COVID-19 Response

March 20th, 2020

UPDATE: We're in phase 1 of re-opening. Click here for more information.

Dear Supporters,

Thank you for your encouragement during this difficult time and for your enthusiasm for our digital initiatives in lieu of scheduled in-person programming. Unfortunately, we have to announce that in compliance with the CDC guidelines and in an attempt to "flatten the curve," we are closing the property to the public including members, effective immediately.

Our ultimate priority is health and well-being (physical and mental) for our patrons and our environment. We all need to get outside and reconnect with nature, now more than ever, but we must do it safely. 

Although we're closed, our work doesn't stop. We are continuing to care for the animals and plants on our property. We're observing social distancing protocols, staggering staff that is unable to work from home, and re-cleaning constantly. Even in a quarantine situation, we'll need staff to be on site and are making plans to help monitor animals, water plants, and keep the property itself secure.

We ask for your support in keeping our staff safe—please do not enter the property. Please subscribe to our social media platforms (links below) for activities you can do at home in your own neighborhood because we understand just how important being outside is to all of us.

We're also launching a native plant delivery service, taking the place of our Spring Plant Sale. We will be coordinating with supporters like you to drop plants off outside your home. 

Visit for our inventory and instructions. We look forward to helping you restore your own corner of the planet.

Stay well! 

Mark McKnight

P.S. - The photo above was the first butterfly I've spotted this year. I was so excited to see it that I nearly dropped the phone while talking with a board member about how to write this letter.

Simple moments like this one remind us that spring will come regardless of the economic, social and health challenges we face together today. I know this closure is an inconvenience and a disappointment to all. Let's watch out for each other, stay healthy, and we'll get back to enjoying our beautiful landscape together soon.

Thank you for supporting our work to reconnect Chattanoogans to nature. There are so many ways for you to get involved. Here are just a few options:


Posted by Mark McKnight
Share this page