First ‘Walk with the Mayor’ in the books

Mike DonilaFun Outdoors

We had a successful “Walk with the Mayor” event last Saturday at Ijams Nature Center. Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs joined Joe Mack, senior director of the county’s Parks and Recreation Department, and the public to get some exercise and show off the trails.

Mayor Jacobs plans to host the event each quarter and in between then, we’re hoping to get county commissioners to participate along the greenway systems in their districts. The events will include some free swag and information about upcoming Parks and Recreation activities and events for their constituents.

The new dog park at Beverly Park is almost finished. I’ve fielded a number of questions about this and I know I keep saying “soon,” but that really is the operative word: soon! It’s pretty much done, but we’re waiting on some features from a contractor that were supposed to be here. Unfortunately, Covid has the supply chain so messed up we aren’t sure when they’ll arrive. The folks from the Boyd Family Foundation (which are helping to pay for the dog park) plan to meet with us on Monday to go over the timeline.  As it stands, we have to just pour one more concrete pad, install a trash can and put up a sign.

We had planned to start on the next dog park at New Harvest Park, but we’ve run into some ADA issues with parking, so it’s going to cost a bit more money. That means we will more than likely move on to Clayton Park as the next location. Right now, we plan to build it in the area behind the playground on the backside of the hill. It will be somewhat out of sight but still be a predominant feature.

In other Parks and Recreation new, we had a crew at Roy Arthur Stormwater Park digging a bulkhead for the new kayak launch in order to anchor a new ADA dock to the bank.

Over at Mascot Park, we had crews tearing out the playground surface in order to properly level it. Also, we are going to remove the small playground for the time being until we can find some new features to replace it, since it’s going to cost too much to just repair. The larger playground will remain and includes some of the features – a slide and some bars – that the smaller one has.

Over at Concord Park, we plan to begin work all next week getting The Cove ready for spring and summer. That means new sand on the beach and volleyball courts, along with new nets. Speaking of the Concord crew. they were over at Plumb Creek Park earlier this week fixing the restrooms. Some knucklehead(s) absolutely destroyed them. Twice!

They had to replace the sinks, toilets and baby changing stations, which cost several thousands. Therefore, we’ll be locking the bathrooms at 3:30 p.m. each day for the foreseeable future.

We are happy to announce that the county’s three splash pads will open on Friday, May 13. They are located at Carl Cowan Park (10058 S. Northshore Drive), New Harvest Park (4775 New Harvest Lane) and Powell Station Park (2318 W Emory Road).

Here’s a look at some work around the parks this week:

Mike Donila is communications director for Knox County government

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