Legacy Luncheon Draws 1,000 to Hear ‘Wild’ Author

The 2015 Legacy Luncheon for the Parks’ speaker, Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild, the memoir of her 1,100 mile solo trek on the Pacific Crest Trail, shared how nature saved her and she now thanks the people who had the foresight to save nature.

Strayed spoke to a record-breaking audience of 1,000 at the annual fundraising luncheon held at the spectacular UT Holston River Farm, with amazing views of both the head of the Tennessee River and downtown Knoxville. The luncheon marks the 10th year of Legacy Parks’ work to save our green and open spaces and create recreational opportunities.

Also at the luncheon, Carol Evans announced that Gulf and Ohio Railways will donate land for the first Rails with Trails route from Chapman Highway to Mead’s Quarry at Ijams Nature Center. This is the first such trail in our area, and is a much needed connection from the western edge of Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness. She also announced that Legacy Parks would soon donate the 70-acre River Bluff property to the City of Knoxville as a public park, and that Legacy Parks is expanding into Oak Ridge by facilitating new trails on DOE reindustrialized land. These news trails will add weight to our national reputation as a mountain bike destination – which adds a significant economic impact to our community.

Legacy Parks continues to work to preserve our natural resources and create places where we can, as Strayed suggested, “put yourself in the way of beauty.” She said saving these places “brought me back to myself. . . and that is the gift of these green spaces and the wild places . . . It’s the gift you give your community, and it’s also, I think, the gift you give the world. Because when we have these places, we are better people.”

Thanks to our sponsors, table hosts, and all who came to support Legacy Parks.