Outdoor Chattanooga strategizes for 2024-28

Outdoor Chattanooga, a division within the city’s Parks and Outdoors Department, has announced five key goals within its strategic plan for the next four years.

Two folks on kayaks, one that is orange, red, and yellow, and one that is shades of light and dark blue, paddling on the river with green trees in the background.

Two decades of Outdoor Chattanooga, what’s next?

Photo provided by Outdoor Chattanooga

Outdoor Chattanooga, a division within the city’s Parks and Outdoors Department, is celebrating 20 years of serving the Scenic City. Now, the team has its eyes on the next four years with a new strategic plan.

In a 20-page document, the Strategic Plan for 2024-28 touches on milestones over the last two decades, the mission of the department + the five goals that are the heart of the plan. Let us break it down for you.

Community Health and Wellness
Goal: To connect others to the mental, physical, and emotional benefits the outdoors offers.

Think: Streamlining access, offering entry programs for those with low/fair health, highlighting how nature can heal + maintaining healthy lands and water resources.

A group of older folks walking on a trail in the woods during the fall/winter time with leaves on the ground.

“It’s a commitment to building our outdoor spaces to be a welcome home for all Chattanoogans and guests.” — Director of Outdoor Chattanooga Gail Loveland-Barille.

Photo by Outdoor Chattanooga

Connecting People and Nature
Goal: To get recognized as a regional leader in outdoor adventure + sports by “forging a strong bond with the natural world.”

Think: Completing a 10-year visionary framework, being a thought leader (focused on impacts of nature), aiding like-minded initiatives as a force multiplier, designing educational resources + establishing two annual events.

Access to the Outdoors
Goal: To create inclusive and safe access to programs, allowing for folks of all backgrounds to be included in activities and plans alike.

Think: Outreach and introductory programming, prioritizing representation, actions for accountability + planning with climate change in mind (with a specific focus on Equity Investment zones).

A rafter in a blue kayak using a yellow paddle to navigate a rocky terrain in the North Chick creek.

Bonus: This plan aligns with making Chattanooga the first National Park city in the US.

Photo provided by Outdoor Chattanooga

Regional Outdoor Economy
Goal: To foster entrepreneurial opportunities within the outdoor industry, focusing on small businesses, nonprofits, startups, etc.

Think: Being an advocate and informational hub, supporting the spaces within the outdoor economy, attracting industry events, building next-generation outdoors workforce + assisting the development of the Tennessee Office of Outdoor Recreation.

Building a Solid Foundation
Goal: To prepare for a larger vision by utilizing a sustainable + successful group of workforce, technologies, infrastructure, and programs.

Think: Team building, assisting Friends of Outdoor Chattanooga, aligning funds with the One Chattanooga plan, creating an industry roadmap + expanding community partners’ benefits.

Next steps — stay updated by joining Outdoor Chattanooga’s newsletter.