CHATTANOOGA, TN – Students from The Howard School participated in the sixth annual Environmental Summit sponsored by Coca-Cola, Ruby Falls and Rock City. The Summit, held at the site of one of the oldest neighborhood parks in Chattanooga, was led by students involved with the Lookout Mountain Conservancy Intern and Leadership Program. Lookout Mountain Conservancy interns shared the pollinator garden they are in the process of creating that will advance the sustainability of Chattanooga’s ecological climate.
With widespread colony collapse disorder killing off honeybees at an alarming rate, Lookout Mountain Conservancy interns are restoring Lookout Mountain as a natural bee migration path. Several years ago, Lookout Mountain Conservancy interns began the arduous process of clearing the invasive plants that had overtaken what was once known as Rockmont Park. The removal of kudzu and privet made way for an expansive pollinator garden serving as a natural feeding station for birds, butterflies, and bees. Representatives from Ruby Falls, Rock City and Coca-Cola toured the hillside garden, learning about the creation and utilization of bee hotels and the role of each type of vegetation incorporated into the garden. The interns will continue to expand the garden over several years with additional plants, birdbaths and walking trails.
The restoration of native plant species in the garden provides necessary nectar for pollinator insects and birds. Bees that live alone and not in a hive, find a secluded place to lay eggs in bee hotels. Solitary bees are endangered and have become increasingly more important as pollinators.
The property, on Old Wauhatchie Pike, is part of Lookout Mountain Conservancy’s 50-acre park. “We use the land as a vehicle for success! Land is nonjudgmental, forgiving, challenging and restorative,” says Robyn Carlton, chief executive of Lookout Mountain Conservancy. “The Environmental Summit creates a hands-on opportunity for local students to formulate acceptable solutions to environmental issues, helping to ensure a successful future for conservation in the Chattanooga region.”
For more information about Lookout Mountain Conservancy’s Intern and Leadership Program, visit www.lookoutmountainconservancy.org
About the Environmental Summit
In a joint partnership, Coca-Cola, Ruby Falls and Rock City created the Environmental Summit in 2012 to challenge local students to preserve Chattanooga’s ecological beauty and natural resources. Through a program with Lookout Mountain Conservancy, The Environmental Summit allows students to discover indepth, environmentally focused learning opportunities while using Lookout Mountain as a classroom. Since the inaugural year of the Summit, over 75 student participants have created real-life solutions to local environmental issues.
About Lookout Mountain Conservancy
The mission of the Lookout Mountain Conservancy is to protect Lookout Mountain’s scenic, historic and ecological resources through conservation, advocacy, recreation and education, for current and future generations. From Hamilton County, Tennessee to Etowah County, Alabama, Lookout Mountain Conservancy works to protect significant scenic, historic and ecological sites by connecting existing conservation areas. Lookout Mountain Conservancy provides exceptional environmental education and leadership training to middle school and high school students. www.lookoutmountainconservancy.org.
# # #