Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon and others will officially open 12 Dogwood Arts trails at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 1, at Holston Hills Community Park, Chilhowee Drive and Holston Hills Road. The Holston Hills Trail is the 2021 featured trail.
The rejuvenated Historic Holston Hills Community Club (HHHCC) is ready. The club was formerly the Holston Hills Community Club and restricted to “ladies by invitation only” but underwent some retooling in 2013.
Sandy Stevens-Woodland is a lifelong resident of Holston Hills and the club’s historian. She explained the club by-laws were rewritten to include all residents and property owners in the subdivision, and “historic” was added to the name. She also said the neighborhood, known as “Knoxville’s best kept secret,” boasts some amazing brand loyalty.
“In our most recent survey of residents, 42 are the children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren of the original home owners here,” Stevens-Woodland said of the neighborhood founded in 1925.
Millie Ward said several clubs within the community have been rejuvenated in recent years, including the garden club, travel club, supper club and book club. Ward is one of four garden club co-chairs, and, as dogwood season approaches, she helps encourage residents to get their yards ship-shape for the passing motorists. She also reaches out to neighbors willing to offer their yards as open gardens or camera sites during the trail weeks.
“The garden club really represents a common denominator for the entire community,” Ward said. “It’s about bringing people together for a common purpose and maintaining the beauty of Holston Hills.”
Ward, along with her garden club co-chairs Ann Jarrett, Cindy Prince and Clairanne Hann, coordinates efforts to maintain the HHHCC Park and the Holston Hills columns, known as “the Pearly Gates,” as well as conducting fund raisers to cover the expenses of upkeep.
The park is located at the intersection of Chilhowee Drive and Holston Hills Road and for years was simply referred to as “the lot.” The conversion from lot to park began 30 years ago starting with a grant from the Knoxville Beautification awards program, and spearheaded by former HHCC president Ann Hickey and former city councilman and resident Milton Roberts. The park today features plaques honoring their contributions.
The park is now the center of many neighborhood activities, including a spring plant sale and the popular “Mums and Mimosas” event in the fall. While some events have been sidelined by the Covid pandemic, the HHHCC anticipates the eventual return of Easter egg hunts, Christmas tree lightings and chili cook offs. In the meantime, in addition to getting ready for sight seers on the Dogwood trail, the Holston Hills Country Club is preparing to host the Visit Knoxville Open in May.
HHHCC president Clarita Buffaloe is another lifelong resident of the neighborhood who sees the club as a conduit for maintaining energy in the community.
“We have the new, old guard, but we also have a lot of young families moving in,” Buffaloe said. “We have these events where families can bring their children. It’s a way to establish roots, it fosters and develops cohesiveness and a sense of community.”
Go here to find out more about the Dogwood Trails coming soon to a neighborhood near you.
Enjoy this photo carousel featuring this year’s preparations and last year’s blooms:
Beth Kinnane is community editor for KnoxTNToday.com