Fall cleanup and holiday prep

Mike DonilaFun Outdoors

Some people talk about spring cleaning, but in the Knox County Parks and Recreation Department it’s often more about “fall cleaning.” Crews have been busy sweeping leaves off the greenways, striping the parking lots and hitting the parks, getting rid of all the brush that’s built up recently.

In the meantime, our carpenters are working on a (portable) physical distancing stage for Santa Claus who will appear at the Holiday Festival of Lights at the Cove next month; and another crew is starting to set up the lights throughout the park.

Santa’s stage under construction at The Cove at Concord Park

And speaking of that event, we initially planned a hot dog cook off to get things started, but we’re going to hold back on that for now. Maybe next year. But I do have some previously unpublished details about the event (which will run for its 22nd year in a row): We will host it from Dec. 2 through Jan. 3 from 6-9 p.m. Mayor Glenn Jacobs also will be handing out candy “Kanes” and meeting with folks on opening night. The event is free and open to the public. You can bring your dog, but please keep your pet on a leash. The event, which is also sponsored by the Knox County Mayor’s Office and B97.5, accepts non-perishable food items for the Love Kitchen, and last year we raised a record $7,677.42 and 12 barrels of donated food. We hope to do more this year!

This week we also met with representatives from the Boyd Family Foundation, which is setting aside $250,000 for the department to build five new dog parks. As it stands, the parks will be built at New Harvest Park, Beverly Park, the SportsPak in Karns, Powell Station Park and Clayton Park. We’re going to meet again next week at the SportsPark and Beverly Park to go over the layout and measurements. We hope to have an official groundbreaking at one of the parks very soon!

Crews also were at Melton Hill Park this week. We’ve decided to take down the playground there as it’s old and dangerous, and no one really uses it anyway. We’re talking about a masterplan for Melton Hill at some point, so I expect a playground to return, although it will more than likely be in a different location at the park.

Drain installation on Aaron Lane.

Additionally, our crews, unfortunately, also had to spend more time there than necessary because they were cleaning graffiti after some knucklehead or knuckleheads decided it was cool to spray paint some signs, the portable restroom and the picnic shelter.

The folks over at the Engineering and Public Works Department also were busy this past week. Here’s a snapshot of what they did:

  • Emergency guardrail repair on Schaad Road just west of Pleasant Ridge Road
  • Installed curb cut for roadway drainage and two separate cross drain installations on Aaron Lane
  • Repaired roadway failure on Windwhisper Boulevard
  • Continued installing the new access road and center turn lane on S. Northshore Drive at the Cove at Concord Park

Mike Donila is communications director for Knox County government.


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