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Preserving Rock Creek Watershed Partners with Lula Lake Land Trust to Preserve the Rock Creek Watershed

10 April 2006

Chattanooga, TN– As Earth Day rolls around again on April 22nd, we at have been thinking about ways to celebrate. Last year we established a new tradition of taking this time to share our own commitment to the environment with our customers. We hope that through our efforts to permanently improve access to natural resources, more people will get outside and learn why we all need to personally commit to the environment.

One key element in our environmental mission has been to help the Lula Lake Land Trust in their efforts to preserve the unique and diverse ecosystems of the Rock Creek watershed. Rock/Creek Outfitters takes its name from this beautiful drainage running along Lookout Mountain in Georgia and Tennessee. This past weekend the Trust hosted us for a staff retreat on the property, and as I contemplated the history of the property I began to think of the Trust as a paradigm for effective environmental initiatives.

In several important ways, the history of the Lula Lake Land Trust mirrors the history of many of our most valuable privately-held natural resources. The progress that has been made since 1992, when Robert M. Davenport established the Trust, serves as an example of what dedicated private citizens can accomplish when they turn their resources to environmental initiatives. The Lula Lake story begins with the geology of the Appalachians, which formed millions of years ago as Africa collided with North America. In the time since then, erosion has worn these mountains all the way down to the sandstone and conglomerates that make the spectacular cliff lines and rock bands that make Chattanooga a world class destination for climbers.

Fast forward to the Industrial Revolution, and Chattanooga had become an important gateway city due to its strategic location on the Tennessee River. Lookout Mountain served as a weekend getaway or a summer retreat from the long, hot Southern summers. During the Civil War, Union soldiers used the land that now makes up the core property of the Land Trust as a retreat from the crucial battles going on in Chattanooga and Chickamauga. As automobiles eventually began to dominate the landscape, the mountain became a suburb of Chattanooga. Before the various social revolutions of the 1960