Green|spaces - Promoting Sustainability in Chattanooga


Since 2007, green|spaces has been working to promote sustainability in Chattanooga and exists as a resource to the community. Green|spaces offers a number of program, like their popular monthly lunch and learns and Empower Chattanooga, which work to increase education and awareness and promote best practices for living, working, and building green to improve Chattanooga’s environment, and economy, and social equity. “Our region here in Southeast Tennessee has a unique character, full of natural resources and rich history. As Chattanooga’s sustainability non-profit, we feel it is our duty to help our businesses and communities not only to preserve these treasures but also to thrive,” says Kelley Cureton, Director of Programs and Events.

Green|spaces is always looking for ways to work with people in their community, to create new opportunities and resources to improve the lives of people in Chattanooga. Recently, the organization worked with local entrepreneurs to launch NewTerra Compost, which provides commercial businesses with an organics collection service in Chattanooga and surrounding areas. Access to a local composting option that can serve businesses was greatly needed to decrease the amount of organics going to an already overflowing landfill. Green|spaces even use the company’s service for compost pickup at their business location. One of the other ways green|spaces collaborates in the community is by serving on the board of the new nonprofit, Chattanooga Food Center, whose mission is to increase access to locally grown food, provide nutrition education, and inspire engagement in regional agriculture.

Currently, green|spaces are working with Mayor Kelly’s administration to help the city adopt and create programming for the Integrated Community Development Plan. This plan outlines a series of collective goals, values, strategies, and tactics to advance Chattanooga’s environmental, social, and economic sustainability, including eco-systems and waste and materials.

Beyond food waste reduction, the organization has other programs focused on sustainability, including the Chattanooga Green Prix, Build It Green, and Green|Leader programs. The Chattanooga Green Prix is a student-led designed and built electric power race car event that green|spaces hosts with elementary, middle, and high schools in the area. Build It Green is a 6 month or 1 year training program that works with at-risk young adults for careers in construction and energy service. “This program brings solutions to issues of energy efficiency in low-income areas as well as a pipeline for employment into the green economy,” says Michael Walton, Executive Director. Partners with Build Me a World and AmeriCorps Opportunity Youth Service Initiative, Build it Green helps generate pathways through job readiness training, community organizing and outreach training, and technical training in the green building field.

Additionally, green|spaces partners with University of Tennessee – Chattanooga for the green|leader Professional Certificate, which is an eight-week course designed to help working professionals, students, and passionate citizens acquire a significant understanding of the fundamental challenges and business opportunities arising from the rapidly changing environment and economic landscape.

Through their work, green|spaces partners with over 100 local businesses, educates about 1,200 residents each year, engages over 1,000 people in monthly programming, and facilitates programming in over 30 schools. “We truly enjoy educating, facilitating conversations and providing resources for those in all stages of their sustainability journey,” says Cureton. “Day-to-day we see the positive impacts to both Chattanooga’s people as well as our environment and hope that our work continually inspires action for change.”


Last Updated: Sep 16, 2021 - 12:44:34