Initiatives

Legacy Parks adds kids play area to Baker Creek Preserve

Expanding Parks & Trails

Legacy Parks adds kids play area to Baker Creek Preserve

Imerys Marble Property

Legacy Parks negotiated the donation of 104 acres of abandoned quarry land that became an addition to Ijams Nature Center and the key trailhead for the South Loop Trails.

 

Clayton Park in Halls

Legacy Parks raised funds to purchase an old homesite in Halls which became a county park, Clayton Park in Halls. It is a beautiful new gathering place for this north Knox County community.

 

Harrell Road Stormwater Park

Leveraging over a half million in grant dollars, Legacy Parks transformed a donated, formerly blighted lot into Knox County’s first Stormwater Demonstration Park. It is a model of green infrastructure best management practices and provides a neighborhood park within the Knox County Parks system.

 

River Bluff Natural Area

Legacy Parks raised $1.5 million to acquire a former civil war battle site – and the last unconserved viewshed along Knoxville’s south waterfront. Legacy Parks donated the property to the City of Knoxville in 2015 to become a City Park. The property is a key site in the proposed Battlefield Loop that will connect this battle site with the three adjacent Civil War forts and will be the west node of Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness.

 

Baker Creek Preserve

Legacy Parks transformed 100 acres of land donated to the Foundation by the Wood Family into an outdoor adventure destination for adventurers of all ages and levels of experience. Utilizing grants from the State of Tennessee, Siddiqi Foundation, REI, Bell Helmets, and an abundance of volunteer time and donated goods and services – including a major landscaping project donated by Earthadelics – the property now includes six multi-use trails, three dedicated downhill mountain bike trails, a kids pump track, an intermediate pump track, an adventure playground, and a beautiful meadow for events and play. The Baker Creek Preserve connects directly into the existing 42-mile South Loop Trails System to grow Knoxville’s urban trail system to fifty connected miles.

 

KPD Canine Facility & Dog Park

Legacy Parks facilitated the donation of land from a Knoxville family to create a K-9 police facility and downtown dog park.

 

French Memorial Park Addition

Legacy Parks helped connect a south Knox County neighborhood to a library and school by securing the donation of a connecting parcel of land.

 

Collier Preserve

Legacy Parks is creating a 15-acre natural area in the heart of a rapidly developing sector of north Knox County. The property, donated to the Foundation by the Collier family, will provide beautiful access to scenic Beaver Creek and the opportunity to observe the wildlife and natural setting using the trails and resting areas.

 

Play Forest at South Doyle Middle School and Baker Creek Preserve

With funding from the Trinity Foundation and in partnership with the Knox County Health Department and City of Knoxville Parks Department, Legacy Parks is piloting the creation of an adventure play space targeted to middle school-aged children. This place space under construction adjacent to South Doyle Middle School is designed based upon research with middle school students and aims to increase the physical activity and improve the overall health of this age group. The play space will connect directly into the Baker Creek Preserve on trails constructed in collaboration with the Professional Trailbuilders Association.

 

South Loop Trails

Collaborating with the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club, Legacy Parks has established the South Loop Trail system. These more than 42 miles of natural surface trails connect five parks and natural areas with public and private land, creating exceptional outdoor recreation opportunities. The 12.5-mile main loop trail connects Ijams Nature Center, Ross Marble and Mead’s Quarries, Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area, William Hastie Natural Area, and Marie Myers Park. An additional 30 miles of secondary trails with varying terrain lead off the main trail.

 

G & O Trail

Legacy Parks is creating a three-mile, virtually flat rail-with-trail alongside the G & O Railway from the edge of Chapman Highway to Ijam’s Meads Quarry. It will provide an exceptional recreational and commuter connection for south Knoxville businesses, neighborhoods and destinations.

 

Maryville to Townsend Greenway

Legacy Parks is aiding regional planners and civic leaders to develop a strategic fundraising plan to build a 14-mile greenway from Maryville to Townsend. With the Townsend to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park section in place and the Knox County to Blount County Greenway under construction, the Maryville to Townsend connection is critical to connecting Knoxville to the Smokies by way of a continuous greenway.

 

Oak Ridge Trails

Legacy Parks is working with the Department of Energy and Oak Ridge trail advocates to expand the trail network on DOE land in Anderson County. The Sink Hole trail was constructed in 2015 and a second trail is in development.

 

North Knox Trails

Legacy Parks is working with property owners, the City of Knoxville and the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club to create multi-use trails on Sharps Ridge and Webb Ridge in north Knoxville. These ridge trails will connect to existing city parks and provide new outdoor recreation benefits to the densely populated neighborhoods that lay at the base of these ridges.

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Accessing Waterways


Seven Islands’ South Shore

Legacy Parks facilitated the expansion of Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge (now Seven Islands State Birding Park) across the French Broad River by purchasing 30 acres in south Knox County directly across the river from the main body of the park. The Foundation worked with Tennessee State Parks, TVA, and Knox County to improve the overall access to the park and the river.

Bicentennial Park Dock

Legacy Parks increased public access to the Tennessee River in downtown Knoxville by assuming the lease on Bicentennial Park and building a new launch for non-motorized craft on the river.

Beaver Creek Linear Park

Beaver Creek spans nearly the entirety of Knox County, from Corryton to Solway. Working with community and elected leaders, Legacy Parks is helping protect and access the creek by creating trails, boat launches, parks and conserved land along Beaver Creek.

 

Head of the Tennessee Initiative

The Holston, French Broad, and Tennessee Rivers are tremendous natural assets with exceptional recreational potential for Knox and surrounding counties. Legacy Parks is collaborating with TVA, TWRA, Tennessee State Parks, and local communities to help obtain land and easements to establish new launch areas on the tailwaters from Douglas and Cherokee Lakes to create greater opportunities for public access. Read more about Legacy Parks’ recent acquisition which will create access along the Holston River!

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Establishing Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness

Establishing Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness

Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness, a recreational, cultural, and historic preservation initiative championed by Legacy Parks Foundation, incorporates 1,000 forested acres along downtown’s south waterfront. It creates an exceptional recreation and historic corridor inviting residents and visitors to experience the special character-defining assets of our city. With nearly 50 miles of multi-use trails, 10 parks, four civil war sites, incredible views, and unparalleled natural features, this unique area provides a premiere outdoor experience.

Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness is conceived to stretch from Alcoa Highway to the Head of the Tennessee River and currently envisions three key destinations – The South Loop Trails, Baker Creek Preserve, and the Battlefield Loop (currently in design).

The Urban Wilderness is an incredible economic benefit to the community. Over $6 million in recent real estate transactions can be attributed directly to homeowners who want to live near trails. A 2015 study by UT’s Baker Center reports $14 million in current economic benefit from the Urban Wilderness. As it becomes a regional draw that benefit increases to $26 million, and as a national destination the benefits exceed $51 million.

 

South Loop Trails

Collaborating with the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club, Legacy Parks has established the South Loop Trail system, more than 42 miles of natural surface trails connecting five parks and natural areas with public and private land creating exceptional outdoor recreation opportunities. The 12.5-mile main loop trail connects Ijams Nature Center, Ross Marble and Mead’s Quarries, Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area, William Hastie Natural Area, and Marie Myers Park. An additional 30 miles of secondary trails with varying terrain lead off the main trail.

 

Baker Creek Preserve

Legacy Parks transformed 100 acres of land donated to the Foundation by the Wood Family into an outdoor adventure destination for adventurers of all ages and levels of experience. Utilizing grants from the State of Tennessee, Siddiqi Foundation, REI, Bell Helmets, and an abundance of volunteer time and donated goods and services – including a major landscaping project donated by Earthadelic – the property now includes six multi-use trails, three dedicated downhill mountain bike trails, a kids pump track, an intermediate pump track, an adventure playground, and a beautiful meadow for events and play. The Baker Creek Preserve connects directly into the existing 42-mile South Loop Trails System to grow Knoxville’s urban trail system to fifty connected miles.

 

Battlefield Loop

The Battlefield Loop includes three civil war forts, a civil war battle site, and acres of beautiful forests and views. The River Bluff Natural Area is the site of the Battle of Armstrong Hill. Purchased by Legacy Parks in 2009 and donated to the City of Knoxville in 2016, it is currently being developed into a history public park. Fort Dickerson is a city park with one of the best preserved earthen forts from the Civil War era. High Ground Park, owned by the Aslan Foundation and open to the public, was the western anchor of the Federal line. Fort Stanley, also owned by the Aslan Foundation, is the tallest and closest hill to downtown and included both the Union’s Fort Stanley and Gobbler’s Knob, It is not yet open to the public.

These culturally and historically important sites will eventually be linked to the south waterfront development and the South Loop Trails to complete Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness.

 

TWRA Partnership

Legacy Parks formed a unique partnership with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club to design, build and maintain an improved and expanded multi-use trail system at Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area, which is owned by TWRA. It is the only such agreement in the state.

 

Baker Creek Play Forest

With funding from the Trinity Foundation and in partnership with the Knox County Health Department and City of Knoxville Parks Department, Legacy Parks opened an adventure play space for middle school-aged children. The Play Forest was designed using research with local middle school students and aims to increase the physical activity and improve the overall health of this age group. The play space is connected directly into Baker Creek Preserve and South Doyle Middle School via trails constructed in collaboration with the Professional Trailbuilders Association.

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Supporting Grassroots Projects

Legacy Parks supports community groups that that wish to undertake a park-related project by serving as their non-profit fiscal agent. Over the past 10 years Legacy Parks has helped facilitate more than 15 projects and groups to include the following:

Legacy Parks supports Everly Brothers Park-Bearden Council

-Knoxville Skatepark

-East Tennessee’s Bridge Park

Everly Brothers Park

-Forever Parks Foundation

-Fountain City Skatepark

-Friends of Seven Islands State Birding Park

-Highland Avenue Park

-Knoxville Extreme Sports

-Knoxville Police Department Canine Facility

-PetSafe Dog Parks

-RiverHill Gateway Neighborhood

-South Doyle Middle School Outdoor Classroom

-South Knoxville Alliance

-Trees Knoxville

-Zaevion Dobson Memorial Playground and Park

Support specific active projects by making a donation through the linked names above. For projects without links, please contact us at 865-525-2585 to learn more. To help Legacy Parks continue its work throughout the community, become a Friend of Legacy Parks.

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Outdoor Knoxville Initiative

Outdoor Knoxville Initiative

Legacy Parks’ Outdoor Knoxville initiative has a goal of making Knoxville’s incredible natural and recreation assets an economic driver for our region.

The initiative includes:

-Transforming a city building into the Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center, a destination where residents and visitor can get gear and learn how to recreate in the region

-Creating and operating OutdoorKnoxville.com, a comprehensive website with events, activities, organizations, products, and other information, making it easy for anyone to get out and play

-Assisting organizations and groups – both local and national – produce outdoor events; and educating and advocating for more outdoor recreational opportunities.

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