Hundreds gather to discuss future of Lakeshore Park

7:56 PM, Jun 10, 2013   |    comments
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(WBIR - Knoxville) Sacred Heart Cathedral's gymnasium was packed Monday evening as neighbors gathered to discuss the future of Lakeshore Park.

Lakeshore is currently a 110-acre park with six baseball fields, two soccer fields, a playground, paved walking / running trails, and lots of open space. Those who use the park often have a few suggestions of what improvements should be made.

Charlie Gholson uses the trails every day. He said, "The main thing is they need to repave the part of the jogging path next to the river. The roots of the trees are growing under it and you can stumble as you walk. And as you get older that's a problem. I've already hurt myself once."

Aelise Reece also uses the paths often. She said, "We think they should do some kind of a dog park in one of the areas if they would clear the buildings so everybody can drop their pets off to play. And we also think they should do some kind of drive-in movie thing or an outside amphitheater theater where we can do concerts or weddings even, anything fun like that so we don't have to go all the way downtown."

Eleven-year-old soccer player Joshua Whitaker said, "I would like to see some lights on the soccer field so we can stay out later and practice."

Deputy to the Mayor and Chief Policy Officer Bill Lyons said there's an existing master plan for Lakeshore Park, however it was created before the City of Knoxville acquired an additional 61 acres from the State of Tennessee after the closing of Lakeshore Mental Health Institute.

Lyons said there will be many public meetings to help decide how to alter the master plan already in existence to make the best use of all of the land.

To find out more about the Lakeshore Park project and to give input, visit

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