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Thursday, October 3 • 11:00am - 12:15pm
Connecting People to Parks in the Scenic City: Methods and Strategies for Improving Access

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In 2015 Chattanooga was honored with Outside Magazine's prestigious Best Town Ever award, recognizing the City's great access to trails and public lands and thriving restaurants and neighborhoods. Yet many area residents do not have easy access to trails and public lands, particularly if they'd prefer to walk, bike, or use public transit or don't have access to an automobile. Rather than resting on our laurels and basking in the glory of the Best Town Ever award, several local agencies and organizations are working to connect more people to parks. The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency (RPA) will share the results of their countywide street and path connectivity study, highlighting pedestrian access to parks as an example. The RPA has used this study to initiate a dialogue and visualize the challenges resulting from limited street connectivity. Hamilton County Parks will discuss how the study is informing their county-wide parks master planning. The City of Chattanooga Open Spaces Division will share their efforts to improve access to parks through a 10-minute walk planning and technical assistance grant from the National Recreation and Park Association. The Tennessee office of The Trust for Public Land (TPL) will highlight their recent initiatives in Chattanooga including the "Healthy, Connected Chattanooga" decision support tool and community engagement around park connections in the East Lake neighborhood. Attendees will be introduced to several methods for measuring connectivity as well as strategies for improving access to parks, fostering collaboration, and engaging the public.

avatar for Akosua Cook

Akosua Cook

Parks Planner, City of Chattanooga - Parks and Outdoors
Akosua Cook is a Parks Planner for the City of Chattanooga where she develops park plans and identifies and prioritizes urban open space and park improvement projects for capital funding and then leads the design and construction processes for park projects approved within the five-year... Read More →
avatar for Melissa Taylor

Melissa Taylor

Director of Strategic Long Range Planning, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency
Melissa Taylor is the Director of Strategic Long Range Planning for Chattanooga’s Regional Planning Agency and the area’s bi-state MPO. She has a Master's Degree in Environmental Science and has been a land use and transportation planner for 20 years with over half of those spent... Read More →
avatar for Tom Lamb

Tom Lamb

Director, Hamilton Country Parks and Rec

David Johnson

Program Director, Trust for Public Land

Thursday October 3, 2019 11:00am - 12:15pm EDT
EPB, 7th Floor, Room 1