June 20, 2012 - City officials opened a temporary river access point today for local kayakers and canoeists to enjoy while they wait for the construction of the new Suttree Landing Park, which is part of the South Knoxville Waterfront project and currently under design.
Located at 929 Langford Ave., the temporary put-in/take-out will be open to paddlers through the summer season daily from dawn till dusk.
Local neighborhood residents asked Vice Mayor Nick Pavlis about providing access this summer to put their kayaks and canoes into the river from the property. The Vice Mayor met with Mayor Madeline Rogero, who agreed to proceed with opening the temporary river access point.
"These are active neighborhoods justifiably excited about development of the South Knoxville waterfront, and we were glad to be able to accommodate their request to open this temporary amenity," said Mayor Rogero. "As a paddler myself, I certainly understand being anxious to get on the water."
Though the Knoxville Community Development Corporation still owns the 5-acre property they acquired in 2005, the City leased a portion from KCDC to access the river.
The City's Redevelopment and Parks and Recreation departments oversaw the project.
To save costs for the temporary access, the City Public Service Department coordinated inmates from the Knox County Work Release Center to clean up the property. The portion of the property being opened provides parking access for approximately 10 vehicles adjacent to the river launch area.
The City anticipates that construction of the 5-acre Suttree Landing Park will begin in 2013. Park amenities will include a river walk, children's play area, arboretum, wetlands area, boat dock and ramp, and open space.
Suttree Landing Park was a name requested by South Knoxville residents and selected by the Public Property and Facilities Naming Committee. The acclaimed author Cormac McCarthy, who grew up in South Knoxville, wrote Suttree, a novel about a man who relinquishes a life of ease to become a fisherman on the Tennessee River in the 1950s.
More information on the Suttree Landing Park plans can be found on the City's South Knoxville Waterfront information web site at www.cityofknoxville.org/southwaterfront.