The Lyndhurst Foundation in Chattanooga, Tenn., received the 2020 Donor Impact Award in recognition of its support of the Institute of Government and projects designed to boost economic vitality in northwest Georgia.
The Donor Impact Award, established by the University of Georgia Vice President for Public Service and Outreach Jennifer Frum in 2018, recognizes a donor whose gifts to support the university’s public service and outreach mission have had an extraordinary impact on the lives of the citizens of Georgia and beyond.
Since its first gift in 2015, the Lyndhurst Foundation has enabled the Institute of Government to improve and revitalize cities in northwest Georgia and Tennessee cities. Over the course of this partnership, the foundation has empowered communities and improved the region by supporting planning and design projects in McCaysville, Copperhill, Ducktown, Trenton, Chickamauga, Chatsworth, Rossville, Ringgold, Lookout Mountain, and unincorporated Murray County.
Funding from Lyndhurst converted a historic rail depot in Chickamauga into a welcome center, updated the grounds around the duck pond at the historic John Ross home in Rossville and determined whether an old textile mill in Rossville could be a site for business and social ventures — initiatives that all contribute to long-term livability and resilience of Lyndhurst’s greater Chattanooga service region, which includes communities in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.
Funding in 2017 supported a unique economic development partnership with communities in Georgia and Tennessee. The Copper Basin Renaissance Strategic Visioning and Planning (RSVP) collaboration united key leaders from McCaysville, its twin city of Copperhill, Tenn., and nearby Ducktown, Tenn., in a community-driven alliance to help the region’s economy flourish. It was the first two-state RSVP, a component of the Georgia Downtown Renaissance Partnership, which is a community revitalization initiative with the Institute of Government, the Georgia Municipal Association, the Georgia Cities Foundation, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and other partners.
The Copper Basin RSVP strategy complements public and private quality-of-life amenities underway or already in place. The RSVP also enhanced existing partnerships among the cities, all of which are members of the Fannin County Chamber of Commerce.
Georgia House Speaker David Ralston and his staff worked on the Copper Basin RSVP with the Institute of Government since the initial discussions about this project. A longtime proponent of economic development initiatives like the RSVP, Ralston’s district includes McCaysville and Fannin County.
“Initiatives like this combine private-sector resources with public-sector expertise to revitalize downtowns to generate economic activity and create jobs,” Ralston said. “I am excited about the potential of this project.”
Shown above: At top, Funding from Lyndhurst supported the Copper Basin Renaissance Strategic Visioning and Planning (RSVP) collaboration. Above right, the Chickamauga Battlefield Connector Trail was a Lyndhurst-supported project.