In the U.S., Volkswagen calls Tennessee home. When the automaker undertook a major expansion of its electric vehicle manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, being a good neighbor was top of mind. The company turned to The Conservation Fund and asked us to design solutions that would help support conservation and communities around the new facility.


Volkswagen made a donation to help us add nearly 1,500 acres of public land within a day’s drive of its plant—to the Cherokee National Forest, Tennessee’s only national forest. We also teamed up on community-level initiatives, establishing a grant program to support nonprofits, schools and public agencies in eastern Tennessee that will improve water quality, increase access to outdoor recreation and advance environmental education. To top it off, Volkswagen is leading the creation of a mural in downtown Chattanooga to inspire the community and illustrate the natural beauty of Cherokee National Forest, inside the heart of the city.

Volkswagen Drives Bigger in Tennessee 800 x 600
Cherokee National Forest. Photo courtesy of VW.

Why It Matters

Cherokee National Forest is located within one of the most biologically diverse temperate regions in the world. It is home to the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Trail of Tears National Historic Trail and many whitewater and wilderness areas that offer recreation opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. By combining corporate support with our ability to do good conservation and community work, our partnership with Volkswagen is making a real difference.

“Our work with The Conservation Fund will help strengthen the environment and help us give back to a community where more than 3,800 of our colleagues live. This collaboration in our own backyard underscores our ‘Drive Bigger’ goal of pursuing ideas bigger than ourselves and then taking action. We feel a responsibility to show how a major automaker can credibly contribute to the greater good.”

– Scott Keogh, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America

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