News & Events

CrowdLL

Legacy Luncheon Sees Record Crowd To Hear Governor Haslam

Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge is a Knox County wildlife sanctuary that is currently managed by the Legacy Parks Foundation and Knox County Parks and Recreation. The county will transfer the 360-acre property to the state over the coming months and Tennessee State Parks will begin managing the site in July.

Pete and Linda Claussen’s generous and dedicated efforts in developing Seven Islands were the catalyst for this announcement. Around 15 years ago, the couple bought 200 acres of land and donated it to the county to be preserved as a wildlife refuge. “It is really pleasurable to see something like this reach its potential,” said Linda Claussen.

The refuge is currently used as a wildlife sanctuary, an area for hiking and observation, an educational facility for schools and other groups, a demonstration area for land use and habitat management techniques and a small boat launch for canoes and kayaks. The property is adjacent to the French Broad River and aquatic and riparian habitats support an impressive diversity of wildlife species. Over 183 species of birds have been identified.

“This addition to Tennessee State Parks is the result of a great partnership between TDEC, Knox County, the Legacy Parks Foundation and the Tennessee Department of Tourism Development” Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill said. “This partnership allows us to develop watchable wildlife sites and trails, with Seven Islands being the flagship for a statewide birding tour.”

Tennessee State Parks will be working with the Legacy Parks Foundation to assess the needs of the park and implement a transition plan to take over in July 2014. Seven Islands will become Tennessee’s 56th state park. Both Seven Islands and Rocky Fork will open to the public as Tennessee State Parks in 2014.

The 2013 Legacy Luncheon for the Parks was presented by Humana and sponsored by Pilot Flying J, Carol R. Johnson Associates, Gulf and Ohio Railway, and Robin Easter Design.

more details
GrantCheck

Legacy Parks To Receive $200,000 RTP Grant For New Trails

Legacy Parks Foundation received a $200,000 Recreation Trails Program (RTP) grant for the construction of 4.5 miles of new trail in Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness. The trails will provide a key connection between the existing parks and trails within the Urban Wilderness’ South Loop Trail System and South Doyle Middle School and its Outdoor Classroom. It will also be a connector for adjoining neighborhoods into the trail system.

The new Introductory Trail Project will offer a 1 mile beginner bike trail; 2.5 mile mix-use trail; two overlooks; a skills/play area; .5 mile mixed-use trail; a .5 mile hiking only trail to the south overlook and 3 creek-crossing structures. The Project will be constructed on the 100-acre property donated to the Legacy Parks Foundation by the Wood family in August 2013.

Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness is 1,000-forested acres along Knoxville’s downtown waterfront that includes ten parks, more than forty miles of recreational trails, four civil war sites, incredible views and unparalleled natural features.

more details

Wood Family Donates 100 Acres to Legacy Parks Foundation

Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness expanded by 100 acres today with the generous donation of future trail and parkland by the Wood family to the Legacy Parks Foundation. During today’s announcement at the property, Carol Evans, executive director of the Legacy Parks Foundation, explained the property – located on Taylor Road off Sevierville Pike in South Knoxville – will provide a key connection between the existing parks and trails with the Urban Wilderness’ South Loop Trail System and South Doyle Middle School and its Outdoor Classroom. It will also connect additional neighborhoods into the system and provide a 1.5-mile introductory mountain bike trail designed for riders of all ages.

“The location of this property and the topography it offers makes it an incredible gift to Legacy Parks and the region,” said Evans. “We can offer parking and beginner trails on the flat portion across from South Doyle Middle School as well as amazing views and beautiful trails on the two ridges.”

The property has belonged to the Wood family for many years, and was originally purchased by Pat Wood, a respected Knoxville real estate developer and civic leader. “The decision to donate the property for trails and a park was a meaningful one for the family,” said Kim Wood McClamroch, representing the Wood family.

The plans for the property call for a variety of trails and features to accommodate a variety of users. It will include a one-mile beginner bike trail, 3.5 miles of mixed-use trails, with two overlooks, a skills/play area and three creek-crossing structures.

“This generous donation by the Wood family boosts Knoxville’s growing status as an outdoor recreation destination,” Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero said. “The trails and skills/play area will attract young families and experienced outdoor enthusiasts alike. The property is a real asset to the Urban Wilderness and to our community.”

According to Evans, Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness is 1,000-forested acres along Knoxville’s downtown waterfront that includes ten parks, more than forty miles of recreational trails, four civil war sites, incredible views and unparalleled natural features.

“Legacy Parks Foundation is championing this unique asset as a premier outdoor experience for visitors and residents alike by creating trails, connecting and expanding parks, creating an easily-navigated system of signs and kiosks, programming events and promoting opportunities for everyone to get out and play,” said Evans.

Evans explains the South Loop Trail System on the east end of the Urban Wilderness opened last August with 42 miles of multi-use trail and a continuous 12-mile loop through public and private land. The Battlefield Loop on the west end of the Urban Wilderness will connect three civil war forts and a battle site into an historic loop that will ultimately be connected to the South Loop and other parks through trails, greenways and sidewalks.

more details

UT Credit Union Offers New Friends Benefits

As a supporter of Legacy Parks Foundation, UT Federal Credit Union is recognizing your contributions to the foundation’s efforts by extending the opportunity to join the credit union, as well as receive incentives.

To encourage and promote recreational activities and conservation concerns, as a Friend of Legacy Parks, you will receive discounts on loans for outdoor recreational vehicles such as boats, campers, motorcycles, and motorized bikes. Also, UTFCU will extend a discount on green or alternative fuel for homes or businesses and vehicles such as geothermal AC units, wind turbines, solar panels, charging stations, and hybrid or electric cars. For more information about UTFCU, stop by our locations at Emory Road, Franklin Square, the University Center on the campus of UTK, at UT Medical Center, or visit the main branch at 2100 White Avenue. Read about UTFCU on the web at www.utfcu.org. You can reach the credit union by phone at 865-971-1971 or 800-264-1971.

more details

Legacy Parks To Receive Record Grant To Enhance Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge

Legacy Parks Foundation was awarded both a $95,000 NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) Grant under the Farm Bill and a $3,500 TWRA grant for habitat restoration at Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge. This is the largest wildlife oriented grant issued in East Tennessee by the NRCS.

Grant dollars will be used to enhance the habitat and manage the wildlife at Seven Islands, primarily songbirds and butterflies. The following practices are being utilized:
• Developing pollinator habitat by adding flowering plants to attract bumblebees, honeybees, bats and moths.
• Developing native hedgerow by remove existing exotic plants and replanting with native species.
• Planting fields with warm season grasses inter-seeded with legumes for wildlife.

“Rarely does the NRCS get an opportunity in Knox County to work with local land owners to enhance wildlife habitat on such a large tract of land” stated NRCS District Conservationist Amber Johnson. “The work that will be done at Seven Islands can make a huge impact for species of concern such as the Upland Songbirds, the Northern Bob White, Prairie Warbler, Indigo Bunting just to name a few of the birds whose numbers have been in decline. Most people think of deer, turkey and quail when referring to wildlife management, but it’s the secondary species that are in need.”

Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge is East Tennessee’s largest wildlife sanctuary with more than 400 acres of forests and fields, eight miles of natural trails and access to the French Broad River. It is managed through collaboration among Knox County Parks and Recreation, Seven Islands Wildlife Foundation and Legacy Parks Foundation. The sanctuary features a rich natural habitat with over 183 species of birds. The French Broad River, which borders the park, holds over 50 species of fish – more varieties than found on the entire European continent!

While providing a natural habitat for wildlife, Seven Islands awards bird watchers and hikers an impressive passive park for recreation. The sunflower fields are a favorite for both wildlife and visitors and this year the front fields should be showing off in late August to September — mark your calendar!

more details

Knoxville Urban Wilderness Makes Best Of List

Readers of Metro Pulse voted the Knoxville Urban Wilderness as a runner up in the categories of Best Urban Park, Best Urban Hike and Best Bike Ride in Metro Pulse’s Best of 2013 contest. Winning the Best Urban Park was Ijam’s Nature Center a component of the Urban Wilderness.

more details

Become A Friend And Enjoy Great Benefits

As a Friend of Legacy Parks you help in the creation of trails, parks and river access in East Tennessee! Through generous donations of land and money, the Friends Program helps assure that we enjoy exceptional recreational opportunities, natural beauty and open spaces and that those assets exist for generations to come.

Membership is available at six different levels of sponsorship. Many local businesses have offered their support to the Friends program by providing discounts to Legacy Parks Friends, starting at the Pathfinder level. The following stores generously offer Friends Discounts: 3 River Anglers, Apking Printing, Bearden Bike & Trail, Biketopia, Blue Ridge Mountain Sports, Cedar Bluff Cycles, Eddie’s health Shoppe, Fountain City Pedaler, Harper’s Bike Shop, Mast General Store, Nantahala Outdoor Center, Pluto Sports, River Sports Outfitters, Runner’s Market, Tennessee Valley Bicycles, The Boardroom, Uncle Lem’s Mountain Outfitters and Visit Knoxville.

Legacy Parks invites businesses and services to offer their support to the Friends program by providing specials discounts to Legacy Parks Friends. For more information on supporting the Friends program contact cbroome@legacyparks.org.

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

more details

Urban Wilderness New Pocket-Size Map Helps You Navigate The Trails

The new Knoxville Urban Wilderness map is now available in a handy pocket-sized format perfect to get you exploring the 41-mile trail system that is only minutes from the heart of Knoxville. The new trail map has been updated to include the new trails and reroutes that the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club worked on over the winter. The printing of the maps was made possible thanks to the following sponsors: Appalachian Mountain Bike Club; Knox Revolution Women’s Cycling Club; Knoxville Track Club; Harvey Broome Group of the Sierra Club; Smoky Mountain Wheelmen Bike Club; Biketopia Bike Shop; Bike Zoo; Blue Ridge Mountain Sports; Cedar Bluff Cycles; Cycology Bicycles; Fountain City Pedaler; Greenlee’s Bicycle & Hospital; Legacy Parks Foundation; Little River Outfitters; River Sports Outfitters; Runners Market; Tennessee Valley Bikes; Three Rivers Market; Vick Dyer Coldwell Banker Wallace & Wallace Realtor; City Councilmen 1st District Nick Pavlis; Provision Health Alliance; and Covenant Health. Maps are available at the sponsor locations listed on OutdoorKnoxville.

more details

Covenant Marathon Funds Help Build New Trails

The Knoxville Track Club continues to be a strong partner with Legacy Parks through a donation of $15,000 from the proceeds of both the 2012 Covenant Health Marathon and the Track Club’s Treadin’Trodden Trails Race Series. This is the second year in a row that marathon funds have been used to create trails within Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness, a project championed by Legacy Parks. Last year’s contribution helped fund the connecting trail that runs from Marie Myers Park to William Hastie Natural Area. The “Marj McClean Trail” is named for one of the Club’s active trail members. This year’s donation will be used to enhance and create trails in the Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area.

“The Knoxville Track Club is thrilled about this investment in the Knoxville Urban Wilderness Corridor. Adding more trails for activity is a great fit with our mission and our vision. The Urban Wilderness Corridor will provide more opportunities for our community to get out and be active and will certainly make Knoxville a healthier place to live and raise a family,” Kristy Altman, retired managing director of the Knoxville Track Club stated.

The Club’s 2011 contribution helped Legacy Parks acquire necessary properties for the formation of the South Loop — a 35-mile trail system along Knoxville’s South waterfront that connects 5 parks and natural areas. The South Loop is one hub of the 1,000 acre Knoxville Urban Wilderness concept championed by Legacy Parks. The initiative proposes connecting an existing nature education center, three civil war forts, a state wildlife management area, and ten city parks to promote the value of parks, recreation, and land conservation and to act as an economic driver for the community.

The Urban Wilderness initiative is funded by private and public contributions. Becoming a Friend of the Parks helps us continue to create this unparalleled outdoor hiking, biking and running venue within two miles of downtown Knoxville.

more details

Knoxville Trails Make National News

Knoxville parks and Urban Wilderness have been getting increased recognition by national media for our exceptional trails and outdoor recreation. Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine ranked the Knoxville Urban Wilderness trails third on the Editor’s Pick of 25 favorite adventures — Best Urban Trails. Mountain Bike magazine covered the trails in a blog titled “Single Track in the City” and commented, “This city (Knoxville) of 180,000 has a progressive attitude towards trails and an incredible outdoor community to go with it.” Outdoors Magazine praised Knoxville for promoting its waterways as public transportation by providing canoe launches and lessons. Knoxville recognition was under “The Top Outdoor Adventures Via Public Transportation”.

more details