Knoxville’s REI store awarded $10,000 Community Grants to Legacy Parks Foundation and the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club to build a bridge connecting trails in Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness. The bridge will cross Red Bud Road and connect the new Wood property to the greater Urban Wilderness South Loop trail system.
Working together with community groups, REI hopes to build greater awareness of efforts to care for and increase access to the outdoor recreation places where their members and customers play. This is the second year that both Legacy Parks and the AMBC were named recipients of the REI funds. “We really appreciate what these two organizations are doing to increase the recreational opportunities in our community,” said Nolan Wildfire, Outdoor Program and Community Outreach Coordinator at REI. “The addition of the bridge opens up a much broader range of trails for our customers and employees to enjoy,” she added.
The grant funding will allow the construction of a key piece of recreational infrastructure – a bike and pedestrian bridge across a heavily trafficked city road. The bridge will create a safe road crossing, increase access to the trails, connect neighborhoods and a middle school to Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness, and will provide a new commuter route. “We are thrilled to again be chosen by REI as a partner, and appreciate their commitment to improving and expanding our trails,” said Carol Evans, Executive Director of Legacy Parks Foundation. The bridge should be in place by late Fall.