TPL Honored For Stringer’s Ridge Preservation Effort (TN)

Chattanooga, TN 2/9/09: The Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit land conservation organization, was honored for its work to preserve historic Stringer’s Ridge in downtown Chattanooga by Pilgrim Congregational Church on Saturday with the presentation of the church’s first Robert Sparks Walker Sustainability Awards.

Robert Sparks Walker was an internationally renowned naturalist and writer who founded the local Chattanooga Audubon Society, preserved the Elise Chapin Wildlife Sanctuary, and was influential in the preservation of Maclellan Island. He was a founding member of Pilgrim Church.

The award was presented to Rick Wood, director of TPL’s Chattanooga Office, “in recognition of (TPL’s) successful efforts to preserve the ecological integrity of Stringers Ridge and to protect the beauty of the Chattanooga skyline.”

“From its inception, the Chattanooga Office of TPL has been about the business of sustainability by ensuring livable communities for generations to come,” the inscription continued.

“We are honored to be recognized by this congregation, which is so engaged in our community and in the cause of sustainability,” Wood said.

“The community’s support for preservation of Stringer’s Ridge has been just wonderful,” he continued. More than $1.9 million has been raised for the $2.5 million project so far, and a portion of the 92-acre site has been acquired for preservation. The remainder will be secured in March, and TPL has until this summer to come up with an additional $506,000 to ensure that none of the site is developed.

TPL was one of five organizations honored at the inaugural Robert Sparks Walker Dinner: A Celebration of the Environment and Sustainability. The event highlighted Pilgrim’s environmental ministries and commitment to sustainability. The church decided at its recent annual meeting to become an “EarthChurch.”

For more information about the preservation of Stringer’s Ridge, go to