The Parks and Recreation Division renovated the park as part of
a larger city effort to revitalize the Lonsdale Community.
The city also worked with Knox County Schools to remove Bragg
Street to connect Lonsdale Elementary School, and the children who
attend it, with the park and the Lonsdale Recreation Center.
Before that students had to cross the sometimes-busy street to
get from the school to the park.
"The most commendable aspect of the Lonsdale Park renovation
was the City's Community Development, Public Service, Engineering,
and Parks and Recreation Departments working together in order to
make the largest impact on the community," said Sam Anderson,
Senior Director of the City's Operations and Efficiency Department.
"Giving elementary students a park facility and an after school
program to walk to, without ever crossing the street, is an irreplaceable
The Parks and Recreation Department's Power-U Healthy program,
spear-headed by West Haven Recreation Center Leader Maria Dibenedetto,
is an effort to address the increasing issue of childhood obesity.
Children participating in the area recreation centers took field
trips to walk on local greenways, ate and learned about healthy
foods, and celebrated the completion of the program with a walk
around Victor Ashe Park with Mayor Haslam.
Blue Cross Blue Shield also donated 200 pedometers to encourage
the children to walk for exercise, as a part of the program.
"We believe one of our roles in the Parks and Recreation
Department to set an example for leading healthy lives," said
Joe Walsh, Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation. "Our staff
went the extra mile with this program by educating and rewarding
the kids in our program on healthy living."