News & Events

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Give Gifts that Leave a Legacy!

Give a gift that gives twice – to us and them! Unique, locally produced Legacy Parks products let everyone on your list know you care about them and our exceptional outdoor resources. Proceeds from the sale support our work of expanding and protecting the parks, trails, and waterways in our region.

With options like our sterling silver Urban Wilderness necklace or the Urban Hikes guidebook written by local experts, you’ll find something that will make this holiday special and remind your loved ones that their gift made a difference.

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Friend of Legacy Parks

Make New Friends for the Holidays!

Leave a legacy this holiday season by giving your friends and family the gift of becoming a Friend of Legacy Parks. This is a great way to honor someone who appreciates the beautiful outdoor assets we have in East Tennessee and the outdoor recreation opportunities we enjoy. And for those people on your list who have everything, this gift of preserving and expanding our outdoor assets is the perfect fit.

Friends of Legacy Parks support our mission to leave East Tennessee better than we found it and receive discounts from supportive local vendors plus other benefits based on your level of investment.

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Legacy Parks awarded $150,000 for next adventure park

lpf-adventure-park-2A $150,000 grant to Legacy Parks Foundation from the Trinity Health Foundation of East Tennessee will fund the construction of a unique adventure play park specifically designed to encourage middle school aged children to get out and play. This new park will be adjacent to South Doyle Middle School and will be designed by Ross Fowler based upon research with students from that school and surrounding neighborhoods. Bryant Research asked current and incoming students what they would like to see in a play space and those wishes were translated into a custom adventure play park design.


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Legacy Parks Foundation opens kids play area at Baker Creek Preserve

Legacy Parks Foundation opened a new kids adventure play area today at Baker Creek Preserve in the heart of Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness. The Siddiqi Charitable Foundation, Earthadelic, and REI contributed to the project, helping Legacy Parks transform an unused space into an attractive, useful area that encourages youth to explore outdoor recreation.

Thanks to grants from the Siddiqi Charitable Foundation and REI, plus labor and design work donated by Earthadelic, the play area includes natural, interactive, and bike features that accommodate kids of all ages. Among these fun features are a giant hanging bamboo chime for kids to run through and make music, log rounds for balancing, a miniature climbing wall, slides, and a climbing play net.

Kids can also utilize a dedicated grassy area meant for free play and running, and several barrels of play balls will be available, introducing the “balls in parks” concept. The idea is that simply providing balls in parks gets kids to play more and be more active. The South Haven Homeowners Association has adopted this idea and will keep a constant supply of play balls at the kids adventure play area.

Beautiful landscaping and natural seating areas made of logs and stone make a great place for parents to watch kids and for families to enjoy together. In addition, grants to Legacy Parks and the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club from REI were combined to fund a kids pump track and kids trail. This is the third year REI has provided grants to the two organizations for project in Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness. The combination of all of the features of the play area will allow children to explore and engage with age-appropriate challenges, while developing their motor skills and increasing their physical activity.
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Lessons from the 2016 Legacy Luncheon for the Parks

img_8226A crowd of nearly 1,000 gathered at UT Cherokee Farm to support Legacy Parks Foundation at our annual Legacy Luncheon for the Parks. Guests heard remarks from Rick Ridgeway, the mountaineer and VP of the apparel company Patagonia. Rick discussed the impact his countless adventures and expeditions have had on his life’s work and innovative strategies he influences at Patagonia. Having seen the planet change over his years of exploration, many of these strategies involve Patagonia’s mission to do good business that is also good for the environment.

Some examples he explained were Patagonia’s action to donate 1% of its profits to nonprofits around the world, a controversial campaign to convince people to only buy as much as they really need, a mobile unit to help people repair and reuse their garments, and a communication strategy that reminds other businesses that young people will only work for businesses who care for the future of our planet.

We are truly grateful to Pilot Flying J for presenting the Luncheon, for our lead sponsors, Bryant Research, Gulf & Ohio Railways, Robin Easter Design, SouthEast Bank, Texas Instruments, The Trust Company, The University of Tennessee Medical Center, UCOR, all of our table sponsors, and each person that attended the 2016 Legacy Luncheon for the Parks. The Luncheon is our only major fundraising event of the year, and all proceeds support our operating budget. This helps us continue to ensure our community enjoys exceptional recreational opportunities, natural beauty and open spaces, and that these assets exist for generations to come.

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Being a Friend of Legacy Parks has its perks!

local_trails_3Friends of Legacy Parks are people just like you who have recognized the benefits recreational opportunities and open outdoor spaces bring to our community. Friends choose to play an important role in helping Legacy Parks expand and protect the incredible natural assets we have in East Tennessee to ensure they exist for generations to come. Not only can Friends of Legacy Parks enjoy places like Seven Islands State Birding Park and Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness knowing they helped make those places special, but they also receive discounts from more than 20 retailers that support Legacy Parks’ mission and additional benefits for the level of your investment. And with the holiday season approaching, consider making a Friend of Legacy Parks membership a gift in honor or in memory of a person special to you.

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Legacy Parks Foundation Legacy Luncheon for the Parks

Photo Gallery: 2016 Legacy Luncheon a Great Success!

Nearly 1,000 gathered for the 2016 Legacy Luncheon for the Parks and heard announcements from Legacy Parks Foundation along with comments from Rick Ridgeway, the vice president of Patagonia. Generous sponsors and luncheon attendees enjoyed beautiful weather and good company along the Tennessee River at UT Cherokee Farm.

Thank you to everyone who attended or supported this successful event! Stay involved in supporting our work by becoming a Friend of Legacy Parks.

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Approaching a Sold-out Legacy Luncheon for the Parks!

Legacy Luncheon for the ParksOnce again, Legacy Parks Foundation will draw a crowd of almost 1,000 civic, business, and community leaders for its annual Legacy Luncheon for the Parks next Friday, Oct. 7th. Gathered along the bank of the Tennessee River at UT Cherokee Farm, the crowd will hear exciting announcements along with a report on Legacy Parks’ accomplishments in the past year.

Rick Ridgeway, the noted mountaineer and vice president of environmental affairs for Patagonia chose to visit Knoxville to speak at this luncheon, and will inspire the group with his experience with big mountains, big business, and big initiatives to preserve outdoor resources.

A limited number of seats still remain, so reserve yours now to take part in this unique Knoxville event. Reservations can be make online or by calling (865) 525-2585.

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Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon grant awarded to Legacy Parks Foundation

Legacy Parks Awarded Covenant Grant for Rail-with-Trail Project

Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon grant awarded to Legacy Parks FoundationA grant from Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon to Legacy Parks will provide trail goers on the upcoming G & O Trail a great trail stop!

The $10,000 grant will fund a trailhead complete with amenities for runners, walkers, bikers and pups. The way station will include a watering station for people and pets, a bike station with basic tools, seating, and an informational kiosk. The trail and its landscaping will have a unique design reflective of both the rail and Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness. The G & O Trail’s proximity to businesses and neighborhoods and its easy grade will make it an easy run, walk, or ride by users of all levels.

The G & O Trail three-mile rail-with-trail project will provide a recreational and commuter connection between Knoxville’s Chapman Highway and Ijams Nature Center. It will be a virtually flat, soft surface trail that parallels the rail line, connecting businesses, parks and neighborhoods.

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Baker Creek Preserve Chosen for Middle and High School Mountain Bike Competition

smoky-mountain-bear-racerThis weekend, Baker Creek Preserve will see its first mountain bike race. Baker Creek Preserve is the newest 100-acre area of Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness added by Legacy Parks Foundation. The National Interscholastic Cycling Association’s Tennessee League organized a statewide race with about 170 middle and high school competitors participating. Students will pre-ride the course on Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. in preparation for the full race, which is on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Baker Creek Preserve will be closed to other riders during this time on Sunday, but everyone is encouraged to join in cheering for the students.

15 teams of students along with their families will come to Knoxville for this race from all across the state, plus a group from Kentucky. The local team, the Smoky Mountain Bears, will be ready to race with 15 students entered and support from their volunteer coach, Doug Sharp. Parents and fans will park at the 1516 Taylor Road entrance and cheer for the students at the start/finish line and along the race route.

Andrew Wagner, a board member for the Tennessee League of NICA explains the collaboration it takes to put on an event like this in the Urban Wilderness. “Legacy Parks Foundation and the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club are so helpful in supporting the NICA program and this event, said Wagner. “We all work well together, which is why these events turn out so well for our community.

After the race on Sunday, Harper’s Bike Shop will host a Santa Cruz mountain bike demo from 3 to 7 p.m. at Baker Creek Preserve. Students, parents, and community members are welcome to test out new mountain bikes and experience the Baker Creek Trails during this time.

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