Reflection Riding

Chattanooga, TN
  • Ecological Design
  • Cultural / Institutional
  • Planning

In the heart of Tennessee’s Appalachian landscape, SCAPE developed a new vision and Framework for the Future for Reflection Riding—a beloved arboretum and nature center situated between Lookout Mountain and Creek just south of downtown Chattanooga.

At its core, the Framework characterizes a shift in conservation ethic relative to native Southeastern landscapes, 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.

The Framework draws together detailed input from over 800 participants and stakeholders, helping guide the nature center into the future while preserving and expanding current amenities. The Framework entirely rethinks the entry sequence and visitor experience, consolidating current programs in a central activity hub that align with a new visitor’s center and native plant nursery.

A clarified network of trails span the 317-acre campus—including a new canopy walk raised above the projected flood levels of Lookout Creek that leads to a Forest School and Kindergarten. An improved wayfinding system allows educators and visitors to immerse themselves in the site’s geological, hydrological and cultural history using digital and analog tools. With an eye toward implementation, the Framework plans for the organization’s sustainable growth over coming years, helping it adapt to current and future risks—both institutional and environmental.

Learn more:

Read the Framework for the Future and purchase a copy via Blurb above.


  • Reflection Riding