Today, Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center released a new Framework for the Future, following a seven-month engagement and planning process led by SCAPE. In conjunction with the framework’s release, Reflection Riding also launched a new website: www.reflectionriding.org.
At its core, the vision characterizes a shift in conservation ethic relative to native landscapes in the Southeast, stitching together restored historic ecosystems—wet meadows, grasslands, prairies, pine savannas, wetlands and bottomland forests—as learning landscapes for an emerging generation of environmental stewards. Developed from Fall 2020 to Spring 2021, the Framework draws together detailed input and aspirations from over 800 participants including staff, board members, volunteers, nearby residents and community members, creating a rubric to guide the institution into the future while preserving and expanding current programs.
“This is really the culmination of our mission of bringing nature to all Chattanoogans,” said Mark McKnight, President and CEO of Reflection Riding. “We’re especially excited by all the feedback we received, which is essential to the revitalization of an organization that many consider a Chattanooga staple.”
The Framework centers the restoration of key native plant communities throughout the site—including grasslands, endangered prairies, pine savannas, wet meadows, bottomland forest and more. Seeds and cutting for these efforts will be sourced directly from the on-site native plant nursery and restoration will be integrated into Reflection Riding’s educational programs, engaging students and visitors in the stewardship of Tennessee’s rich biodiversity.
“This collaboration has really aligned our two organizations’ missions: enhancing ecology, promoting universal access, and creating a spaces for education and continued stewardship of Appalachian landscapes,” said Nans Voron, Senior Associate at SCAPE.
Altogether, the new vision for Reflection Riding will allow visitors to engage with a different angle of the landscape on each visit, impressing a sense of awe for the natural and cultural heritage of the property while educating a new generation of environmental stewards.
To learn more:
- Read the Framework for the Future. (You can also buy a copy on Blurb.)
- Download the press packet.
- Visit the Reflection Riding website.
- Read SCAPE’s project page.