Chattanooga attorney Allen McCallie is receiving a national conservation award.
The Trust for Public Land -- the nation's second-largest land conservation organization -- has recognized McCallie with its highest national honor, the Douglas P. Ferguson award.
"I was stunned and honored and delighted and amazed," said McCallie, who has been a volunteer and attorney helping the Trust create public parks and spaces in and around Chattanooga for 15 years.
"A lot of folks don't realize that the Trust for Public Land's driving motto is 'land for people,'" McCallie said. "That is a very important niche they have pursued which finds them in urban places doing public recreation and public space work downtown in the middle of cities rather than in equally important conservation work out in unspoiled open spaces."
Locally some of those spaces include the Tennessee Riverwalk, the South and North Chickamauga Creek greenways, Coolidge Park, Renaissance Park and the soon-to-be-reopened Stringer's Ridge Park.
Rick Wood, Tennessee state director for the Trust for Public Land, said he nominated McCallie and is very pleased that he won nationally.
"Allen has been involved in our organization from the beginning -- from adviser to attorney to volunteer," Wood said. "We're excited that he won, and it will bring national attention to our local office and to Chattanooga."
McCallie, an attorney since 1980 and member of Miller & Martin, also has supported the development of the Aetna Mountain wildlife management area, the Tennessee River Gorge and the Lula Lake trail system.
The parks and greenspaces are successful community efforts, McCallie said.
"We are blessed as a community with what we now take advantage of every day, but we also have lots more hard work to do to extend our [Tennessee] Riverpark, finish our greenway links throughout the community and establish a vibrant 'ring of green' that will sustain our community for the next 150 years," he said.
Wood said McCallie will be honored in late January at an event attended by the Trust's national leadership.
McCallie also has served for many years as a trustee the Lyndhurst Foundation. He is a member of the board of directors of the Southern Environmental Law Center and Chattanooga Tumor Clinic. He previously has served on the boards of the Tennessee River Gorge Trust, Chattanooga Nature Center, McCallie School and the Tonya Memorial Foundation.
Pam Sohn has been reporting or editing Chattanooga news for 25 years. A Walden’s Ridge native, she began her journalism career with a 10-year stint at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. She came to the Chattanooga Times Free Press in 1999 after working at the Chattanooga Times for 14 years. She has been a city editor, Sunday editor, wire editor, projects team leader and assistant lifestyle editor. As a reporter, she also has covered the police, ...