Leaving East Tennessee Better Than We Found It

Legacy Parks Foundation is an East Tennessee nonprofit organization working to ensure that our community enjoys exceptional recreational opportunities, natural beauty and open spaces, and that these assets exist for generations to come. We work collaboratively to preserve our area’s extraordinary natural resources and to expand parks, create trails, and increase access to our rivers. Since 2007, Legacy Parks has raised over eight million dollars for parks and open space, helped conserve 1,000 acres of forest and farmland, and added over 500 acres of parkland in Knox County.

Become a Friend of Legacy Parks and help us Leave East Tennessee Better Than We Found It.

Our Areas of Focus

Preserve our Ridges and Views

Knoxville has the gift of geography. Situated in the heart of the Tennessee Valley, we enjoy a varied terrain with a beautiful mix of lush valleys and breathtaking ridge views. With continued growth throughout the county, we have the opportunity to help strike a healthy balance between development and conservation by proactively working to preserve our ridges and views and allow them to maintain their greatest public benefit.

Connect our Greenways and Trails

It’s easy to see why greenways consistently rise to top of the list of the recreational venues the community would like to see expanded. Greenways connect neighborhoods and communities. They provide health, environmental, and transportation benefits. There are no financial barriers or skills needed to enjoying greenways. While funding is always a consideration, land acquisition is the first stumbling block that often impedes connecting and expanding our greenway system. Legacy Parks can play a significant role in greenway expansion by proactively acquiring property and easements from business and individual donors.

Maintain the Health of and Access to Our Waterways

Knoxville’s history and growth is tied to our waterways. James White built the fort that became Knoxville just below the junction of the French Broad and Holston Rivers. Our rivers continue to define much of our region. The Tennessee River flows across the county, passing through the heart of the city. TVA lakes provide opportunity for recreation across the region. Other rivers and waterways allow for virtually year-round swimming, boating, and fishing. Legacy Parks can work diligently to ensure the waterways remain healthy and that there is ample public waterfront access for everyone to enjoy.

Create Recreational Opportunities for the Underserved

Recreation and sports have moved beyond the more traditional sports of basketball, baseball, and football. The requests for venues to accommodate emerging sports far exceed the resources of the city and county parks’ programs. Fortunately, many of those who participate in these activities are passionate about their pursuit and are willing to financially support their development. Legacy Parks can both serve as a fiscal agent for those raising funds for specific projects and be a champion for projects where there is public demand but no funding.

Additionally, financial barriers may limit participation in sports, restrict the development of new teams, and hinder recruiting, training, and sustaining volunteers. A well-established grant program can work to alleviate many of these barriers.

Exceed the National Average for Public Parks and Green Space

The success of any organization or community is most often measured in comparative statistics against peers or competitors. As a community, we should expect more than to simply meet the nationwide per capita averages for parkland and recreational services – we should aspire to exceed them. Exceeding the national average demonstrates that we are a healthy community with abundant opportunities and protective of our environmental assets. It defines us as a good community in which to live and do business.

Legacy Parks works proactively to acquire land that expands our parks and green space, and raises funds to make them the best they can be. By doing so, we help position our community as one to be admired.

Board of Directors

  • Cathy Ackermann
    President, Ackermann PR
  • John Becker
    News Anchor, WBIR-TV
  • Steven Brewington
    Manager, Windy Hill Farm and Preserve
  • Rebecca Bryant
    President, Bryant Research, LLC
  • Bart Carey
    President, Millstone Builders
  • Nicki Collett
    Internal Communications Manager, Discvoery
  • Dave Collins
    Director and Principal, McCarty Holsaple McCarty, Inc.
  • Sheryl Ely, ex-officio
    Director of Parks & Recreation, City of Knoxville
  • Thomas Ford
    Manager, Metal Sales – Alcoa North America
  • Duane Grieve
    Executive Director, East Tennessee Community Design Center
  • Jenny Hines, treasurer
    President, Hines & Company, CPA
  • Marv House
    Chairman, Merit Construction
  • Larsen Jay
    Knox County Commissioner
  • Will Johnson
    Owner & Founder, Integ LLC
  • Blair Kline
    Business Development, Joseph Construction
  • Thomas Krajewski, Chair
    Land Specialist, National Land Realty
  • Teresa Levey
    Retired Sr. VP and Chief Administrative Officer, UT Medical Center
  • David Long
    Attorney, Long, Ragsdale Waters
  • Bill Mason
    Attorney, Kennerly Montgomery
  • Jeremy Nelson
    Financial Advisor, UBS Financial Services
  • Don Parnell
    Retired Principle, Realty Trust Group
  • Cecilia Petersen, secretary
    Central Region Finance Manager, Amec Foster Wheeler
  • Joe Petre
    President, Conversion Properties
  • Ken Rueter
    President, UCOR
  • Will Skelton
    Retired Attorney
  • Marshall Stair
    Councilman, City of Knoxville
  • Chris Trump, vice chair
    Attorney, Egerton, McAffee, Armistead & Davis
  • Paul White
    Director of Parks & Recreation, Knox County
  • Chad Youngblood
    President and Chief Executive Officer, See Why Consulting

Board of Advisors

  • Pete Claussen
  • Steve Fritts
  • Dee Haslam
  • Missy Kane
  • Mark Mamantov
  • David Martin
  • Sharon Miller Pryse
  • Tommy Schumpert
  • Susan Richardson Williams


  • Carol Evans
    Executive Director
  • Cameron Broome
    Operations Director
  • Sarah Rump
    Marketing Director
  • Elle Colquitt
    OutdoorKnoxville.com Site Manager