News & Events

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A Play Forest for Middle Schoolers

Legacy Parks Foundation just opened the new Baker Creek Play Forest, creating the first play space in our region designed specifically to encourage increased physical activity among middle school aged children.

The Play Forest is located in the heart of Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness just three miles from downtown, and is connected by trail to the adjacent Baker Creek Preserve and South Doyle Middle School. With large structures for climbing, sliding, swinging and socializing tucked between towering trees, the Play Forest meets the requests of local students who participated in the research used to design the space.

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Legacy Parks creating river access at McBee Ferry

Creating Access to the Holston River

Kicking off its Head of the Tennessee Initiative, Legacy Parks has raised funds and was awarded grants to acquire the McBee Ferry Landing property along the Holston River, which it will turn into a Knox County park within the next year. It creates much needed access to the Holston River within a 22-mile stretch with no other public access point. Located off the Andrew Johnson Highway on Old Strawberry Plains Pike, the park will be ideal for fishing, boat access and picnicking, and offers a stunning view of the unique McBee Bridge.

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Inspiration and Announcements – the 2017 Legacy Luncheon

We are grateful that the 2017 Legacy Luncheon for the Parks was another huge success thanks to our amazing speaker and the nearly 1,000 sponsors and Friends who gathered at Seven Islands State Birding Park to support our work. Alexandra Cousteau, the award-winning filmmaker, National Geographic explorer, and global water expert shared inspiration and ideas with the crowd along the bank of the French Broad River, as we enjoyed crisp weather and a wonderful lunch.

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Legacy Parks Night at Balter Beerworks!

Join us on Oct. 26 at 6 p.m. for Legacy Parks Night at Balter Beerworks featuring fun outdoor games and an eno hammock raffle from Mast General Store!

Legacy Parks Night at Balter Beerworks is a chance to gather with friends and family for on every 4th Thursday of the month for great beer, food, and fun. What makes it extra sweet is that Balter donates proceeds from the night to Legacy Parks to support our East Tennessee parks, trails, and waterways.

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Free Legacy Parks Digital Emoji Stickers

Legacy Parks Foundation and Smallball Media, a technology company focused on driving digital engagement in new ways, jointly announced the launch of a digital emoji sticker pack that encourages peer-to-peer sharing via messaging applications. Legacy Parks is one of the first in the U.S. to utilize emoji stickers to drive engagement.

The Legacy Parks emojis depict activities including fly fishing, biking, running, hiking and more, allowing users to share their love of the outdoors with their friends and family while communicating in a visual manner.

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TuckahoeDown Nature Festival

Seven Islands State Birding Park will host the first TuckahoeDown Nature Festival at the 416-acre riverfront park in East Knox County this Saturday! The TuckahoeDown is free to the public and will highlight the vibrant East Tennessee community of Tuckahoe through family-friendly activities including outdoor recreation, crafts, live music, and education.

This inaugural event will take place on October 7 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Tennessee’s first and only State Birding Park located at 2809 Kelly Lane in Kodak, TN.

See the full schedule here and read on for more information!

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New Urban Wilderness Maps!

Legacy Parks recently released 20,000 brand new Urban Wilderness pocket trail maps which include two new trails and updated information. Inside the map, you’ll find insight into the 50 plus miles of trail, quarries and rivers, and amenities throughout this 1,000-acre forested area that’s just three miles from downtown. Included are descriptions of the different trail areas along with important guidelines for all users.

These maps are a free and plentiful resource thanks to the businesses and organizations who continue to support it through sponsorship. Stop by one of these locations to pick up your new map!

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Legacy Parks helps with Maryville to Townsend Greenway

Working together to connect Knoxville to the Smokies

Legacy Parks helps with Maryville to Townsend GreenwayLegacy Parks is working with a consortium of local and regional government and non-profit agencies to advance the Maryville-to-Townsend Greenway Expansion in Blount County, Tenn. Currently playing a coordination role, Legacy Parks is helping lead the effort to gather community engagement, refine the Greenway route and create a funding strategy.

You can participate in this exciting effort by sharing your greenway photos on social media with #LoveMyGreenway and from Sept. 27 through Nov. 10, you can win prizes by submitting your photos to the sweepstakes website.

The proposed Maryville-to-Townsend Greenway is a two-phase project set to develop over the next few years, and will provide 14 miles of trail connecting Maryville to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This is part of a larger regional effort to link pedestrians and cyclists from Knoxville to the Smokies through a greenway trail.

Carol Evans, executive director of Legacy Parks Foundation joined Ellen Zavisca of the Knoxville Regional Transportation Organization at Tourism Day to outline key aspects of the project.

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Where to Find the Beer for the Parks

Looking for the seasonal, limited-release Local Motion IPA that Blackhorse Brewery produced to benefit Legacy Parks?! Here’s a list of the great spots you can find this citrus session IPA on tap and in cans. Remember – every pint gives back to our parks, so buy a round!

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Knoxville Gets a Bike Share Program

Legacy Parks Foundation has been working with the City of Knoxville and various local bicycling groups to help bring a bike share program to town!

After researching several options, the group decided to partner with Zagster, a bike share program that operates without costing the City a dime. Instead, local businesses and organizations will sponsor stations.

The initial plan is to have 100 new bikes at 10 different stations, with riders gaining access to the service through an app or temporary code. It will allow locals and visitors to bike around town for commuting, recreation, and exploration.

Stay tuned for more updates on timing and locations!

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