City Receives Check for Addition to Victor Ashe Park
September 7, 2010 -
Former ambassador to Poland and former mayor of Knoxville Victor Ashe presented a $50,000 check to the City of Knoxville which will go toward the purchase of a five-acre addition to Victor Ashe Park.
The ceremony took place at 10:30 a.m. this morning in the park located at 4901 Bradshaw Road.
"Victor showed a great passion and support for the parks during his administration," said Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam. "As this donation makes very clear that commitment is still there. Without Victor Ashe, the Knoxville parks system would be very different today."
Mayor Bill Haslam, Councilwoman Brenda Palmer, Joan Ashe, former Ambassador to Poland and former Knoxville Mayor Victor Ashe, Parks and Recreation Director Joe Walsh
Opened in 2004, the 115-acre Victor Ashe Park features paved and unpaved trails, four soccer fields, a fishing pond, an 18-hole disc golf course, a dog park, volleyball courts, a playground, shelter, and other amenities.
The land the park sits on was sold to the city in the late 1990s by members of the Knoxville family that owned it. They retained three parcels including a five-acre tract near the intersection of Ball Camp Pike and Bradshaw Road.
That parcel became available last year and the city became interested in purchasing the land for an expansion of the existing Victor Ashe Park.
Former Mayor Ashe learned the tract was for sale during a conversation with Parks and Recreation Director Joe Walsh and subsequently contacted Mayor Haslam about making a contribution toward the purchase of the property. The tract included a house and outbuildings and was appraised at $250,000.
The city ultimately determined to buy the land for $245,000 and accepted the ambassador's generous donation.
"It is important to acquire land for existing and new city parks now. God is not making any new land and we must preserve what we can while we can," Ashe said. "This is the most used park in the city today and the expansion can only help current and future generations of city residents."
With the addition of the new five acres, North Knoxville now has 159-acres of park space to enjoy including the 120-acre Victor Ashe Park, the adjacent 25-acre Badgett Fields and the 14-acre Northwest Middle School Park.
"We're grateful for this generous gift from Ambassador Ashe," Haslam said, "which has helped the city acquire this tract and expand what is already one of the jewels of our city's park system."