Chattanooga's Reflection Riding future plans build on vision of original owner, preserved through conservation easement

Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / From left, Annabelle Fagan, 10, Miles Pillsbury, 10, and Miles Keyser, 11, look at a juvenile frog they found during a nature walk through a wetland area at Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center on Friday, June 18, 2021.

The Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center is in the process of preserving its 300-acre property with a historic conservation easement through the American Battlefield Trust, a nonprofit organization that preserves battlefield grounds from the American Civil War, the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.

Executive Director Mark McKnight said the purchasing process and funding mechanism are similar to what was done last year with the Browns Ferry Tavern property, which the American Battlefield Trust acquired with donor funds and matching grants from the federal American Battlefield Protection Program and the Tennessee Historical Commission's Civil War Sites Preservation Fund.

As part of the funding process, Reflection Riding developed a broad vision for the future of the organization, which focuses on plant and wildlife conservation, including a breeding program for the endangered red wolf, habitat restoration and educational programming.