The Wauhatchie School is a nonprofit organization that provides place-based, nature immersion education for students and training for educators. This educational model facilitates students holistic development—body, mind and soul–and helps them grow into life-long learners and compassionate stewards of the earth. The Wauhatchie School serves Pre-Schoolers, Home School groups, Summer Campers, and the Community through public workshops and Forest Kindergarten Teacher Training. Having doubled the number of students and groups they serve, they realized that one basic element stood in the way of continued growth for their educational programs: a sustainable restroom--specifically two Sun-Mar Excel NE composting toilets--that can accommodate the needs of their guests. With these restrooms, the Wauhatchie School can expand their programs knowing students can enjoy the unique learning opportunities available to them in Lookout Valley. And yes, there's definitely a pun here about "nature's call".
Hill City Community Compost stemmed from Monika Groppe’s passion for food and community. Through Causeway, Monika hopes to raise funds to establish the area’s first composting system in Hill City. This compost will be used to provide rich soil for the Hill City Community Garden where good, quality food will be grown for the neighborhood.
A group of local artists, the UTC Theater Department and the Friends of Moccasin Bend partnered to create a “bike-to” arts festival celebrating the urban forest in Hill City. Festival goers learn about the urban forest, participate in multidisciplinary arts, and be entertained by local exhibits.
Project Leader: Nicole Lewis
Neighborhood: East Chattanooga
A Night Under the Stars will provide an opportunity for East Chattanooga youth to experience some of Chattanooga's greatest public, outdoor spaces, which also happen to be in their own backyard. The program will work with the Good Neighbor Network of East Chattanooga to recruit interested youth, and lead them through a series of hikes, culminating with a campout that includes learning how to build a fire, setting up a tent, and stargazing.
The Take Five Outside initiative raised funds to covers room, board and all expenses to bring 40 students from Calvin Donaldson Environmental Science Academy to Nature's Classroom in Mentone, AL for a two-day outdoor learning and personal growth experience like no other. Through projects such as this, the Tennessee Aquarium works to make sure that the wonder and excitement of exploring the natural world is accessible to all.
Just outside of the heart of downtown Chattanooga, Stringer's Ridge offers gorgeous trails for hiking and biking. Friends of Stringer's Ridge is a volunteer nonprofit that works with the City of Chattanooga to promote and maintain that natural beauty. They raised money through our crowdfunding platform to help with trail maintenance, trailhead signage, removal of invasive plant species and planting of natives.
Project Leader: Friends of Stringer's Ridge
BOLD (Boys Outdoor Leadership Development) and GOLD (Girls Outdoor Leadership Development) Chattanooga is working to reduce and remove barriers for all youth and teens, regardless of experience, ethnicity or socio-economic status, to enjoy access to the outdoors through wilderness adventure and to build leadership values and skills.
Project Leader: Brice Percy
Wings to Soar is a nonprofit organization that cares for non-releasable birds of prey. The organization sees a need for wildlife education to connect kids to the natural world beyond the oftentimes predominantly virtual world emphasis in the classroom. The interactive programs provide the student audience with extraordinary opportunities to experience indigenous birds of prey at close range. These lively and informative presentations feature a variety of raptors including Screech, Barred and Great Horned Owls, American Kestrel and Peregrine Falcon, a Red-tailed Hawk, a Black Vulture and a Bald Eagle. As the birds are flown and discussed, local environmental issues are intertwined. The focus is on the birds' natural role, conservation, habitat protection, co-existence with humans and environmental project involvement. Wings to Soar offers a unique educational opportunity for Chattanooga area students to be stimulated to take a proactive interest in their local natural world and help create a better local environment in the future that serves all of us.
Friends of Hixson helps focus community resources on projects that enhance the livability of the greater Hixson area. Hixson residents love their community and want it to thrive. Clean & Green Hixson is an annual community-wide cleanup effort that promotes neighborhood pride and helps keep Hixson a great place to live, work, and play.
Project Leaders: Friends of Hixson
Rails to Trails connects Chattanooga's neighborhoods to each other and to the city's expanding parks and greenways by identifying high-potential rail corridors within the city that could be converted to rail-trails or rails-with-trails to build upon the City's Complete Streets planning. The project leaders see Chattanooga’s rail corridors as a key to connecting Chattanooga’s neighborhoods with a safe, traffic-free, paved trail network. An increase in the city’s accessibility can create special recreational and health benefits for all Chattanoogans, provide new opportunities to locals who are unable to drive, and encourage new interactions between neighbors.
Project Leader: Jim Johnson
Winner of Causeway Challenge I in 2014 that asked “How can we make Chattanooga a more connected city?"
Parks are an integral piece of any neighborhood, proven to reduce crime, revitalize local economies, and bring neighborhoods together.
In 2013, Glass House Collective hosted several community meetings where over 150 neighbors gathered to envision Glass Street’s future. The meetings concluded with goals to make Glass street cleaner, safer, and more welcoming. One of the first resulting projects was a park.
The CNE, Glass House Collective, TPL, and the local neighborhood association raised $10,000 for a matching grant to turn an abandoned property into a public green space. They sought to increase neighborhood investment and access to green space.
Project Leaders: Glass House Collective
Soddy Daisy’s Ivy Academy is a tuition-free public charter high school that centers around environmental stewardship, critical thinking, and community service. With a campus adjacent to North Chickamauga Creek, learning at Ivy Academy occurs in nature more often than not. The curriculum centers around developing environmentally conscious citizens who have an appreciation of the woods, mountains, valleys and streams– the region’s precious natural resources. Each year, the school hosts their Running with Sasquatch 5k to raise additional funds for textbooks, technology, and other classroom resources that ensure excellent educational opportunity. With a bib number stuck to his chest, a furry Sasquatch treads the trails with other runners to raise support for Ivy Academy. The support of the community improves the quality of education for Ivy students, which in turn improves the health of the city.
Project Leaders: Ivy Academy
East Tennessee has some pretty spectacular wildlife: Red Wolves, Flying Squirrels, Great Horned Owls, and of course, coyotes. The Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center is home to dozens of local animals and plants, educating the public through their three-hundred and seventeen acres of “wanderland.” The nonprofit promotes environmental stewardship through conservation, education and research, and connecting people with land, plants and wildlife.
Project Leaders: Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center
Ah, field trips. A time for exploration. A time for adventure. A time for jellyfish. That is, if you’re taking a trip to the Tennessee Aquarium. Unfortunately, over 92% of teachers surveyed by the Tennessee Aquarium reported insufficient funding for field trips. This is especially true in low-income areas. To combat this by providing affordable transportation, the Aquarium has raised funds over the years through its Drive for Schools Campaign. Out-of-classroom experiences afford students fun and invaluable learning experiences. It’s one thing to learn about the incredible ecosystem living underwater from the pages of a textbook and another thing to stroke the back of a shimmering stingray. Studies have shown that students who receive environmental education score better on standardized tests, improve their overall GPA, stay in school longer, receive higher-than-average scholarship awards, and display more responsible behavior. The program has brought these learning opportunities to thousands of youth in low-income communities for the last several years.
Project Leaders: Tennessee Aquarium
Chattanooga’s streets should reflect the vibrancy of its people. The cleaner and greener, the better. At least, that’s what motivated River City Company to launch the first of many Clean & Green projects to beautify Chattanooga. Through their projects, hundreds of volunteers devote a full day to serve the city for a beautiful, cleaner, and safer downtown area. A brighter city supports economic growth and mirrors the pride of Chattanoogans.
Project Leaders: River City Company