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New Charter Doyle Greenway Extension Links Students, Neighbors to Park...and U.S. History 

“Three...two...one...CUT! Okay, now we're going to move out of the way...” Mayor Rogero called as several Mooreland Heights Elementary students pushed past officials cutting the ribbon and took off running down the new trail that connects their school to Charter Doyle Park.

Both Mooreland Heights Elementary School students and Colonial Village Neighborhood residents now have an official pedestrian link to the 28-acre Charter Doyle Park.

The City’s Greenways Service Crew installed the 0.3-mile extension that connects the elementary school directly to Charter Doyle Park. The trailhead is located on Magazine Road, adjacent to the school and feeding into a sidewalk that links to dozens of houses in the area.

Prior to the trail extension, Charter Doyle Park was primarily accessed by car.

“With this pedestrian connection, we can now call Charter Doyle Park a true community park, as it was intended to be,” said Mayor Madeline Rogero.

At the ribbon cutting on Friday, the kids had already completed the route and were proudly running back in the opposite direction by the time City officials were half-way through the hike to scope out the new trail.

Greenway extension leads from Mooreland Heights Elementary to Charter Doyle Park.
Mayor Rogero and officials arrive in Charter Doyle Park after a brief walk from the ribbon cutting at Mooreland Heights Elementary on Magazine Road.

This project was also an education opportunity for the Greenways Service Crew. A professional trail builder was contracted to teach more complicated techniques, such as approaches to drainage and erosion prevention.

The crews even built a park bench out of a fallen cedar tree, rather than hauling it off.

Mayor Rogero with City Greenways Service Crew
Mayor Rogero sits with the Greenways Service crew on a bench fashioned from a fallen cedar tree. (Front, left to right: Benny Jordan, Mayor Rogero, Dwayne Miley; back, left to right: Katina Bradley and Josh Roberts)

The route between the school and the park truly gives the sense of an escape into the wilderness, with its meandering path offering several turns and twists through the woods.

“That’s what makes Knoxville so special: one minute, you’re in a developed part of town, but walk 100 yards—or in this case, 50 feet from a school’s property—and you can get the feel of hiking in the Smokies,” Mayor Rogero said.

In the case of this particular trail extension, a piece of Revolutionary War history was also brought to light.

The route passes an old Doyle family cemetery, which features the grave site of John Doyle, who fought in the Revolutionary War.

Living 89 years from 1748 to 1837, Doyle enlisted in the Maryland militia in Baltimore in 1777. He fought in battles such as White Plains and Woodbridge, was injured in his left arm, right thigh and leg, and was discharged in 1780.

The grave marker for John Doyle
The grave marker for John Doyle, Revolutionary War soldier.

As “bounty” for his service in the war, Doyle was granted land in Knox County, Tennessee, where he and his family settled.

Years passed, and eventually descendants of John Doyle eventually donated what was left of the land to the City of Knoxville in 1984. That land is now known as Charter Doyle Park.

Click HERE to view transcript of a letter sent by the Department of the Interior to Mrs. May Doyle Saunders in 1937.

Brandi Self, Principal at Mooreland Heights Elementary, said the students will be taking advantage of the new trail connection both to utilize the park and to gain a local connection to a piece of U.S. history.

Following the ceremony, Mayor Rogero, City Council members Nick Pavlis and George Wallace, and others received a tour of the new trail extension from the crew members who built it.

Mayor Rogero and City officials walk the new Charter Doyle Greenway extension.
Mayor Rogero and officials receive a tour of the new Charter Doyle Greenway extension.

“This trail has been on the request list and is seven years in the making,” said Nick Pavlis, Councilman for the district. “It’s great to see it finished today.”

Charter Doyle Park features a half-mile paved loop trail, the Charter Doyle Petsafe Dog Park, two tennis courts, a large picnic pavilion, a baseball/softball backstop, plenty of open space, and restrooms.

For more information on Charter Doyle Park, click HERE.

Posted by On 13 November, 2017 at 2:51 PM