KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The historic Fountain City Park and Lake will likely soon be under new ownership after the Lions Club offered to donate it to the city of Knoxville.
Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon's administration has sent a recommendation to city council to formally accept ownership of the park off North Broadway. If approved, the city would run and maintain the park and lake. The Lions Club will keep their main building there and sponsor several events at the park.
“If City Council is agreeable to accepting the Lions Club’s generous offer, we look forward to bringing Fountain City Park into the City’s system as our 93rd park,” said Parks and Recreation Director Sheryl Ely. “We’ll do the Lions proud by continuing what they lovingly started more than 50 years ago.”
Over the past few years, the city has spent roughly $1 million to improve the park and water quality at the lake.
Mayor Kincannon's 2021-22 budget includes $250,000 to improve the playground to bring it up to Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility standards as well as improve the walking path through the park.
The city also invested $750,000 to restore the ecosystem of the Fountain City Lake, including removing algae and invasive aquarium weeds, reducing the waterfowl population, and repairing the fountain and pump hose to aerate the water and keep it from stagnating.
The city said the lake is still a work in progress, but since 2014 significant improvements have been made, which has allowed the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency to introduce winter trout fishing. The state said it would have not been able to do that even a few years ago because the lake had been choked by algae and invasive weeds.