"This is a great project that I think the folks in Lonsdale are
going to be very pleased about for a long time," said Mayor Bill
Haslam. "We often say that Knoxville is really a city of neighborhoods
and anything that makes a neighborhood stronger makes our entire
city a better place to live, work and raise a family."
"This renovated park makes Lonsdale a better place to do all those
things. I'm very proud and thankful to all of the people in the
various city departments who worked so hard to make this happen
and to the people of Lonsdale who have worked with us," he added.
Since 2000, the City's Community Development Division has rehabilitated
ten homes in the area, the Knoxville Community Development Corporation
has invested $20 million to upgrade Lonsdale Homes (less than a
mile from the park), and Knox County Schools have made improvements
to Lonsdale Elementary School, adjacent to the park.
(Haslam) has done a great job of organizing projects so that City
departments and outside organizations can work together to make
a significant impact on a community," said Sam Anderson, Senior
Director of Knoxville's Community and Neighborhood Services Department.
"If you take a look at the substantial improvements that the City-in
cooperation with other groups-has made to communities such as Mechanicsville
and Lonsdale, you realize just how much headway we've actually made
in the last four years.
"We are more efficient when everyone works together for the same
goal," he said.
The renovation of Lonsdale Park, Anderson pointed out, is a perfect
example of how the City's organization allows them to work efficiently.
Parks and Recreation applied for a $200,000 state grant and matched
it with $100,000 in recreation capital funds and $100,000 of Community
Development's federal funding.
Parks and Recreation then oversaw the design and actual renovations.
The City's Public Service Division removed a section of Bragg Street,
connecting Lonsdale Elementary School to the park.
Prior to that the students had to cross the street to reach the
park from the school.
"The block is now safe for children to leave school and play in
the park or head to our after-school program at Lonsdale Recreation
Center," said Joe Walsh, Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation.
"It's rare to have so many public facilities on the same block and
we were happy to be able to give that to the Lonsdale community."
Additionally, the City's Engineering Division provided technical
oversight of construction and added accessible sidewalks along Louisiana
and Connecticut Avenues for children to walk safely to and from
Councilman Bob Becker said the park's renovation would be a catalyst
for future community involvement in Lonsdale.
"I'm excited that we've connected with the school and that people
have embraced the park," Becker stated. "I'm eager to see good things
happen through Lonsdale Park."
For more information on Lonsdale Park, call 3-1-1 or visit www.cityofknoxville.org/parks/lonsdale.asp