KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — As a multimillion dollar improvement project continues at Lakeshore Park, some people have questions about what’s included in this phase of work.
The changes for the 185 acres are all based on the updated Lakeshore Park Master Plan. The first phase started back in 2015. The second phase started in April 2022 and is expected to continue until winter 2024.
The Executive Director for the Lakeshore Park Conservancy, Julieanne Foy, said this current phase of work is a huge part of the final plans.
Foy explained that up until this point in phase two, the main focus has been on grading work. She said crews ran into a large amount of rock while preparing to build future park features. She also said the amount of rain East Tennessee has received has been an issue.
She added that currently one of the questions they are getting the most about the park’s changes is the sculptural mound. She said many are mistaking it for a skate park.
“It’s actually just a walking trail up that gives you a nice view of the river, but also looking up through the park as well,” Foy said. “It was just a really good use of the dirt that we had to take up to build the baseball complex.”
Foy continued with some of the other features in the works in phase two.
“We’ve put in a lot of new parking lots, we’ll be putting in new playgrounds, a new outdoor fitness center, new pickle ball courts, some basketball courts, so lots of great new amenities coming to the park,” Foy said.
Lakeshore Park has always been touted as one of the city’s most popular parks with thousands of visitors each day.
Foy spoke about the impact these improvements will have on the region as it continues to grow.
“Parks are so important to a vital community and we really saw that through the pandemic, how important our green spaces are,” Foy said.
She also spoke about the various uses people have for the park.
“People are using the park in ways we never would have expected. We have weddings, we have corporate gatherings, we have celebrations of life, so it’s just a beautiful place right in the center of our community,” she said.
The park is owned by the City of Knoxville and managed by the Lakeshore Park Conservancy.