Planning & Development

Parks and Recreation Director

Sheryl Ely
(865) 215-4311

Lakeshore Park
5930 Lyons View Pike
Knoxville, TN 37919

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Knoxville Parks & Recreation:  Planning & Development

The City of Knoxville Parks and Recreation Department works hard to maintain and improve the City’s existing park lands, recreational facilities, and trail facilities. Through planning, development, maintenance, and facilities management projects, staff is continually working to enhance and expand facilities to better serve the community and visitors.
A Greenway Corridor Feasibility and Assessment Study was completed in 2016 and serves as a guiding document for connecting Knoxville's greenways and parks.
Click here to view the Greenway Corridor Feasibility & Assessment Study

The Knoxville Urban Wilderness represents a dynamic partnerships that shines a spotlight on the natural, historic, recreational, and environmental resources of a City. A Four-Year Implementation Plan for the Urban Wilderness was created in 2016, and a new Urban Wilderness Gateway Park is currently being developed.  For more information see:  Urban Wilderness Gateway

The Parks and Recreation Department works with several other City departments, government agencies and non-for-profit groups to expand trails, park lands, and recreational opportunities for our community.  

The Parks & Recreation Department is continuously implementing improvements to the City’s park, recreation, and greenway spaces.   Projects are routinely assisted by City Engineering and by the Public Building Authority (PBA).    Details on current Engineering assisted projects can be seen at

and PBA projects at

Current Parks & Recreation projects include:

Urban Wilderness Gateway Park

Northwest Greenway Connector Greenway, Phase I & II

Suttree Landing Park dock and pavilion

Fort Dickerson Park, Quarry parking lot improvements

First Creek Greenway Connector, Cecil Avenue to Woodland Avenue

Cal Johnson Recreation Center Renovations

Cradle of Country Music Park redevelopment

Williams Creek Urban Forest Nature Trail

Cumberland Estates & Milton Roberts Recreation Centers roofing projects

ADA improvements at Sharps Ridge Veterans Memorial Park and O’Connor Center

East Knox Greenway


Trails and Parking Lot Resurfacing Contract
Description: This maintenance project included asphalt resurfacing work of parking lots and greenway: the Northwest Greenway and parking areas at West Hills Park and Milton Roberts Community Center.
Location: Various park locations
Designer: In-house design services 
Completion Date: Summer 2018

Mary Vestal Greenway Reconstruction & Extension

Description: This project included resurfacing work and realignment of approximately one-half mile of asphalt trail, a greenway trail extension to the intersection of Ogle Avenue and Martin Mill Pike, and trail bridge improvements for Mary Vestal Greenway.
Location: Mary Vestal Park
Designer: In-house design & construction services 
Completion Date: Spring 2018

First Creek Greenway Development:  Woodland Ave. to Edgewood Park
Description: Through a TDOT Transportation Enhancement Grant awarded to the City of Knoxville, a 0.6 mile section of First Creek Greenway has been constructed from East Woodland Avenue at North Broadway.  The section continues along First Creek crossing North Broadway at Oglewood Avenue and proceeds to Edgewood Park.  This section of greenway also connects to the North Knoxville Library and the Larry Cox Senior Center.  
Location:  First Creek Greenway Corridor
Consultant:  Cannon & Cannon
Contractor:  Wilson Construction
Completion:  Spring 2018

Kyle Testerman Tennis Courts Improvements
Description: This maintenance project included asphalt resurfacing of several tennis courts at the Kyle C. Testerman Tennis Complex, as well as added Pickleball lines to 3 courts.  There are now 3 pickleball courts with lights that can be epanded to 6 courts with portable nets.
Location: Tyson Park 
Designer: In-house design services 
Completion: Fall 2017

Charter Doyle Park Access Trail
Description: This new trail connects the existing Charter Doyle Greenway to Magazine Road, allowing for better accessibility to the residents of this area.
Location: Charter Doyle Park
Designer: In-house design & construction services
Completion: Summer 2017

Zaevion Dobson Memorial Park
Description:This park project, led by Knoxville's Community Development Corporation (KCDC) will appeal to children under 12 years old, reflecting the over 200 children under age 12 living in the Lonsdale Homes community.  The Knoxville Parks & Recreation Department provided design and project assistance for this new park in honor of the late Zaevion Dobson.  Dobson, 15, died shielding two girls from gunfire in the Lonsdale area on December 17, 2015.  Dobson's courage has received national attention, including remarks by President Barack Obama and being named the 2016 recipient of the Arthur Ashe Award at the ESPY's. A public campaign was held to raise the remaining funds needed for the park.  KCDC and Gerdau Steel both committed $10,000 each as well as land donations to see this park to completion.  Several others have donated time and services, such as Legacy Parks Foundation, Hedstrom Design, and the City of Knoxville's Public Service Department.  Individuals or organizations wishing to contribute to this park may contact Legacy Parks Foundation or the KCDC office.
Location:  Lonsdale Homes
Completion:  Spring 2017

Fort Dickerson Park: Gateway Development
Description: In partnership with the Aslan Foundation, this park development project included the expansion of parkland near the Chapman Highway Access of Fort Dickerson Park.  Design features include a large open lawn surrounded by a natural stone seatwall, natural area plantings, an enhanced KAT stop, and a wide sidewalk leading to the parking area near the Harold Lambert Overlook.  
Location: Fort Dickerson Park 
Consultant: Carol R. Johnson Associates, Inc. 
Completion Date: Spring 2017 
• View 02/24/16 Public Meeting Presentation [PDF]

Greenway Corridor Feasibility & Assessment Project

Description: Through a TDOT Local Surface Transportation Program Grant awarded to the City of Knoxville, more than 23 miles of potential greenway corridors were studied to determine the feasibility, factors and possible routes needed to connect the majority of Knoxville’s existing greenway trails; 13 greenway corridors were identified for this planning study.  $256,000 was allocated for this project for preliminary engineering and design services. 
Location: City-wide greenway system 
Consultants: Ross/Fowler, Cannon & Cannon, SM&E
Completion Date: August 2016
View the Greenway Corridor Feasibility & Assessment Fact Sheet & Map [PDF]
• View Greenway Corridor Feasibility & Assessment Study 

Urban Wilderness Master Plan
Description: Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness is a recreational, cultural and historic preservation initiative within South Knoxville incorporating 1,000 forested acres. The area invites residents and visitors alike to experience the special character-defining assets of Knoxville with more than 40 miles of trails, 10 parks, four Civil War sites, incredible views and unparalleled natural features. This planning project is to create an Urban Wilderness Comprehensive Plan that includes determining a four-year implementation plan, key entry points and signage. The selected consultant will be responsible for engaging the participation of key partners to Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness.   
Location: Urban Wilderness Trail System
Consultant: Equinox Environmental 
Completion Date: Winter 2016
View the Urban Wilderness Master Plan RFP [PDF]

Suttree Landing Park Development: Phase 1B
Description: This park development project consisted of 8.25 acres of parkland.  The project included several new facilities such as an Urban Wilderness themed playground, event lawn, boat launch and dock, shoreline improvements, overlooks, and 0.36 miles of riverwalk development as part of the South Waterfront Greenway. When considering other projects underway through private development projects, portions of the South Waterfront Greenway will total 0.85 miles in the next year or so.  Suttree Landing Park will offer a new access area at Foggy Bottom Road with off-street parking for vehicles and trailers hauling non-motorized watercraft. Construction started summer 2015 with a budget of $3.34 million.
Location: Suttree Landing Park
Contractor: Design and Construction Services, Inc. 
Completion Date: Fall 2016
View Engineering Project Fact Sheet [PDF]
Learn More About Suttree Landing Park Development

Sequoyah Greenway Reconstruction: Various Sections
Description: Sequoyah Greenway, commonly referred to as “Cherokee Trail,” is one of Knoxville’s most popular trails for running and walking. This maintenance project includes complete trail reconstruction of various sections to improve trail tread and drainage and uses partially recycled concrete in the crushed stone surfacing material.  Sections near Talahi Drive and Woodland Drive have been replaced, with various sections scheduled to receive attention later this year.
Location: Sequoyah Greenway Corridor
Contractor: Public Service Department  
Completion Day: Fall 2016
View Before and After Photos [PDF]

Neyland Greenway Railroad Crossing Reconstruction
Description: Project work includes a trail crossing realignment over the railroad tracks near the Thompson-Boling Arena parking garage entrance.  This project will lessen the harsh angle at which trail users currently have to cross the railroad tracks.
Location: Neyland Greenway Corridor
Contractor: Public Service Department  
Completion Date: Fall 2016

Will Skelton Greenway Stabilization 
Description: Project work includes reconstruction of approximately 200 linear feet of asphalt trail, resurfacing of an additional 300 linear feet of trail, and micropiles and rock anchors to increase trail stabilization and longevity for Will Skelton Greenway.  Project location is east of the Spence Place street crossing and west of the Alamo Avenue street crossing.  Construction documents were prepared by Foundation Systems Engineering, P.C. and bids were released in September 2015.  Construction started in October.  $407,000 is allocated for this project in the Parks and Recreation Department’s Greenway Maintenance Fund.
Location: Will Skelton Greenway Corridor
Contractor: Merit Construction, Inc. 
Completion Date: April 2016
• View Detour Route Map [PDF]
View Engineering Project Fact Sheet [PDF]
• View Photo of Completed Project [JPG]

Sharps Ridge Trail Signage
Description: After several years and many volunteer hours from the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club, Sharps Ridge Memorial Park now offers 5.25 miles of natural surface trails, including two new neighborhood trailheads located at Dill Street and Hanover Street. To assist trail users on these new trail facilities, the Parks and Recreation Department has installed directional trail signage.  The Public Service Department provided labor and materials for sign posts. AMBC directed sign locations, guided in sign language and installed the signs. Sign design was performed by Robin Easter Design with assistance from Legacy Parks. Sign design and printing totaled approximately $3,000.
Location: Sharps Ridge Memorial Park
Contractor: City of Knoxville Public Service Department
Completion Date: March 2016
View Photos of Installation [PDF]

Knox-Blount Greenway
Description: The newly constructed 1.8 miles of asphalt trail is the first substantial section of the Knox-Blount Greenway, bringing the mileage up to 2.2 miles from the beginning at Joe Johnson Drive, across the J.E. “Buck” Karnes Bridge and along the Tennessee River to Knox County’s Marine Park. Trailhead parking is located at Marine Park and the Cherokee Farms Amphitheater. This greenway development project was made possible with a TDOT Transportation Enhancement Grant with a budget of $1.19 million.
Location: Knox-Blount Greenway Corridor
Contractor: Southern Shores Development, Inc.
Completion Date: December 2015   
View Engineering Project Fact Sheet [PDF]
View Knox-Blount Greenway Map [PDF]

Ongoing Projects 

Parks & Greenways Maintenance

Description:  City parks and greenways require year round maintenance work by the Public Service Department.  Activities include mowing of grass, removal of dead trees and limbs, repairs of greenways, repair of park structures, and general cleaning and maintenance.
Location:  City-wide parks, greenway, and trail system