Arboretum & Nature Center
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center is one of our favorite places in the South. They have red wolves and 14 miles of nature trails filled with native plants. Throw in some cool raptors, a river on which you can paddle and it is our idea of paradise. And now they have one of Dale’s red wolf castings which makes it even more special!
If you happen to be in Chattanooga, we highly recommend a visit. In their native animal exhibit, they have reptiles, lots of birds of prey and oh did we say critically endangered red wolves? As members of the Species Survival Plan for Red Wolves, they participate in research, education initiatives and breeding for red wolves. And if you time it right, they might even get the wolves howling for you. A real treat!
Running one of the most robust school programs we have ever seen, they have tons of programs for young and old. On our first visit, we met some preschoolers sitting around a campfire. As we walk by each child wants to get up and show us their special tin drinking cup. Very fun and inspiring. They also host inner-city kids to learn about being in nature.
While visiting their greenhouse, you might discover several new native plants to add to your garden. And after our greenhouse tour, we hiked one of the trails with their Executive Director, Mark Mcknight. I’m not sure who was more excited, him or us using our phone plant apps. Trying to see if the river cane we keep finding is native or invasive, it turns out it is both!
EASY ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE
- Become a member, even if you don’t live in the area. You will be supporting native plants and native animals. We are proud to be a corporate member.
- Visit whenever you are in Chatanooga and meet some of their ambassador animals. You can even go off roading in an electric swincar e-spider. Plus they became the first location in the US for the maiden voyage of the handicap-accessible version of the Swincar. Way cool!
- Make a donation to help support their captive red wolf population or any of their many animals.
- Check out if they are having a plant sale at the greenhouse by checking their website.