As we reflect on the year, we are reminded why we love where we live. Our beautiful outdoors provides us places to relax, play and connect with nature. Every space we create and every trail we add depends on generous donors that support our work. Through this support, we have been able to accomplish so much this year:
- Funded and installed the first fully adaptive dock on the Beaver Creek Water Trail, setting the model for a waterway that can be accessed and enjoyed by everyone.
- Raised $1.3 million for the French Broad Veterans Memorial Park, a special place for veterans, their families, and our entire community to reflect, celebrate and honor our region’s veterans.
- Connected Dogwood Elementary School to their outdoor classroom by building an accessible pathway and adaptive trail on campus.
- Proposed and funded our region’s first Intergenerational Playspace – a purposefully designed park where people ages 9 to 90 can play together.
- Funded the first of six adaptive docks on the French Broad River to set the statewide model for an adaptive paddling system on our world-class rivers.
- Added a beautiful, wooded trail to West Hills Park that provides an opportunity for people to get into the woods, in the middle of the city.
- Funded a Storybook Trail at Collier Preserve to help the library system expand its reach and facilitate reading as a fun, outside activity.
But there’s so much more to do! We are continually working within our community to create more magical places every day. You can help by making a donation today at https://legacyparks.networkforgood.com
Let’s look at December’s outdoors calendar:
Holidays on Ice – until Jan 2: Market Square. Info: Visit Knoxville at 865-523-7263. Enjoy skating under the stars and twinkling lights while listening to music every night on Market Square. Admission price includes entry fee, skate rental and unlimited time on ice. Details and tickets online.
Holiday Festival of Lights – Dec 1-31: 6-9 p.m., The Cove at Concord Park. Free. Info: Knox County Parks & Rec at 865-215-6600. Stroll through the illuminating Christmas displays along the mile park loop. Park staff will be offering train rides on Monday evenings. Lights will only be accessible via train ride on Mondays. Details online.
Saturday, December 17
Rock’in Santa Half Marathon: 9 a.m., Victor Ashe Park. Info: Sunshine Ambassadors at 865-621-8273. Benefits the Sunshine Ambassadors, enriching the lives of people with disabilities through dance. Christmas Rock-n-Roll music will abound along the routes. Register online.
Throw for Outreach: Noon, Tommy Schumpert Park. Info: Smoky Mtn Discs at 865-383-3472. Charity event for the Outreach program of the Knoxville YMCA offering a 1 round C-tier playing short to short. Register online.
Chill Holiday Ride: 4 p.m., Two Bikes Knoxville. Info: Kickstand Community Bike Shop at 865-229-6395. Join us for a family-friendly holiday ride. Bike decorating and free bike safety checks start at 3 p.m. Bikes and helmets available to borrow. Snacks and hot drinks afterwards. Details online.
Saturday, December 24
West Bikes Shop Ride: 8 a.m., West Bicycles. Free. Info: West Bicycles at 865-671-7591. Join us for our shop group rides; multiple groups/paces; self-supported; challenges; varied routes. Weather dependent. Details online
Bike Zoo Saturday Ride: 9 a.m., Bike Zoo. Free. Info: Bike Zoo at 865-558-8455. Weekly 3-hour ride of 50+ miles at a fast pace of 18/20 mph. Weather permitting.
Knox Bike Ride: 11 a.m., Printshop Beer. Free. Info: Printshop Beer at 865-474-9591. Slow neighborhood rides to explore our city via bike. Distances and routes vary, (4-8 miles) and may include stops at various landmarks, sites of interest, and even other breweries. Cancelled in inclement weather. Details online.
Visit us online at OutdoorKnoxville.com Add your event to our calendar: Submit an Event at https://outdoorknoxville.com/events-calendar/submit-an-event/
Carol Evans is executive director of Legacy Parks Foundation.