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 are located at1233 Cartwright Loop, Whitwell, TN 37397. By appointment only. Please contact us at carolkimmons@gmail.com (404)-698-5444


We welcome conferences, group tours, and home & 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, restorative, and rustic 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.


Greenhouse at Sequatchie Valley Institute Spring Planting Season Life on Nature Reserve










Spring Planting Season at Sequatchie Valley Institute


moonshadow at sequatchie valley institute, natural building, Permaculture, nature, garden, blossom, springtime, hiking, get outdoors




We have compiled a hefty Selected Reading List for your pleasure. Click the link above, or the photo below to visit that page!







These Eco-friendly techniques were applied in order to
enthusiastically foster the grounds and to create
the institute’s unique amenities:


  • Incorporating Permaculture & ecological forest gardening design
  • Building with natural and salvaged materials
  • Participating in leading-edge research





Fun Fact: The 300+ acres of family land that S.V.I. calls home is protected forever by The Land Trust of Tennessee.


Moonshadow at Sequatchie Valley Institute, Permaculture temperate forest climate, solar power, natural building structure, flower


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, now under maintenance. 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.


Marked nature trails provide hikers with picnic spots and numerous enriching experiences, winding through the richly diverse, mixed mesophytic forest in the living laboratory of Appalachian ecology.


trail group hike


Photo of Bloodroot on the Springtime Wildflower Hike at Sequatchie Valley Institute


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.

Vistas over the bluffs and hollows of Sequatchie Valley
in the winter are simply 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.


Liquidambar Art Gallery at Sequatchie Valley Institute, fine art and crafts by skilled artisans, including ceramics, paintings, kaleidoscopes, electroformed mixed media sculpture, and flameworked glass










The gallery showcases original fine art and crafts, including ceramics, paintings, kaleidoscopes, electroformed mixed media sculptures, and flameworked glass – all skillfully made by resident and local artisans.











solar sunflower


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! 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.


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