St. Elmo Forest Preservation

Project Profile

Project Location

Chattanooga, TN

Project Operator

Lookout Mountain Conservancy

Project Type


Project Credits


Credit Availability


Project Contact

Robyn Carlton

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. The St. Elmo 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.

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 58 acre oak-pine forest is situated between the Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park and the historic St. Elmo neighborhood.  By protecting this property, the Conservancy ensures connectivity between habitat corridors and provides essential wildlife habitat for several species including eastern box turtles, red tailed hawks, black bears, and spotted salamanders. Additionally, this project helps further recreation opportunities by linking St. Elmo at the base of the mountain to the existing trail system.

The Conservancy partners with a local 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 forested areas.

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

The 58-acre St. Elmo Forest Preservation Project will provide cleaner air and water, stormwater management, and energy savings to the residents of Chattanooga.

The co-benefits from this project provides values (avoided costs) of $34,511 per year, and $1,380,476 over 40 years.

  • Rain interception – 9,161 m3/year, $23,961 per year
  • Air quality – 1.55 tons/year, $3,652 per year
  • Energy – cooling (electricity) – 77,086 kWh/year, $5,850 per year
  • Energy – heating (natural gas) – 37,559 kBtu/year, $390 per year
  • Avoided CO2 from energy savings – 32.9 tons/year – $657.10

Total Credits Issued: 10,127

  • 2021: 8,715 credits issued
  • 2022: 1,412 credits issued

Total Credits Sold: 10,127

  • 2022: 8,715 credits sold
  • 2023: 756 credits sold
  • 2024: 656 credits sold

Total Credits Retired: 1,171

  • 2023: 656 credits retired
  • 2024: 515 credits retired

Total Credits Cancelled: 0

Total Credits Available for Purchase: 0

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