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Rock/Creek Challenges Customers with $5,000 Matching Grant to Save Stringer’s Ridge

TPL_RCChallenge_Sized.jpg Chattanooga, TN- Thursday July 2, 2009- Rock/Creek today announces another $1,000 gift to help save Stringer’s Ridge. This donation serves as the kickoff to The Rock/Creek Challenge. In the Challenge, customers and friends of Rock/Creek are encouraged to donate to Trust for Public Land (TPL) in order to match Rock/Creek’s $5000 commitment to Help Save Stringer’s Ridge. This land includes the four hill tops visible from the downtown riverfront toward North Chattanooga. TPL is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, historic sites and natural places, ensuring quality communities for generations to come. To date, Rock/Creek has donated $2,000 to the Stringer’s project. The first gift came from Rock/Creek environmental grant program with Patagonia, a manufacturer of outdoor clothing and gear with a long history of environmental stewardship. This most recent gift came from the money raised at the recent Chattanooga Mountains Stage Race.
The proposed acquisition to preserve the ridge began in 2007, after developers threatened to convert the undeveloped land into mass-residential area. Chattanooga residents opposed the land developer’s plot and The Trust for Public Land voted in partnership with the City of Chattanooga to protect the scenic and historic landscape in September 2008. Continuing with today’s public campaign, TPL’s dream to preserve Stringer’s Ridge as an undeveloped area continues to gain ground through support from community groups, individual donations, and corporate donations such as this.
Rick Wood, Chattanooga, Field Office Director for TPL, emphasizes the importance of the Chattanooga community in this effort: “We could not do this kind of work without people stepping up and saying this is really important. This is truly a grassroots-oriented campaign dependent on the diversity of donations. We are so close and it has been amazing to see the outreach and interest.”
More than $2 million has been raised of the $2.5 million required to purchase the full 92 acres of property. In January 2009, the trust obtained a 37-acre portion of the ridge along with the landowner’s agreement to establish a conservation easement to relinquish rights to future development on the remaining 55 acres. “We have plans to hire ecologists, landscape architects, and historians to truly understand and evaluate the treasure we are acquiring.” says Wood. “A public planning meeting will be held for residents and volunteers interested in establishing public parks and building trails.” Rick Wood from The Trust for Public Land with Mark McKnight, Director of Marketing for Rock/Creek
For over 20 years, Rock/Creek has been committed to taking people into the great outdoors. As a company founded by outdoor instructors, Rock/Creek’s environmental mission always includes public outreach and an effort to open new lands to human-powered recreation. “Stringer’s Ridge is truly a ‘Land for People Project’ as this land will be accessible to the public. I personally think this relationship between Rock/Creek and Trust for Public Land is a natural” says Rick Wood.
Mark McKnight, Rock/Creek’s Marketing Director, emphasizes the the importance of this project: “Stringer’s is in the background of our lives as Chattanoogans, and without the recent threat of development, most people never would have imagined that it needed saving. For those of us who value the recreational opportunities available on the property, or just love the view, we now have a unique opportunity to conserve this land for future generations to enjoy. We all will gain convenient access to a beautiful wild place free from development.”
The donation process is simple. Trust for Public Land and Rock/Creek offer several safe avenues for you to participate in the matching challenge. Stop into one of Rock/Creek’s store locations to drop off a donation with a manager or send gifts directly to TPL at:
The Trust for Public Land
202 Tremont Street
Chattanooga, TN 37405
You may also donate through Rock/Creek’s Web site at https://www.rockcreek.com/stringers/ or TPL’s website at www.tpl.org/RockCreek
The website directs you to a secure online payment page, or a PDF you may print out and send back.

For more information about how to support TPL’s work on Stringer’s Ridge, contact Carla Askonas at 265-5229, ext. 4 or go to www.tpl.org/StringersRidge
About Rock/Creek:
Rock/Creek, member of the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, is an independent specialty outdoor retailer based in Chattanooga, TN. Rock/Creek was named 2009 Online Retailer of the Year by Backpacker Magazine and SNEWS and was listed as a Top 25 Retailer by Outdoor Business for 2008 and 2009. Along with its online shops, RockCreek.com and ClimbingGear.com, Rock/Creek provides quality outdoor clothing and gear for a host of activities including kayaking, rock climbing, camping, hiking, trail running, and adventure racing. Rock/Creek is committed to making a positive impact on the environment. For this reason, it uses outdoor retail as a platform to encourage outdoor recreation and environmental stewardship and to improve public access to the backcountry. Rock/Creek supports worthy nonprofits such as the Southeastern Climbers’ Coalition and the Wilderness Trail Running Association. For related articles on Rock/Creek, visit www.rockcreek.com/media