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Re: [greenhome-107] Watch Ch12 at 11pm tonight (Sun) for coverage of Caara's Native Lawn/ Sierra Workday

From: Lana S.
Sent on: Sunday, December 27, 2009 4:51 PM
Thanks, Tami for all your hard work! You're a true champion for Chattanooga! That reporter, Kristen,? is very much a sympathetic ear.

On Sun, Dec 27, 2009 at 4:22 PM, Tami <[address removed]> wrote:
On Sunday, Dec. 27 -- many in the green community had a fun "work day" at Caara's place,
helping her clear several trees/brush and looking at her amazing several acre in the city
native lawn showcase! AND Channel 12 TV News (WDEF) covered the event and plans to
have a story tonight (Sun, Dec 27) at 11 pm. PLEASE WATCH!!!

And just a note - Channel 12 (CBS / WDEF TV and RADIO) seem to cover more of our
Sierra and holistic / organic events than any of the other channels. We might want
to support Channel 12 / WDEF TV and Radio Stations!!

Blessings, Tami

PS Here was our original press release:

For Immediate Release
Elizabeth Tallman,[masked], [address removed]
Tami Freedman,[masked], [address removed]
Lana Sutton,[masked], [address removed]

Citizen with "Natural Lawn" hosting Sierra Club & Sustainable Chattanooga

and others in "green community" December 27th before Court in January.

Sierra Club and Sustainable Chattanooga are partnering for a work day at Caara Fritz Stoney's emerging meadow in East Lake. We invite you to roll up your sleeves, bring any brush-clearing implements you have, and go native with us, Dec. 27, 2009 from 1-4 p.m. We're aiding a citizen who is upholding sustainable, low-cost, low-maintenance and LEED standards in her yard.

We're also protesting Caara's citation to appear before City Court Jan. 7 on an overgrowth ordinance citation from Neighborhood Services. You're welcome to join us at court as well.

The city's efforts to rewrite its landscaping ordinances are ongoing. However, nothing in Chattanooga's current ordinances penalizes citizens for the establishment of meadows, woods, wildflower beds or food gardens.

We request that you visit the property to witness the sweeping view of East Lake and Lookout Mountain. Children can now play and learn how to cook marshmallows on this former city dumping ground for tires and broken bottles. Caara is reclaiming it for Mother Nature.

We applaud the property owner's leadership in sustainable and LEED-style land management practices. Such Chattanooga homeowners are leading the green wave at quite literally the grass roots, neighborhood level that every politician professes to support. These efforts should not be hampered by ill advised and uninformed comparisons to traditional lawns. They should cease being actively prosecuted.

Creating meadows, forests, and wildflower gardens is not only legal, it's the right thing to do. And if we don't build momentum towards sustainability now, we'll limit our options and our leadership as a green community as our air and water become further compromised.

Citizens modeling low-maintenance, sustainable lawns and raw property (or land tracts) should be applauded and encouraged, not prosecuted for their efforts. They stand in stark contrast to those citizens who landscape by clearcutting or using the exotic invasives, which are destroying entire Southern ecosystems. Kudzu gardeners do not typically face court citations, even when their kudzu blights the neighborhood, consumes endless resources in both private- and public-control attempts, presents a fire hazard due to interference with power lines, and destroys the ecosystem.

If we are to be considered a green city, such properties as Caara's should be upheld as opportunities for the city to educate citizens in sustainable techniques.

Consequently, it's time our city inspectors become educated about sustainable and LEED land-management techniques. They should encourage the creation of meadows, woods, edible landscapes, wildflower gardens and permaculture. City inspectors should focus on upholding public health and safety, including the nourishment of the local flora and fauna. Inspectors should neither set nor enforce arbitrary lawn aesthetics, nor react to anonymous complaints from the city's 311 complaint system.

American citizens have the right to face their accusers in any court of law, not have their property destroyed, fined or condemned by secret detractors.

Using natives to deal with the erosion, as Caara has done, is recommended by TVA, The Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council (, the horticulture scientists at the University of Tennessee Extension Services, the US Department of Agriculture, and LEED professionals.

It's time to elevate what is unique about Chattanooga's biodiversity, not force our most ethical landscapers repeatedly into court to defend their efforts. Nor should we threaten them with fines and expose them to continual harassment for protecting our biological heritage.

Applauding Caara Stoney's leadership is an easy step towards a sustainable future that all citizens can embrace. And if we are to be "The Green American City," it's the right thing to do for our embattled ecology.


Elizabeth Tallman-Gazaway,
Chair Cherokee Sierra Club

Tami Freedman
Cherokee Sierra Club board,
Co-Chair City Energy Efficiency Climate Action Team

Lana Sutton
of Sustainable Chattanooga

This message was sent by Tami ([address removed]) from GREEN EVENTS - Chattanooga Environmental Meetup Group.
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Meetup Inc. PO Box 4668 #37895 New York, New York[masked] | [address removed]

Lana Sutton

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