Work underway for playspace at Beverly Park

Carol EvansGet Out & Play

Legacy Parks Foundation broke ground on April 25 for the Intergenerational Playspace at Beverly Park in north Knoxville. It will be the first park in the region to be purposefully designed to create active interactions between multiple generations, especially children and seniors.

Legacy Parks was awarded a $150,000 two-phase grant from the Trinity Health Foundation to research, design and create the Playspace.

Carol Evans speaks at the groundbreaking, joined by Joe Mack, senior director of Parks and Recreation for Knox County, and Mayor Glenn Jacobs.

The Playspace will feature an ellipse shaped central activity area surrounded by a walking track with handrail. Inside the ellipse will be the therapeutic zone and play area featuring equipment for both intergenerational play and physical exercise. The Playspace overlooks the newly added dog park and will connect to the existing paved loop. Benches and a walking Storybook trail feature will be added to the loop encouraging visitors to walk the loop to read the story – an ideal intergenerational activity.

Humana awarded Legacy Parks an additional $20,000 to sponsor the therapeutic zone, which will feature rehabilitative physical exercise equipment and activities for low impact, body weight exercises to focus on balance, muscle tone and fall prevention. Hillcrest and other programming partners will be able to utilize the space for rehabilitation exercises with seniors in an outdoor environment.

Hillcrest Healthcare is sponsoring the soft-surface walking path around the Playspace in honor of Mark Walker for his 16 years of service on their board of directors.

Siddiqi Foundation committed $25,000 to fund the music garden which will feature chimes, drums, xylophone and other sound equipment for adults and children of all ages to make music together.

Studies show that people of all ages benefit from increased physical activity, access to vitamin D, fresh air, and the reduction of health risk factors associated with outdoor activity. Research on Intergenerational play specifically, has shown that children display higher levels of language and problem-solving skills when they have lots of contact with adults. Intergenerational play also shifts play from being a competitive activity to a more playful one.

The benefits are not just for children – playful interactions can also benefit older adults, supporting better health and social engagement, preventing cognitive decline and creating multigenerational learning opportunities.

The Intergenerational Playspace is slated to open by October 2023.

Now let’s look at 10 area events ahead (we’ve got 100 more at

Saturday, April 29

Heroes for Hope 5K & Fun Run: 8:30 a.m., (kids fun run at 8 a.m.) Maryville Greenbelt Amphitheatre. Info: Heroes for Hope. Register online.

Veterans Heritage Ridge Run: 9 a.m., Lincoln Park Technology Trade School. Info: Veterans Heritage Site Foundation. Annual fundraiser supporting construction and upkeep of Sharps Ridge Veterans Memorial Park. Three options; 5K timed trail run, 1 mile family fun walk and 10K Ruck Race. Register online.

Sunday, April 30

Secret Ride: 11:30 a.m., Two Bikes Knoxville. Info: Two Bikes at 865-951-2950. An iconic tour of bad decisions. Do not bring a bike with fenders. This is a 21+ ride. Details online.

Pellissippi Blueway Paddle Trip: 1 p.m., Clark Center Park. Free. Info: TN Citizens for Wilderness Planning at 865-583-3967. Guided paddle to enjoy tranquil inlets, birds, wildlife, wildflowers and bluffs along the Pellissippi Blueway. Details online.

Monday, May 1

Bearden Fun Run: 6:30 p.m. Bearden Beer Market. Free. Info: Bearden Beer Market at 865-851-8922. Check Facebook for details and updates.

Tuesday, May 2

Big Fun Tuesdays: 6-8 p.m., Meads Quarry. Free. Info: Ijams Nature Center at 865-577-4717, ext. 127. Every 1st Tuesday. Food trucks and beer garden open. Weather permitting. Details online.

Wednesday, May 3

Knox Birds: 7 p.m., UT Gardens South Greenhouse, Room 124. Free. Info: Knoxville Chapter TN Ornithological Society. All visitors welcome.

Thursday, May 4

Thursday KOWS Swim: 6:15 p.m., Suttree Landing Park. Info: Knoxville Open Water Swimmers. Join us on Thursdays for an open water swim, upstream 30-45 minutes then return to dock. Wetsuits are allowed. Must be able to swim at least 2000m in open water and be comfortable with river conditions. USMS membership required. Details on Facebook.

Friday, May 5

Roam Fest Women’s MTB Festival – May 5-7: 8 a.m., Baker Creek Preserve. Info: RoamFest. The world’s biggest women’s MTB festival. Details and registration online.

Full Moon Float: 9 p.m., Big Ridge State Park. Cost $20. Info: Big Ridge State Park at 865-992-5523. Rangers Ethan and Josh will lead a full moon kayak float and discuss the flora, fauna, folklore and folklife that exist under the night skies. Register online.

Saturday, May 6

Irreverent Warriors Silkies Hike: 8-5 p.m., XUL Beer Company. Info: Irreverent Warriors. The mission of Irreverent Warriors is to bring veterans together using humor and camaraderie to improve mental health and prevent veteran suicide. Details and registration online.

SoKno May Day 5k: 8:30 a.m., Suttree Landing Park. Info: Legacy Parks Foundation at 865-525-2585. 5k and 1-mile runs kick off the all-day May Day celebration to raise funds for Legacy Parks Foundation’s SoKno Art Trail project. Register online.

AMBC Workday: 9 a.m. until noon, Fort Dickerson Park. Work party. Info: Appalachian Mountain Bike Club. Lunch and beverages provided at noon. Details online.

Carol Evans is executive director of Legacy Parks Foundation.


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