The free community event, “Open Minds Open House Open Space: A Mingling of the Minds on the Mountainside,” is on Thursday, May 31, from 5-8 p.m. at 1813 Old Wauhatchie Pike, the site of a seven-acre tract at the base of Lookout Mountain and formerly owned by the Williams-Sexton family.
The organization acquired the property late 2011. It adjoins John Wilson Park, a 3.5-acre wayside park on Cummings Hwy. owned by the Lookout Mountain Conservancy and maintained for public use.
“We want everyone to share ideas about how this great piece of property can be used,” said Mary Anne Williams, president of the board of directors for the Lookout Mountain Conservancy. “Our mission is to protect Lookout Mountain’s scenic, historic and ecological resources for current and future generations through conservation, advocacy, recreation and education. This property provides a way for the Tennessee Riverwalk to connect to the extensive Lookout Mountain trail system that we and our conservation partners maintain for everyone to enjoy.”
First Tennessee Bank and Chattanooga Coca-Cola Bottling Co. are sponsoring the brainstorming event.
“We want folks to drop in, nibble, sip, mingle and see where the Riverwalk will connect to Lookout Mountain,” said Keith Sanford, First Tennessee Bank market president and a Lookout Mountain Conservancy board member.
Volunteers have been salvaging brick from the site for future use on pathways and other structures as the park is developed. Guests can imagine river vistas and trails as they walk parts of the site.
Refreshments will be served and parking is available in Chattem lots off Old Wauhatchie Pike on Church St.
Founded in 1991, the Lookout Mountain Conservancy’s focus area covers the full 93 miles of Lookout Mountain, from Hamilton County, Tenn., to Etowah County, Ala. It provides environmental education and information about land conservation options to landowners and other interested parties. The group also promotes greenway development and conservation planning.
“We look forward to the day when a person can ride their bike or walk from Chickamauga Dam to Cloudland Canyon on the wonderful trail system many organizations work hard to maintain,” said Robyn Carlton, Lookout Mountain Conservancy chief executive officer. “This property is the hub for that connection.”
For more information, contact Robyn Carlton at (423) 322-8053, visit lookoutmountainconservancy.org or join them on Facebook.