What makes Lookout Mountain home

Lookout Mountain will soon welcome the fireworks of fall color. That also means LMS Carnival, the Great Pumpkin, soccer at the Commons and camping at beautiful spots like Lula Lake

Speaking of "boo"tiful, Trick or Treating on Cinderella will be held on the actual day - Monday, October 31. Who will you be?

New Co-Ed Flag Football League Forms

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Hey football fans…there’s a new league in town and Lookout Mountain Rec wants YOU (well, your kid)!

While youth football has been available for years, a new co-ed flag football team has recently formed. Registration opened late August for boys AND girls in 3rd, 4th and 5th grades. It's not too late to sign up, but hurry – registration ends Monday, September 19.

Practices and games will be on Mondays and Wednesdays, with Saturday games starting after the soccer season. Organizers are working around soccer schedules so kids can play both. Most games and practices will be held at Stamps Field behind Lookout Mountain School.

The cost to play is just $65 for the season, which will run from October until mid-November. Sign up today on the Lookout Mountain Rec Blue Sombrero Site.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Scott Shell at (423) 619-4944 or lookoutmountainsports@comcast.net.

Why I Love Lookout: Ashley and Benjamin Grizzell

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Choosing a place to live can be a difficult decision. And then sometimes, it chooses you. That was how it went for Benjamin Grizzell and his wife Ashley, who moved to Lookout Mountain in 2011.

We were driving up 59, headed to Chattanooga to look at places to live,” he recalls. “As soon as I saw Lookout Mountain I said, ‘I want to live up there.’

At the time they were living about 45 minutes outside of Birmingham, where Ashley worked with a software consulting firm and Benjamin owned his own tech company. Just one month back from maternity leave with their first child, Ashley was encouraged to apply for a promotion that would move their young family to Chattanooga.

Before relocating, Benjamin went to a Chattanooga alumni gathering for University of Alabama – where he and Ashely met as undergrads. While he never thought anywhere but Tuscaloosa could be home, he was hoping his “Alabama family” would help steer them toward the best area to live.

In the parking lot afterward, Tim Miller of Lookout Mountain introduced himself and even offered a place to stay during house hunting trips. Benjamin took him up on the offer several times, visiting local churches, schools and meeting with real estate agents.

Everyone I met on Lookout Mountain was so nice,” he recalls. “I just remember thinking, ‘these are the kind of people I want to live around.’

Even so, the Grizzells house hunt wasn’t exactly smooth sailing. When they toured their current home – a two-story brick home built in 1984 – the couple had very different experiences.

“I fell in love immediately,” says Ben. “Halfway through I was planning which walls to knock down and I think Ashley was still standing at the front door crying.”

The renovation process has been a long journey, taking it room by room with Benjamin doing most of the work. It’s a far cry from their second choice home – a fully renovated house on the 17th green of Signal Mountain’s golf course.

In the end we chose the community,” says Ashley. “Signal is great, but it seemed too big. It’s a city on a mountain, whereas Lookout is more like a community.

Today the two are grateful for their foresight. They are actively involved with their church, Our Lady of the Mount, and Benjamin is a volunteer firefighter for Lookout Mountain, GA.

Ashley also enjoys her 15-minute commute to her downtown office – the shortest of all her co-workers. She works as managing director of a software consulting company. Benjamin is a real estate photographer, with flexible hours that allow him to be the primary parent to their two kids, ages 5 and 18 months.

Sitting on their back deck with the sun setting behind the trees, it’s as if their home was tailor-made for the Grizzells. They have a wooded backyard their kids love to explore, but close neighbors who call when they smell Benjamin firing up his grill.

“Lookout Mountain reminds me of where I grew up,” says Benjamin. “It’s a small, safe community. But the people are by far my favorite thing.”

New Photo Site for Lookout Mountain

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Living On Lookout is happy to announce a new Shutterfly Share Site.

Now you can view and even order pictures from recent community events.

Are you a shutterbug? Then request to become a member and contribute your own photos!

Guidelines for members are that all photos must be of a community event (schools, churches, organizations) and everyone in the pictures consents to being photographed and posted on a public platform.

To request becoming a member - or for any other questions - please email us at editor@livingonlookout.com.

Lula Lake Expands Environmental Education Program

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A new school year means hitting the books. But if you’re Holley Roberts, it means hitting the trail. The 31-year-old Americorps VISTA is busy writing outdoor education curricula for Lula Lake Land Trust. While LLLT has always opened its gates for school groups, Roberts’s work will ultimately take it from “cool fieldtrip” to “outdoor science lab.”

We’re trying to make it a more formalized process,” she says. “Right now I’m writing curricula that can be tailored to any program a class wants to do, while also meeting state standards.

Children may dig for plant fossils at the Durham Mine site, scour Rock Creek for macro invertebrates, learn what color flowers butterflies prefer in the pollinator garden, or how to protect the property’s hemlock from the invasive Woolly Adelgid.

The goal is to have the same group of students out to the property two or three times during the school year, and build long-term relationships with teachers so it happens year after year. Since starting in May, Roberts has personally reached out to local public, charter and even home schools. So far the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy, Charlotte Mason Homeschool Group, Stone Creek Elementary and Heritage High School have signed on.

“We’re trying to reach out as much as we can, but my problem is overextending,” admits Roberts. “We’re still figuring what a program like this can accommodate, but I think ideally we’d like to partner with 7 to 10 schools.”

Lula Lake’s efforts are part of growing movement to take school outside. Several area schools have built outdoor classrooms to incorporate environmental or “place-based” education. Walker County schools recently hosted an Environmental Education Summit that included every school administrator in the system, and Gilbert Elementary in Lafayette is the first public school in the country to launch a forest kindergarten.

I’ve been super impressed with the local reception,” says Roberts, who previously worked in the New Orleans school district. “It’s exciting that both teachers and parents are buying in to the idea that tangible experiences outdoors are good for not only a child’s formal education but also development.

An important piece of the puzzle for LLLT is a partnership with the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute, who recently sent biologists to inventory the aquatic life of Rock Creek. The synergistic relationship helps both groups with their conservation and educational outreach efforts.

In fact, education and conservation seem inextricably linked for any land trust. People are far less likely to protect a place they don’t love; and it’s difficult to love a place you don’t understand, says Roberts.

We would like more kids to have a Lula Lake story,” says Roberts. “The property already has its own personality or character. It’s not just a patch of woods…it’s that, but so much more. Our goal is to share that as best we can with future generations.

Roberts knows that relationship first hand, growing up in the shadows of the Smoky Mountains. She has worked for the United States Park Service, served in the Peace Corps in West Africa and spent nearly a decade teaching indoors and out in both New Orleans and her hometown of Cookeville, TN.

Robert’s position is a year-long commitment (ending in May) but the program allows Lula Lake to employ a VISTA for 3 years through federal grant money. The ultimate goal would be to hire a full-time environmental education coordinator.

Important Message About Skating Rink

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Just a friendly reminder….the Gym and Skating Rink at Lookout Mountain School is only open to residents of the Town of Lookout Mountain, TN or the City of Lookout Mountain, GA. Recent abuses of this rule have led town officials to ask for a photo ID before checking out the key at the dispatcher desk at Tennessee’s Town Hall.

Only residents 18 years and older can reserve the space, which is open on weekends or after 5 pm on weekdays (except during basketball season, which runs January through early March). Reservations are not required, but it’s suggested you call 423-821-1226 to check availability.

People have long enjoyed the space for birthday parties or a play area when weather prohibits time at the Town Commons. The space has also been used as a make-shift rec center, holding ballet or Spanish classes after school. Groups should call 423-821-6212 to request permission from the Community Center Board.

National Treasures: Centennial Picnic in Point Park this Thursday

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You may have climbed the cannons at Point Park or admired the views of the distant river snaking through downtown. But you only get one chance a year to party in the Park. And if you want to make it this year, you better hurry.

The eighth annual “National Treasures” event – held this Thursday, August 25 – is getting close to a sellout event. It’s hosted by the Friends of Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park, a non-profit that serves as an advocate for the country’s oldest military park.

Buy tickets now

The casual evening features live music, activities and al fresco dining on the park lawn – a unique privilege at a park that normally doesn’t even allow picnics. What makes this year even more special is it coincides with the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

Each year, National Treasures honors our local National Park and commemorates the important role it plays in our community,” says National Treasures Chair Becky Browder. “This year is especially significant, as we also celebrate the importance of the National Park Service that manages 407 sites across the country, maintaining America’s natural and historic treasures.

From 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm, you can enjoy breathtaking views as you stroll along the park’s paths, listen to the music of the Power Players underneath the iconic New York Peace Monument, and toast the centennial of the National Park Service.

There will be living history re-enactments of Civil War activity and a special 100th Anniversary presentation on the creation and history of the Park Service. Umbrella Rock (pictured above) will also be exclusively open for this event, allowing you to ‘gram Chattanooga’s first tourist destination.

National Treasures 2016: Centennial Picnic in Point Park

August 25, 5:30 to 8:30 pm
$75 for individual, $130 per couple
Tickets are available online or by calling Tricia Mims, Executive Director, at (423) 648-5623.

Fairyland Club Welcomes New Executive Chef

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Chef Cristian Adasme’s first day on the job as executive chef at the Fairyland Club was what you might call a bad day. Not only was he handling the second largest banquet of the year, a surprise health inspection scored his new kitchen one point above failing.

It was challenging, but everything happens for a reason,” he says half smiling. “At least it showed me where I needed to focus my efforts first.

The mistakes were small but counted as double since they were repeat offenses. But if any person was prepared to handle reorganizing and retraining a kitchen staff, it was Chef Adasme. You could even say he wrote the book on it.

As a teacher at Atlanta’s Le Cordon Bleu International cooking school for almost a decade, Adasme was in charge of the white tablecloth, student-run restaurant. The rigorous task was the equivalent of opening a new restaurant every three weeks. He developed books for each station so that students knew the exact process of each dish, from pantry to plating.

The main problem with every restaurant is consistency; you have to have a playbook that says ‘this is what we’re doing,’” he says. “What I’ve done so far is implement a system, laying the foundation for deep-rooted change.

That’s not to say he doesn’t also have big plans for the menu. He’s already instituted weekly specials highlighting a different cuisine each week, such as Italian or Creole. His fall menu debuts this month, which will feature the freshest of fall’s product.

Ultimately he envisions everything in the Fairyland Club kitchen being made from scratch, from dressings to French fries to pasta. He would also like to develop a charcuterie plate from meat that is butchered and processed in-house, such as cured salami or smoked sausage. He knows this will take a culture shift and time, but is pleased with the reception so far – from the staff to management to members.

I’d love to put the Fairyland Club on the culinary map; just look at this view,” he says motioning to the back deck. “You can’t get that anywhere downtown.

While he acknowledges it’s an ambitious goal, he has the culinary chops to make it happen. His resume includes one of Atlanta’s oldest and finest restaurants, Nikolais’ Roof; Buckhead’s French bistro, Anis; and his time as Lead Instructor at Le Cordon Bleu. There he worked with some of the country’s top chefs, helped train at the school’s Ottawa, Canada campus, participated in a TV cooking show and was featured in Atlanta and national magazines.

Adasme never wants his food to seem pretentious. He prefers to elevate simple ingredients through technique, rather than “re-sell” an expensive product. This approach probably stems from his childhood in Santiago, Chile where fresh, homegrown food was the only option. Even so, he entered the food world in a rather unusual way.

“My greatest inspiration was my mom, who was a terrible cook,” he laughs. “So I started cooking for the family every Sunday.”

After studying law for three years in Chile, he gave everything up to follow a girl to the States. At 21, he arrived at the Atlanta airport with two bags and a guitar, speaking little to no English. He got the only job that didn’t require him to be fluent – a busboy in a restaurant – and the culinary light switch flipped on.

While he loved his career in Atlanta, years later a different female would inspire his move to Chattanooga – his daughter Gabriela. She moved to the area a few years ago with her mom, Adasme’s first wife. As fate would have it, Chattanooga is also where Adasme met his fiancé, Sara. Together they have two boys: Sebastian, 2 and Carlos, born just two weeks before he came aboard as the Club’s executive chef.

Music on the Mountain Returns this Weekend

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The third annual Music on the Mountain returns this Saturday, August 20 at the Lookout Mountain Golf Club. Proceeds from this “Southern Barbeque Supper” benefit the Fairyland Education Fund, which helps add staff and programs that enhance the Fairyland School experience. And there are some auction items this year that could seriously enhance your life too.

Take for example the $4,300 golf cart they’re raffling at $100 per chance (only 125 tickets will be sold and you don’t have to be present to win). Or consider the security-level clearance Pentagon tour in D.C., which will be featured in the live auction.

Have you always dreamed of challenging Jimmy Fallon in one of his epic Lip Sync battles? Then you’ll want to sign up for the Lip Sync Battle Dinner Party, hosted by Michelle and Justin Workman and Caroline and Nelson Williams. Other auction highlights include mixed media artwork by resident Jon Davenport; a 7-night stay in Santa Rosa, FL; VIP "Zone" level tickets to watch UTC play AL at Bryant Denny Stadium; and custom Louisa Guild 14K and semi-precious stone earrings.

Co-chairs this year include Sarah Lehn and Caroline Williams, who have been instrumental in getting this event off the ground.

We’re so honored how the community has come out to support it each year,” says Williams. “Similar to events by the LMS PTA and Love Lookout, we see Music on the Mountain as yet another opportunity to unify the mountain and help make our community stronger.

The committee always makes a special effort to highlight local talent, such as Paul Daniel who will perform this year with his band, Men of Soul. Henry Glascock will emcee the live auction, and the menu features Chef Margaret Johnson’s famous pulled pork and ribs.

I’ve heard people joke they’d walk up the mountain for Margaret’s barbeque!” laughs Williams.

Proceeds from Music on the Mountain represent a large portion of Fairyland’s $150,000 PTO budget, which has helped fund a new full-time computer teacher, a music teacher, a new Spanish program that begins in Pre-K and a RTI (response to intervention) teacher.

Music on the Mountain
Saturday, August 20 at 6:30 pm
Lookout Mountain Golf Club
Southern Barbeque Supper, Live music, Live/Silent Auction

Buy tickets ($60) online or at the door

“Be the Bend” at Chattanooga’s First Yoga Festival

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Southern Bend Yoga Festival
August 27, noon to 11 pm
Coolidge Park
Tickets $45 until August 13 ($60 at the gate); $12 for kids with 5 and under free

Whether you’ve studied Ashtanga in India or you just like wearing yoga pants to the grocery store, Southern Bend Yoga Festival has something for you.

The idea is to unite Chattanooga in mindful movement,” says Lookout Mountain resident and festival ‘marketing guru’, Aloyse Brown. “Bring a friend and a sense of play. You’re not supposed to look perfect – if you fall over, laugh about it.

Virtually every style will be represented – Vinyasa, Nidra, Ashtanga, Purna – all taught by nationally acclaimed yogis flying in just for the event. You can do “down dog” while floating on a Stand-Up Paddleboard, or balance on a friend with acroyoga (a mixture of acrobatics and yoga).

Yoga is a practice you can have your entire life, unlike rock climbing or running marathons,” says festival ‘funding guru’ and Lookout Mountain native Katie Stout. “We want to expose people to the different aspects of yoga, whether you’ve never tried it or have been practicing for years.

There will be yoga with live DJs, kid’s yoga, tai chi, meditation sessions, slacklining and instructor-led discussions called “speakeasys.” Early bird tickets are just $45 (until August 13) and give you access to three of the festival’s 20-plus sessions. In the downtime, catch live music at the “Java Jive” coffee lounge or peruse the many food and yogi-centric vendors.

Southern Bend is more than just a festival; it’s the inaugural event for a new non-profit founded by yoga instructors Heather Dendy and Kari Pollard. After attending a similar festival called Wanderlust, the two friends agreed it would be the perfect concept for Chattanooga with just one key difference – philanthropy.

The event will benefit the Children’s Organ Transplant Association, which helps US transplant families avoid financial ruin. Transplant procedures range from $100,000 to more than $800,000 with an incredibly long waiting list to endure.

Dendy knows the stress firsthand, as her son has been on the waiting list for a liver transplant for many years. While her family won’t benefit directly from the funds raised, the money will stay local, assures Brown.

Organizers hope to not only introduce more people to the health benefits of yoga, but also unite the yoga community for positive change in our community, with the mantra “Be the Bend.”

The idea is to take everything we find on the mat – clarity, sense of peace, balance – and take it into the community,” explains Brown. "There’s something really beautiful about 200-400 people practicing together, breathing in unison.

But don’t think the whole event will be one big “om.” Come nightfall, DJ Hi –FI will take center stage with a dance party including neon body paint. (We told you not to try and put this festival into a box pose.)

Can’t wait until festival time? Get your poses on now with the Studio Raffle Card. Participating studios are offering one FREE class to first-time visitors, plus a sticker equaling one ticket in the festival’s raffle for more than $4,000 worth of prizes. Drawings will be held throughout the day and prizes available for pick-up at the event.

Buy your tickets now

Riverwalk Comes to Lookout Mountain

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On August 12, the Riverwalk’s St. Elmo expansion officially opens. Organizers promise more than a ribbon cutting to commemorate this important milestone – it’ll be a two-day extravaganza.

(See schedule below)

The Blue Goose Landing addition provides an uninterrupted foot/bike path from Ross’ Landing to the foot of Lookout Mountain, where it connects with existing mountain trails. It begins at the Blue Goose Hollow Trailhead adjacent to the new Cameron Harbor Development downtown, and ends at Middle Street near Crust Pizza.

The extension highlights the rich industrial and cultural history of our area – there’s even a new app that will debut at the grand opening. The trail winds behind Alstom, PSC Metals and the abandoned US Pipe site. Highlights include an interpretive public art exhibit and amphitheater lawn, as well as passing underneath the largest crane on the Tennessee River at PSC Metals, which loads the largest hydroelectric turbines in the world onto barges for shipment.

The 3.5-mile addition cost more than $11 million and took nearly two years to build, with challenges such as an alignment shift, bank failures and long awaited approvals from railroads. The waiting will be worth it once the new section opens, which will connect our city like never before.

Currently most use the Riverwalk for recreation, but officials hope this new section will encourage a bike commuter route from St. Elmo to downtown. A connection from the Riverwalk to the South Chickamauga Creek Greenway has already opened, and construction of a connection to the Alton Park neighborhood was announced earlier this summer.

Friday, Aug. 12:

10 a.m.
Blues music entertainment, a tribute to the area where the famous blues singer, Bessie Smith, was born and raised

10:30 a.m.
Program begins, emceed by Claude Ramsey

11 a.m.
Ribbon Cutting

11:30 a.m.
Try out the new Riverwalk app narrating the unique history of the Riverwalk

5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Special event near the Riverwalk on the Springhill Suites patio and Waterside Lounge, including live music, happy hour drinks, a food truck, and special showings of the Chattanooga History Center’s 12-minute video narrated by Samuel Jackson

Saturday, Aug. 13:

BCBST sponsors a run/walk along the new Riverwalk addition early in the morning

9 a.m. – Noon
Street performers and musicians

Nearby restaurants and merchants offer specials throughout the afternoon

5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Entertainment, street performers, refreshments/food vendors, and a scavenger hunt.

Find a map of the Riverpark extension here

Community calendar