Michael Wurzel Michael Wurzel

Environmental science graduate student

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Trees Enhance Bicycle-Friendly City

Chattanooga is a tree-planting town. Its Chamber of Commerce Gateway Committee has won awards for raising more than $1 million in a seven-year period and planting 10,000 trees.

Ten miles of paved pathway in the Tennessee Riverpark has also brought honors as one of the top cities in the nation for bicycling.

Trees and bicycles are especially important to students like Michael Wurzel who call the University of Tennessee Chattanooga their home. In Michael's case, he served in education and outreach for Take Root, a city-campus partnership to improve Chattanooga's environmental health. Launched in 2008, the goal of this effort was to add even more trees in an effort to double the percentage of canopy in the urban core.

"Chattanooga has a large bicycle community and they appreciate the canopy, probably more than those who travel by motorized vehicles," says Michael. "I really notice the difference on streets with a robust canopy and how much cooler and nicer it is."

On campus, on the shared city streets, and on the sidewalks in between, trees make the difference in comfort and beauty for residents and and visitors moving through what is titled the nation's 'Scenic City.'

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Trees changed my whole perspective about Chattanooga as a livable, walkable and bikeable community.

Michael Wurzel


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