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Neighborhoods to Nature: Mayor Rogero and City Leaders Walk with Residents to Caswell Park 
  Arrival at Caswell Park  Sticker

More than 200 neighbors walked to their local park at the Neighborhoods to Nature kick-off event Monday night. Neighbors strolled 15-20 minutes from different city neighborhoods—Austin Homes, Historic Fourth and Gill, Old North Knoxville, and Parkridge—to simultaneously meet up at Ashley Nicole Dream Playground for festivities. This event was the first in a series that will highlight the ease of walking to parks from local neighborhoods.

Parkridge Walk
Parkridge Neighborhood left from the Parkridge Community Garden
with Mayor Rogero, Deputy to the Mayor Bill Lyons, and other City officials.


More than 200 neighbors walked to their local park at the Neighborhoods to Nature kick-off event Monday night. Neighbors strolled 15-20 minutes from different city neighborhoods—Austin Homes, Historic Fourth and Gill, Old North Knoxville, and Parkridge—to simultaneously meet up at Ashley Nicole Dream Playground for festivities. This event was the first in a series that will highlight the ease of walking to parks from local neighborhoods.

Youth from Austin Homes Walk
City Council members Daniel Brown and George Wallace walked with
other City officials and a group of 30 from Austin Homes (approx. 20
youth on the walk). Police Chief David Rausch met up with them in
Caswell Park.


Mayor Madeline Rogero, Vice Mayor Duane Grieve, City Council members Daniel Brown, Mark Campen, Finbarr Saunders, Marshall Stair and George Wallace, and many City of Knoxville officials joined the neighborhood groups on the walks.

Old North
A portion of the Old North group wait to cross the street. Old
North was led by City Council members Duane Grieve,
Mark Campen & Marshall Stair.


Local points of interest, such as the 6th Avenue mural, Harriet Tubman Park and the First Creek Greenway, were highlighted along the walking routes.

Fourth and Gill
Deputy to the Mayor Christi Branscom and Finbarr Saunders
led the Fourth and Gill neighborhood to Caswell Park.

Once at the park, booths were set up to offer kids activities and for community members to learn more about available community services. Food vendors were also on site to showcase Knoxville’s growing local food truck movement.

Sprayers at Ashley Nicole Dream Playground
The spray fountain at Ashley Nicole
Dream Playground was a great way for
everyone to cool off after the walk!


Residents completed a survey conducted by University of Tennessee Public Health Nutrition students to determine preconceived perceptions and actual perceptions of the walking routes to Caswell Park. City officials will use the survey responses to make neighborhood improvements that encourage walking to the park.

The Neighborhoods to Nature Event is part of a larger effort, Knoxville Partners Connecting Children to Nature, which strives to connect children and families to parks that are readily accessible to them. Although not a winner, Knoxville was selected as one of 16 finalists in a grant sponsored by the National League of Cities, and City leaders and officials were invited to brainstorm at a workshop in St. Paul, Minnesota in 2015.

The idea of the neighborhood walks, occurred to Deputy to the Mayor and Chief Operating Officer Christi Branscom during the Minnesota workshop. The City and local partners continue to gradually pursue plans of Knoxville Partners Connecting Children to Nature to increase children’s and families’ use of local parks and facilities.

City officials plan to hold regular Neighborhoods to Nature walks, with the next walk planned for September. Details on September’s walk will be released soon

For more information and to check for details on upcoming walks, click here. To find the park nearest you, visit www.knoxvilletn.gov/parks.  

Join the Neighborhoods to Nature conversation on social media by using #KnoxN2N.

Mayor Rogero and City Council
City Council members Finbarr Saunders, Duane Grieve, Mark
Brown, Mark Campen, Marshall Stair, and George Wallace pose
with Deputy to the Mayor Christi Branscom, Mayor Madeline
Rogero, and David Rausch after leading N2N walks.


More info on Monday’s Neighborhoods to Nature walk:

Parkridge Park started their walk at the Parkridge Community Garden and were led by Mayor Madeline Rogero; Deputy to the Mayor and Chief Policy Officer Bill Lyons; David Brace, Senior Director of Public Works; Dawn Michelle Foster, Office of Redevelopment Director; Sheryl Ely, Deputy Director of Public Service; Aaron Browning, Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation; Bryan Berry, Office of Redevelopment Project Manager; Jeff Branham, Traffic Engineering Chief; Kathleen Gibi, Communications; and Edmond Randolph of Knoxville Police.

Old North Knoxville neighbors began in the parking lot of Fourth Presbyterian Church on Broadway. City leaders of the walk included Vice Mayor Duane Grieve; City Councilmen Mark Campen and Marshall Stair; Jesse Mayshark, Communications Director; Joe Walsh, Parks and Recreation Director; Lee Sharp of Knoxville Police; and George Dawes, City Engineer.

Residents of Austin Homes left from the bus stop at the corner of W. New St. and Bell St. and were led by City Councilmen Daniel Brown and George Wallace; David Massey, Office of Neighborhoods Coordinator; Nikki Crutcher, Recreation Superintendent; Robbie Corum, Public Service Area I Manager; Cody Gentry of Traffic Engineering, and Zack Herman of Knoxville Police.

Fourth and Gill Park was the starting point for Fourth and Gill neighborhood, with the walk led by Deputy to the Mayor Christi Branscom; Councilman Finbarr Saunders; Jim Hagerman, Engineering Director; Russ Jensen, 311 Director; Indya Kincannon, Special Programs Manager; Debbie Sharp, Assistant Neighborhood Coordinator; David Lawson of KPD; and Tatia Harris of Communications.

KPD
KPD officers helped to lead walks to and from Ashley Nicole
Dream Playground for all four N2N walks. David Rausch
greeted families as they entered the park.

Knoxville Fire Department
Knoxville Fire Department officials showcased one of the City
firetrucks at the festivities at Ashley Nicole Dream Playground.


Blog written by Randa Meade, Communications Intern and University of Tennessee Public Health Nutrition graduate student


Posted by kgibi On 13 July, 2016 at 4:56 PM