Collegedale Greenway Project

Wolftever Creek Greenway. Photo by DeAnna Beasley.

About the Project

The Collegedale Greenway Project explores the environmental and social impacts of the Wolftever Creek Greenway in Collegedale, Tennessee. Our goals are to broaden our academic understanding of the socio-ecological role of greenways in urban environments, provide a creative interdisciplinary research experience for undergraduate and graduate students broadly interested in scientific and policy careers, and engage policymakers and residents in their local communities with the goal of helping cities develop and sustain their greenspaces in an ecologically resilient and socially equitable manner.

Why Collegedale, TN?

Collegedale provides a unique setting for a pilot assessment of greenways, given its size and on-going planning discussions about greenway expansion projects. Recently, the U.S. Census Bureau showed the population of Collegedale to be one of the fastest growing in Tennessee. It’s close proximity to the larger Chattanooga region, which has four distinct greenways, allows us to test the scalability of our project to other cities, while collecting relevant pilot data for future studies.

Research Questions

• How do temperature and relative humidity vary across the greenway?
• How do temperature and relative humidity variability compare to non-greenway sites?
• How does the way people use the greenway vary as a function of temperature and relative humidity?
• How does access points influence how people use the greenway?

Research Design

Ten environmental sensors will be set up along the Wolftever Creek Greenway to record temperature and relative humidity data for at least one year (see video for more details about the sensors). Researchers will track environmental data, while also recording usage patterns 1-2 times a week. During this time, researchers will not approach or ask questions of folks on the greenway. We’re simply interested in how folks are using the greenway (ex. walking, running, biking, etc). The study has met the criteria for IRB and IACUC exemptions with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. The project has also been approved by the City of Collegedale.

For more information about the Collegedale Greenway Project: