As part of See Rock City (SRC) Inc.'s sustainability and community efforts, Rock City supports local businesses, organizations, and individuals using their talents and time in unique ways. As our event calendar has grown throughout the years, we have identified community partners for each event, focusing not only on financial support, but also on co-advocacy and public relations partnerships to enhance their visibility in our community. Rock City's community partnerships include the following:
Special Events Partnerships
Shamrock City - Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA): During the month of March, guests at Rock City have the option of purchasing shamrocks to aid local families battling muscular dystrophy. SRC annually partners with MDA for its St. Patrick's Day event Shamrock City and this year raised $3,000
Fairytale Nights - Emily's Power for a Cure (EPFAC): We partner with EPFAC, a local foundation that funds critical research and provides direct support for families battling Neuroblastoma, one of the deadliest childhood cancers. SRC presented EPFAC with a $2,000 donation from the event this year. Additionally, families served by EPFAC receive complimentary admission to the Gardens.
EarthDayz - Orange Grove: We chose Orange Grove as the business partner for our recycling pickup throughout the year and we are also a sponsor of their primary fundraiser which is a golf tournament that Rock City's management team participates in. Additionally, we donate the change from all of our water features to the Center so their clients are able to sort and count the money; they then keep all of the donated change.
Southern Blooms Festival - Partnership with Children, Families & Adults: Family Connections Supervised Visitation Center: Rock City also does two volunteer days at the center with our partners. SRC presented PFAC with a $2,250 donation this year.
Summer Music Weekends - Lula Lake Land Trust (LLLT): We collect change donations for preservation of the LLLT and Rock City matches the donation amount from the duration of the event. We also work to support their outreach and community relations activities by promoting their events to visitors on the mountain.
Rocktoberfest - MaryEllen Locher Scholarship Foundation (MELSF): We donate a portion of each pink birdhouse sold to the MELSF, to their scholarship fund to aid students whose parents have battled breast cancer, as well as MEL's Club - a program to go into area middle and high schools promoting breast cancer awareness to students. We also donate Rock City pink merchandise to many events including Volley for a Cure at Lee University, etc.
Blowing Springs Farm - Boys and Girl Scouts of America: Rock City donates the use of the property for fall club events, makes cash donations and last season sponsored a media event at the Farm where the pedal car race winner was able to choose a local charity for SRC to make a donation to, in addition to matching the donation for the Scouts.
Enchanted Garden of Lights - Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Greater Chattanooga: Another record number of guests visited the Enchanted Garden of Lights in 2017, making the event's 23rd anniversary the most-attended so far. A portion of each ticket sold goes to RMHC resulting in a donation of $19,251.75. RMHC is our longest standing community partner, and we have consistently donated to them for over 20 years totaling almost $200,000.
Other Community Involvement
- Wings to Soar Falcon Release Program - A goal of repopulating this bird species to the Lookout Mountain area by annually releasing peregrine falcons from a hack box on our property where they've been prepared for life in the wild.
- Blood Drives with Blood Assurance
- Salvation Army - Our partners volunteer to take shifts to ring bells during the holiday season.
- The Salvation Army's Citadel School of Music and Arts also held a performance at Rock City Gardens where the participating students were able to show off what they had learned from the program.
- Chattanooga Theater Centre sponsorship and partnership with various local theaters for actor auditions with each of our special events where performers are needed.
- Paid volunteer hours for partners
- Martha Bell Miller Scholarship - This annual award honors Martha Bell Miller and her legacy of portraying the beloved "Mother Goose" at the attraction, as well as recognizing a current partner of SRC for his or her educational efforts. In 2009, the scholarship committee at SRC made the decision to name the award after Martha Bell Miller, a lifelong educator and promoter of character and integrity, who dedicated her professional life to education. She worked as Mother Goose from 1983 - 2005, but her love of Rock City began on opening day in 1932 when she was one of its first visitors.
- Rock City Gardens partners with local artisans to bring art to the Enchanted Trail. Each piece is inspired by Rock City - the natural beauty and the "quieting of the spirit" effect - and each uses recycled and reclaimed materials.
- Isaac Duncan's Perched Raptor, the first permanent sculpture at the attraction and made of reclaimed steel.
- Roger Halligan's Iron Age, made of concrete and steel, is an installation influenced by the megalithic stone constructions found in the British Isles, France and Ireland.
- John Henry's Prometheus is an aluminum sculpture that weights 1,000 pounds and greets visitors at the entrance to the gardens.
- John McLeod's Elder Flame is a Native-American inspired piece made out of materials from the property.
- Michael Brandt's Invitation, a trellis at the end of the trail, made from reclaimed steel and a red oak that fell on the Rock City property.
- Jack Denton's Villa Aviana means "house of birds" - the concept was based on the iconic See Rock City Birdhouse.
- Matthew Dutton's Maloria, Mother of the Wild installed in August 2016 adds a woodland, fairytale presence to the Gardens.
- Children's Hospital at Erlanger - Last year, SRC gifted $300,000 to the new Children's Hospital at Erlanger Medical Center to design a secret garden tree house that will be located on the second floor of the new building. It will be an area where patients and families can connect, engage and enjoy an inspiring outdoor experience.