Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Trails The Green Way for America Symposium - The Tennessee Riverwalk Revitalized Chattanooga

20th American Trails National Symposium
Chattanooga, Tennessee ~ November 14-17, 2010

Trails: The Green Way for America
This symposium's theme evokes the benefit of trails to America’s economy and environment. As we evolve toward a green economy, trails are the way for outdoor recreation and alternative transportation. Trails provide access and connections to many of this nation’s most incredible green spaces: parks, forests, and wildlands. Trails are a critical component of green infrastructure within communities, tying homes to businesses, schools, and workplaces, and empowering clean human-powered mobility. Trails support the new American dream which is built upon environmental and economic efficiency. Trails are, very simply, the green way for America.

Tennessee Riverwalk helped spur revitalization in Chattanooga.
photo of huge steel bridges

Now into its second decade of development (initial segment opened May 1989), the Tennessee Riverwalk will form a 20-mile greenway through Chattanooga. It stretches from the Chickamauga Dam to downtown and out to Moccasin Bend, recently designated the country’s newest national park and very first archeological district. Along the way, the trail links parks, green spaces, museums, public art, shops, fishing piers, boating facilities, and miles of scenic Riverwalk along the Tennessee River.

The Riverwalk experience begins at Ross’s Landing Plaza, a novel combination of landscaping, art, and architecture creating a captivating public space that serves as the setting for the Tennessee Aquarium and the Chattanooga Visitors Center. The design incorporates exhibits, artifacts, and legends from Chattanooga’s history and geography.

The Riverwalk extends out over the river and up on to the Walnut Street Bridge, a steel truss bridge built in 1890 that has been renovated into one of the world’s longest pedestrian bridges. The bridge is perfect for strolling by day or by moonlight, and connects downtown to the numerous shops and restaurants along the north shore. The north shore is also home to Coolidge Park, which honors Charles B. Coolidge, a World War II Medal of Honor recipient. It features an antique carousel furnished with animals carved by students of Chattanooga’s Horsin’ Around carousel animal carving school. Children can cool off in the interactive water fountains featuring large animals.

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