|September 21, 2012 -
The City of Knoxville will hold a ribbon-cutting at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 25th, for the recent $250,000 renovation of Morningside Park funded by Pilot Flying J.
The renovation of Morningside Park, located at 1600 Dandridge Ave., is part of a $1 million gift Pilot Flying J committed to parks in celebration of the company's 50th anniversary. Another $250,000 was put toward the Inskip Pool & Park renovation, which was completed last year. The remaining $500,000 helped to acquire land in the Urban Wilderness Corridor of South Knoxville. The Pilot Flying J funds were donated to Legacy Parks Foundation, which conveyed the money to the City.
The Morningside Park renovation included clearing dense brush, creating a switchback walkway for enhanced park access, installing accessible parking near the park's main pavilion, and redesigning the park's disc golf course.
The City contracted Carol R Johnson Associates, Inc., to design park improvements that would best suit the community's needs as determined through public meetings.
"This was a great opportunity to work closely with the neighborhood residents," said Joe Walsh, Director of Knoxville Parks and Recreation. "We wanted a renovation project that both made necessary park improvements and addressed the residents' concerns at the same time."
Walsh said that clearing dense brush will increase general public awareness of the park by enhancing visibility from the street and will also give park patrons a greater sense of safety when using the park. Morningside Park was constructed in the 1960s and though it received a renovation in 1992, it was still in need of user-friendly upgrades.
Morningside Park became home of Knoxville's first disc golf course in the early 1980s. During the recent renovation, City officials worked closely with the Knoxville Disc Golf Club on the disc golf course redesign, extending the course to a complete 18 holes.
"Our partnership with the Knoxville Disc Golf Club is a win-win situation," said Walsh. "Any consistent, positive activities we have in the park only make it more safe, and the disc golfers take true ownership of the course, collecting litter as they play through."
The City contracted with Christopoulos & Kennedy Construction for most of the Morningside Park renovation. Parks and Recreation worked with the City Engineering and Public Service departments during the renovation.