Ribbon Cutting For Renovated Park

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Ribbon Cutting For Renovated Park

Posted: 08/10/2007
Hundreds of Lonsdale community residents are expected to celebrate the ribbon cutting of the recently renovated Lonsdale Park on Monday, August 13, at 5 p.m.

The city park now features two large playgrounds, a paved loop trail, four half-basketball courts, a water fountain, and a large pavilion.The City Parks and Recreation Division renovated the park as part of a citywide effort to revitalize the Lonsdale community.

Ribbon cutting at Lonsdale Park"This is a great project that I think the folks in Lonsdale are going to be very pleased about for a long time," said Mayor Bill Haslam. "We often say that Knoxville is really a city of neighborhoods and anything that makes a neighborhood stronger makes our entire city a better place to live, work and raise a family."

"This renovated park makes Lonsdale a better place to do all those things. I'm very proud and thankful to all of the people in the various city departments who worked so hard to make this happen and to the people of Lonsdale who have worked with us," he added.Since 2000, the City's Community Development Division has rehabilitated ten homes in the area, the Knoxville Community Development Corporation has invested $20 million to upgrade Lonsdale Homes (less than a mile from the park), and Knox County Schools have made improvements to Lonsdale Elementary School, adjacent to the park.

"Bill (Haslam) has done a great job of organizing projects so that City departments and outside organizations can work together to make a significant impact on a community," said Sam Anderson, Senior Director of Knoxville's Community and Neighborhood Services Department. "If you take a look at the substantial improvements that the City-in cooperation with other groups-has made to communities such as Mechanicsville and Lonsdale, you realize just how much headway we've actually made in the last four years.

"We are more efficient when everyone works together for the same goal," he said.The renovation of Lonsdale Park, Anderson pointed out, is a perfect example of how the City's organization allows them to work efficiently. Parks and Recreation applied for a $200,000 state grant and matched it with $100,000 in recreation capital funds and $100,000 of Community Development's federal funding.Parks and Recreation then oversaw the design and actual renovations. The City's Public Service Division removed a section of Bragg Street, connecting Lonsdale Elementary School to the park. Prior to that the students had to cross the street to reach the park from the school.

"The block is now safe for children to leave school and play in the park or head to our after-school program at Lonsdale Recreation Center," said Joe Walsh, Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation. "It's rare to have so many public facilities on the same block and we were happy to be able to give that to the Lonsdale community."

Additionally, the City's Engineering Division provided technical oversight of construction and added accessible sidewalks along Louisiana and Connecticut Avenues for children to walk safely to and from school.

Councilman Bob Becker said the park's renovation would be a catalyst for future community involvement in Lonsdale. "I'm excited that we've connected with the school and that people have embraced the park," Becker stated. "I'm eager to see good things happen through Lonsdale Park."