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Knoxville hosting block party Saturday to take input on $10 million investment in Urban Wilderness

A public input meeting will be held in June to gather thoughts on the details of the project.

Knoxville — The City of Knoxville is throwing a block party on Saturday to get people out and talking about their ideas for a multi-million dollar project.

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero's fiscal budget for 2018-19 includes $10 million for a gateway to the Urban Wilderness in South Knoxville.

The city said it needs input and ideas for the Urban Wilderness Gateway Park Project, so it's decided that it will host a block party at the site's end point at the James White Parkway South Terminus to get people out.

The Urban Wilderness Public Input Exhibition and Block Party runs from 2 - 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 2. Parking will be limited at the terminus, so the city said people can park at South-Doyle Middle School with trail access to the event.

People are encouraged to come and share their ideas. You can also take the survey here.

The project will transform the current dead end of James White Parkway into an Urban Wilderness hub with more parking and amenities.

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"I would say the success of the Urban Wilderness may have exceeded what we thought would happen," Legacy Parks Foundation executive director Carol Evans said. "I think we're probably surprised with sort of the regional and national draw that we've seen very quickly."

Evans said when people visit parks, businesses are attracted to the area.

"It makes it very easy for someone to live, play and go out to eat all in their neighborhood," she said.

The gateway will link existing trails and new projects, including a BMX track at South Doyle Middle School.

"We love to say that now you'll need two directions when you come to the Urban Wilderness: take I-40 to James White Parkway, and you're there. So it really makes it easy to get here," Evans said.

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