Chattanooga’s Renaissance Park reminds us of greener days gone by while leading us into a more sustainable future. The 28 acre park was designed with ecological recovery in mind. Two large berms cap topsoil that was removed from the former Roper manufacturing site and a system of native plants and natural filters remove toxins from urban stormwater runoff.
Renaissance Park has been many things over the years: a key area to many parts of the Civil War, a location along the Trail of Tears, home what would be the end of the steamboat era and a manufacturing plant for more than 75 years.
Located on the north shore of the Tennessee River, Renaissance Park is now home to many unique recreational, ecological and educational features. The outdoor pavilion’s beautiful green roof helps to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases while improving local water quality and stormwater management.
The 1.5 acre constructed wetland collects, improves and releases water from two sources of urban pollution: built up water from the contaminated ground beneath the park from the industrial park to which the area was once home and urban runoff from the North Chattanooga urban watershed.
13 acres of the park sit within the Tennessee River’s flood plains and are regularly inundated. Through education and restoration efforts, the park will return native flooded woodland ecologies to this area, providing both an ideal and beautiful habitat for native plants and wildlife to reemerge and thrive.
On top of all these important green aspects, Renaissance Park connects to the Tennessee Riverpark, an 8 mile greenway along the river beginning at John Ross Landing on the south shore and ending at the Chickamauga Dam upstream. The park features winding walking trails, picnic areas, a small amphitheater, tiered seating along the wetland, historic markers and several public art installations.
—The EnergyEarth Team
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