Haslams give $35 million to Lakeshore Park

Jay FitzFun Outdoors, West Knoxville

Lakeshore Park Conservancy announced the start of Phase 2 Part 1 of the park’s updated master plan at a ceremony Monday at the park.

Following approval by Knoxville City Council in October 2020 to the Lakeshore Park Master Plan, the conservancy has been fundraising and working toward implementation. Construction is slated to start in November and will take about two years to complete.

The Haslam family announced a $35 million gift to the project. Julieanne Foy, executive director of the conservancy, called it “a cornerstone gift.”

New features will include a baseball complex, field house, pavilions with event lawns, small amphitheater, playgrounds, trails, fitness areas and a maintenance facility.

Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon said the improvements will “transform Lakeshore Park to better serve and support the growing needs of our city.”

During this phase of the project, the park’s land stretching from the Tennessee River to Northshore Drive along the west end of the park will be transformed in stages. Park elements, such as the baseball fields, will be relocated to the athletic space of the updated layout and will make room for several new elements like the event venues and play areas. Lakeshore Park will remain open during construction, though some features and access may be limited at times.

The project is led by Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects, Sanders Pace Architecture, CEC Knoxville, Tillett Lighting Design Associates and Facility Systems Consultants LLC.

Lakeshore Park opened in 1995 on 60 acres of leased land at the Lakeshore Mental Health Institute and has grown over the years to 185 acres owned by the city of Knoxville and managed by the conservancy. With contributions from the general public and friends of the park, the conservancy manages day-to-day operations at the park, supplements the basic services provided by the city and builds new park improvements.

Dee Haslam, who chairs the conservancy board, said, the Haslam family considers Lakeshore Park “one of our city’s best assets.”

For more information about Lakeshore Park and to make a donation supporting its enhancements, visit lakeshoreparkknoxville.org. To learn more about the 2020 master plan, visit lakeshoreparkknoxville.org/2020-master-plan/.

Story based on information provided by the Lakeshore Park Conservancy.

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