What is Sequatchie Valley Institute?
The Sequatchie Valley Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization, learning center, and dynamic residence model located on a land trust of over 300 acres which offers opportunities for society to learn about and experience living in harmony with nature.
S.V.I. has been a highlight of the Greater Chattanooga area since 1997.
We welcome conferences, group tours, and home and public school field trips. Our facilities are also available year-round for those who would like to reserve unique picturesque event space or coordinate a relaxing, rustic, and restorative camping excursion. We also organize regular public events and activities.
S.V.I. participates in research and education about ecological conservation and restoration, health & wellness, art, and more – making practices of sustainable and regenerative living available to all.
Fun Fact: The 300+ acres of family land that S.V.I. calls home is protected forever by The Land Trust of Tennessee.
Eco-friendly techniques, such as: incorporating Permaculture and ecological forest gardening design; building with natural and salvaged materials; and participating in leading-edge research are applied in order to enthusiastically foster the grounds and to create the institute’s unique amenities.
The acreage features a gravity-fed spring water supply, solar electricity, and experimental handcrafted buildings that are harmonious and sustainable additions to the landscape.
An enjoyable and invaluable educational tool, which happens to be uncommon in the Southeast Tennessee bioregion, is our very own Arboretum Trail. Over 100 artisan-made clay markers identify native and useful non-native trees and shrubs along a path that meanders from Hick’s Creek up to the sandstone bluffs of the Cumberland Plateau.
Winding through the richly diverse mixed mesophytic forest in the living laboratory of Appalachian ecology, marked nature trails provide hikers with picnic spots and numerous enriching experiences. Spectacles of bloodroot and trillium in the spring wow visitors during our annual Springtime Wildflower Hikes. Cool creek-swimming on hot summer days is often available, and the fuller foliage of the season generates plenty of oxygen. Views of brilliant leaf colors in autumn astound even the area’s native-born. And vistas over the bluffs and hollows of Sequatchie Valley in the winter are awe-inspiring. From the hemlock and rhododendron glades along the creek, to the laurels on the bluffs, the forest reigns supreme, all the while intensely exhibiting the interrelationship of all living things.
Located near the entrance and open to the public most days of the year, the Liquidambar Art Gallery features light refreshments, picnic spots, and marked hiking trails.
Sequatchie Valley Institute takes great pleasure in serving the surrounding community. For many years this included organizing and sponsoring the National Solar Homes Tour in Southeast TN. S.V.I. steadily continues to pass on important and useful information year after year, welcoming visitors from across the Americas and in some cases beyond.
Each day, we are reminded of the felicity and materialization of Sequatchie Valley Institute and its programs. Teachers who have been through our in-service programs have brought in classes, built gardens at their schools, and created new curricula based on sustainable living themes. Natural Building Workshop students have built their own alternative homes. Former interns have learned to grow their own food, produce their own energy, and establish community-supported agriculture programs. Some have gone on to teach environmental education at youth camps, become Environmental Studies majors, and build community gardens from Georgia to Mozambique.
Thousands to date have been inspired, empowered, and given the tools necessary to have an exponentially positive impact on our collective community, environment, and future.
Visit the S.V.I. Facebook page to connect with us! Consociate with our beloved supporters, who – with a vastly diverse range of walks, talks, backgrounds, educational modes, and disciplines – all have the common denominator of enjoying Sequatchie Valley Institute’s mission and legacy.