KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Sharp’s Ridge is a Knoxville city park that was dedicated to veterans back in 1952, but through the years, it became known as more of a haven for certain types of crime. That’s changing thanks to a group making sure parks in our veterans’ honor are maintained and enjoyed.
There’s a way you can help.
If you visit Sharp’s Ridge, you’ll see people jogging the trails, enjoying nature’s rugged terrain at this urban park overlooking the heart of North Knoxville.
Many people don’t realize Sharp’s Ridge is dedicated to veterans. This park, like others honoring vets, is a mission of the Veterans Heritage Site Foundation.
Through donations, it has placed beautiful pagodas at each trailhead, complete with a posted map for visitors.
The group helped clear the hiking and running trails, pressure washed picnic areas and recently got the park’s name changed.
“It was just Sharp’s Ridge Memorial Park and now it’s Sharp’s Ridge Veterans Memorial Park,” said Marilyn Childress, president of the Veterans Heritage Site Foundation.
To help continue efforts to preserve and maintain parks like this, Lt. Col. Dean Keck, a retired Marine of 30 years, is getting ready to run in Saturday’s 5K benefiting the foundation. It’ll be the third annual run.
Lt. Keck is bringing his Jr. ROTC team from Fulton High School and is encouraging other schools to join. WATE 6 On Your Side’s chief photographer Brian Engelstad has tackled the hills.
Even if you’re not an avid runner, come on out and support the race and the cause behind it.
“It’s not about winning and losing. It’s about the comradery, hanging out and supporting something that is bigger than us. Because those folks, a lot of them paid a really big price for this great nation of ours,” said Lt. Keck.
The 5K and 10K are Saturday, April 6 at 9 a.m. Click here to register for the 5K. The 10K includes carrying a 10-pound rucksack in a relay to bring awareness to the 22 veterans who commit suicide daily due to PTSD. Click here to register for the 10K.
The race starts at Lincoln Park Technology Trade Center, 535 Chickamauga Avenue. For more information, email RidgeRunKnoxville@gmail.com or call 678-920-1989.