St. Elmo Trail Preservation

Project Profile

Project Location

Chattanooga, TN

Project Operator

Lookout Mountain Conservancy

Project Type





Holly Odell

Lookout Mountain Conservancy is focused on protecting the scenic, historic, and ecological resources of Lookout Mountain through conservation and advocacy while creating a safe space for community recreation for current and future generations.

Lookout Mountain is one of the most biologically diverse and critically imperiled ecoregions in the world stretching 90+ miles across three states; Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia. The 56 acre oak-pine forest, comprised of 39 parcels, is situated between the Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park and the historic St. Elmo neighborhood.  By protecting this area we ensure connectivity between habitat corridors and provide essential wildlife habitat for several species including eastern box turtles, red tailed hawks, black bears, and spotted salamanders to name a few. Additionally, this project helps further recreation opportunities by linking St. Elmo at the base of the mountain to the existing trail system.

The St. Elmo Trail Preservation Project began as an effort to simply connect the Guild-Hardy and St. Elmo trails but turned into a community wide effort to preserve forested land at risk of development. With the goal of the project motivated by a need to preserve and protect this gorgeous viewshed before it was lost forever.

The Conservancy also partners with a local inner-city high school, The Howard School, to provide employment and scholarship opportunities for at risk teens. The interns learn about ecological conservation while building skills for their future and are primarily responsible for helping to maintain and restore our forested areas.

The property is an invaluable environmental asset of the local community as well as the tri-state region continuing to provide natural beauty and recreation for all. The revenue from the sale of Carbon+ Credits will provide additional funding to support our conservation efforts and the continued work of our intern and leadership program.

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