Legacy Parks Dedicates Trail Kiosk with Historical Significance

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share via Email

Legacy Parks Dedicates Trail Kiosk with Historical Significance

Posted: 03/04/2017
New Kiosk at Bakers Creek Preserve Legacy Parks Foundation dedicated the Baker Creek Preserve kiosk in Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness today, which displays information about the nearby trails along with the rich history of the property. Knoxville City Councilman Nick Pavlis presented a unique panel, which gives the public insight into how this increasingly popular destination was used by a multi-generational Knoxville family long before it became part of Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness.

“Baker Creek Preserve is such an exciting place for the Knoxville community,” said City Councilman Nick Pavlis. “The addition of this kiosk gives our families the opportunity to learn about the history of the area and the people who lived here while experiencing the healthy benefits of having green space and trails just a few miles from downtown.”

Members of the Cruze family, whose farm occupied the land many years ago, traveled from Kentucky and North Carolina to take part in the unveiling of the historical photos and text from their family’s history, dating back to the 1800s. The kiosk displays portraits of early family members and features a map of structures that were once a part of their functioning farm, some of which you can find remnants of today.

“We are delighted to return to our old family farm and see the kiosk and the many improvements that have been made,” stated Mary Pearl Cruze Thompson, who was born and raised on the property. “The transformation is amazing, and we are glad the natural beauty of the property has been preserved and shared with the community.”
Prior to the dedication, Legacy Parks teamed up with the Knoxville Garden Club on the property for the annual Weed Wrangle to help eradicate invasive species in Tennessee. Volunteers cleaned growth along Baker Creek at the entrance to the Baker Creek Preserve. The Appalachian Mountain Bike Club also worked on Baker Creek Preserve trails that morning for one their scheduled work days.  In addition to community and neighborhood volunteers, employees from REI Co-op and landscaping firm, Earthadelic, joined in the effort.

The kiosk dedication and volunteer efforts of Legacy Parks came after it gave Baker Creek Preserve to the City of Knoxville in 2016, further improving the land it transformed into a recreation destination that is drawing visitors from throughout the region. “The Preserve has something to offer everyone who wants to get out and play or simply experience the beauty of the outdoors while staying close to town,” Carol Evans, Legacy Parks Foundation executive director explained. “It is in the midst of neighborhoods deeply grounded in their history, so we wanted to be certain to provide all of the information we could – both past and present.”
The entrance offers ample accessible parking along with stonescaped seating and a kids play area, which leads into seven miles of multi-use and downhill mountain bike trail ranging from beginner to expert level. Giant sycamore trees and other native plants are plentiful on the property along with outstanding views. Baker Creek Preserve and its trails make a great entryway to the 42 plus miles of trail that make up the rest of Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness.

Legacy Parks Foundation continues to beautify this area through partnerships and volunteer coordination, and is working on continued expansion of Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness, a project the Foundation launched in 2008. Most nearby, Legacy Parks will add an adventure play space aimed at improving the health of middle-school-aged students across from Baker Creek Preserve and adjacent to South Doyle Middle School. In addition, the Foundation is working to extend the network of trails, parks, water access, and neighborhoods trails that make up the Urban Wilderness to Alcoa Highway.