Collier Preserve got a boost last Saturday as volunteers planted 42 trees near the park’s entrance. Trees Knoxville provided expertise and tools.1
“It looks like 50 people here and it’s 25 degrees,” said Carol Evans. “Let’s embellish that and call it 15 degrees.” Evans is executive director of Legacy Parks Foundation, which owns the land and secured the grant for development.
The property was donated to Legacy Parks by Dr. Bob Collier and his wife, Louise. It was a working farm owned by the Moore family and operated by Bob Collier’s grandmother, Stella Moore Collier, when Bob and his brother were boys.
The 12 acres borders Emory Road and Beaver Creek, adjacent to Powell Branch Library. Bob said the brothers would play in the woods and watch for cars on Emory Road, maybe seeing one an hour.
Dr. Collier died on Dec. 31, 2020, at age 81. He was able to participate in the park’s development, working with the TVA retirees to clear the land and working with Legacy Parks to build the walking trail, lay a flagstone path to the creek and install a kiosk and sign.
One of Dr. Collier’s goals was to see the land reforested with trees and shrubs that would provide food and shelter for wildlife, especially birds, Evans said.
For that reason, Saturday was a special day, she told the volunteers. “Dr. Collier passed away a few weeks ago. This work is his legacy.”
Charlie Austin and the Beaver Creek Kayak Club showed up and Austin shot several pictures. Evans announced plans for a six-by-10-foot birding platform in a quiet spot in the back of the park. She’s also working to obtain an arboretum designation for the preserve. Conservation easements limit development to passive uses.
Saturday’s volunteers spread out in groups of three-to-four to dig 42 holes. David Dunn gave advice: “The wider the hole, the better. Don’t go too deep.” Vivian Stock, age 7, was the youngest volunteer. She wielded a shovel to help her grandfather fill in the hole after their tree was planted.