Photo Record

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Object Name Image, Digital
Catalog Number 2011.018.005.a-v
Collection Tennessee Division of Water Pollution Control Collection
Description Digital images copied from original slides from the Tennessee Division of Water Pollution Control. This set of images are of the Market Street Branch of the river system, and are on the exact location of the current wetlands at Renaissance Park off Frazier Avenue. The Roper Corporation was responsible for these pollutants, which included lead, heavy metals, and other hazardous materials, being placed in these unlined pond beds. They made metal household cooking equipment and appliances. a-e) Taken on May 1, 1973. f-v) Taken on September 5, 1974. a) The Market Street Bridge can be seen in the background. n-p) an employee is in this image during a site inspection and p) shows where his boot got stuck in the mud and sludge.

The hills in Renaissance Park, which children use to slide on today, were built to compress the remainder of the toxins from leaking. Chattanooga.gov describes them: " Hill Overlooks – This area is comprised of grassy landforms for climbing and for views across the flooded forest, Tennessee River, downtown Chattanooga and to Lookout Mountain. These pyramids also serve the function of safely encapsulating, under 2 feet of clay, some of the waste byproducts left behind by industries formerly located on this site." The same website also describes the wetlands at Renaissance Park: " Renaissance Wetland – This 1.5-acre constructed wetland collects, improves, and releases water from two sources of urban pollution: controlled releases of built up water from the contaminated soils encapsulated beneath the park (byproducts of former industrial processes on site), and urban runoff from the 475-acre urban watershed of North Chattanooga - a great example of an alternative method to deal with challenges of urban ecology. The wetland is a working model of cutting edge use of design, materials, and natural systems. Its natural filtration system uses native plants and natural systems to improve water quality both within the park and downstream in the Tennessee River. Various vantage points provide relaxing places to observe an active wetland ecosystem."
Date 1973-1974
Accession number 2011.018