Chattanooga, TN – According to the statement, the fund is guided by a map created by a group at UTC who spent three years on  the project. 

The award-winning map can be found on the Thrive Regional Partnership website and is part of the Cradle of Southern Appalachia master plan, which was  designed collaboratively by Thrive and the Natural Treasures Alliance. It identifies seven specific landscapes in the region that need protection

The $5.25 million slated for the Southeast Tennessee region is part of an $18-million effort by the Open Space Institute. Founded in 1974, the institute focuses on environmental conservation efforts in the eastern United States.

An additional $66 million is expected in matching public and private funds, according to the institute.