Support Us Button Widget

Best practices for interacting with nature in Chattanooga

Help keep Chattanooga’s nature scenes beautiful with these pro tips.

NOOGAtoday | Greeter Falls

Here are some ways you can be an environmental steward in Chattanooga.

Photo by Ryan Maum via Chattanooga Tourism Co.

Table of Contents

It’s no secret that locals + visitors alike love Chattanooga’s vibrant outdoor scene. From green spaces within the city to rivers and mountains to explore nearby — there’s no shortage of ways to connect with nature in the Scenic City.

We want to help maintain these spaces, and when possible, leave them better than the way we found them. Here are some examples of best practices to keep in mind when interacting with Chattanooga’s nature + wildlife.

Leave every stone unturned

We’ve all seen the aesthetic rock-stacking photos, but moving rocks can destroy important habitats and displace fish + aquatic invertebrates. Listen to the Tennessee Aquarium’s advice — skip the photo op and leave the rocks in place.

Pick up trash

This one is easy, but if you come across some trash while out on your nature adventure, pick it up. Local organization Greensteps makes it even easier for you by providing materials needed to pick up + discard trash at one of its 50+ litter stations around Chattanooga.

Ditch the single-use plastic

On your next Chattanooga outdoor adventure, bring your water + snacks in reusable containers. Single-use plastic water bottles or bags that end up in our waterways introduce pollutants and microplastics that are damaging to the environment. Check out this Chattanooga water bottle from the Chattanooga Tourism Co.

Stay on the trail

When you head out on your next hike, make sure to stay on the trails that have been marked to help keep the areas off-trail preserved. Apply the “leave no trace” principle to help make conscious decisions that serve to lessen our impact on nature.

Don’t feed wildlife

Feeding wildlife can cause them to suffer nutritionally or become dependent on unreliable food sources. It’s best to leave these furry and finned friends alone, opt instead to stop by Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center to learn about + get up close and personal with Chattanooga’s native wildlife.

More from NOOGAtoday