Busy week for county crews

Mike DonilaOur Town Outdoors

It was a busy week for the Knox County Parks and Recreation crews and they even got some help from local volunteers.

The rugby community – including the University of Tennessee Men’s Rugby Team, the Tennessee Rugby Academy and the Knoxville Men’s Rugby Club – this past weekend helped clean a section of Beaver Creek near the Karns Senior Center.

On Tuesday, we sent a crew out to collect the debris and tree limbs and haul them off.

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs last month announced that the county plans to turn the creek into the Knox County Water Trail, a 44-miles stretch that runs from Halls to Melton Hill.

The county welcomes any volunteer help, but we do ask that folks call ahead to let us know what they plan to do and when. That number is 865-215-6600.

Over the next few years, the department will work with strategic partners to clear a significant number of tree jams that are impeding the water flow and access, then work to clean up Beaver Creek of trash and debris, and finally build a program to care for this vital waterway that stretches across a wide swath of the county.

When complete, the project will help mitigate flooding issues, improve water quality and establish Beaver Creek as an ever-lasting recreational facility for generations to come.

That’s not all though!

Wooden bridge rebuilt at Ball Camp Park.

Our carpenters rebuilt the entire walking bridge at Ball Camp Park, repaired some lights and replaced the restroom doors there and fixed several trip hazards on the concrete walking paths.

“We were busy out there this week,” said Matt Wallace, the department’s head carpenter and a crew leader. “Our biggest thing is that we don’t want anyone to get hurt. So, we’re just out here staying busy and working, and making sure all the park users are safe.”

In addition, the department delivered a new set of bleachers to East Knox Park; replaced signage at John Tarleton Park and added new yardage signs on all the football signs there; fixed a busted waterline at the SportsPark and repaired a number of electrical lines at Carter Park.

As always, the folks over at the Engineering and Public Works Department, too, were busy.

Knox County public works crew installs a side drain pipe on Oakmead Road.

Here’s a snapshot:

  • Barnard Road re-alignment project continues
  • Installation of grass drainage swale at 3036 Bakertown Road
  • Installation of grass drainage swale at Knox County Detention Center
  • Installation of side drainpipe on Oakmead Road
  • Installation of cross drainpipe on Thurman Road
  • Fall Paving update – Projected to resurface approximately 15 miles of roadway equating to 20,337 tons of asphalt for a total of $1.8 million.

Mike Donila is communications director for Knox County government.

Other news

RiverSports has re-opened its Cedar Bluff store, 9292 Kingston Pike, and The Climbing Center on Sutherland Ave. is open by reservation for up to six people. Two-hour time blocks are from noon to 2, 2-4 or 4-6 p.m. Various floats and paddles are scheduled including Seven Islands, Holston River, Kayak 101 at The Cover. Info here.

Ijams Nature Center is a 315-acre urban greenspace featuring 12+ miles of natural-surface trails and a stretch of the Will Skelton Greenway. All trails are hiker friendly, and thanks to a partnership with the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club, 9+ miles in the Mead’s Quarry and Ross Marble Natural Area of the nature center also are designed for mountain bikers. Info here.

Paddle at Ijams: Rent a canoe, kayak or paddleboard from RiverSports Outfitters for $14/hour and enjoy the lake at Mead’s Quarry. Private boats are not allowed on the lake. Hours for on-site rental are Monday-Saturday, 10-7; Sunday, noon-7. Info here or phone 865-523-0066.

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