John and Margaret Chambliss at Reflection RIding

Margaret Douglas Award
In 1967 John and Margaret Chambliss received from the Garden Club of America the prestigious Margaret Douglas Award for notable service to the cause of conservation education. In response to this honor John Chambliss issued the following statement to the city of Chattanooga: ”With genuine and emotional appreciation, we receive this award from the Garden Club of America. Coming just 20 years after the first bulldozer with fear and trembling on our part entered the 300 acres, now Reflection Riding, the award is amazingly satisfactory. It is particularly pleasing from two aspects. First, the charter of Reflection Riding granted in 1956 by the state of Tennessee, provides for ‘promoting the conservation of resources by demonstrating to the public the need for conserving,’ and this award is for conservation. Second, it is a recognition of a tangible landscape ‘painted’ with a bulldozer on the good earth. It demonstrates that in many places, similar areas could be conserved. Reflection Riding illustrates the philosophy of ‘appropriation.’ This word was used by Humphrey Repton, a landscape architect of about 1800, to indicate the art of securing the advantage of beautiful surroundings. Knowledge and service of others have been appropriated to create Reflection Riding. Reflection Riding ‘appropriates‘ Lookout Mountain, the summit of which soars 1,500 feet above. Reflection Riding ‘appropriates’ and its 300 acres guard the 2,000 acre National Park adjoining, created by Adolph Ochs in 1925, when he referred to the slopes of Lookout as the ‘ Hanging Gardens.’ Reflection Riding has appropriated many aspects, historical and practical, which this fortunate area has. Much has been done through these twenty years by the appropriation of ideas of informed and interested people.”