaking acres just 10 minutes from downtown Chattanooga, Reflection Riding is part public park, part nature center, part wilderness, and all outdoor learning. Outdoor exploration options abound, both on-site and off-site, with outreach programs offered to the 16-county area. Our main areas of programmatic interest are: 1) environmental and science education; 2) wildlife conservation; 3) land conservation and restoration.
Learn more about reflectionriding.org.