Legacy Parks Foundation and the University of Tennessee Research Park at Cherokee Farm announced a unique partnership to develop a concept plan that will make the research park an even more attractive site for innovative businesses to locate as well as enhance the park for the entire public to enjoy.

The concept plan will respond to the increasing demand for integrated live-work-play environments in which businesses can locate. The research park’s location in the bend of the Tennessee River provides an ideal setting to build out park features to make the site a key destination for innovative businesses and park users.

One of the unique features of the UT Research Park is its unique archaeological zone, which includes nearly 85 acres that will be preserved to recognize the location of major Native American settlements dating as early as 12,000 years ago until about AD 1600.  Additionally, a 2.2-mile section of greenway already exists along the shoreline of Cherokee Farm, connecting downtown Knoxville and the Neyland Greenway to the research park, and serves as a key section of the Knox-Blount Greenway currently under construction. Knox County’s Marine Park anchors the property on the south end and cross-country trails and a small amphitheater are found in the middle of the property. Of interest for the park, are amenities that will serve University of Tennessee students and outdoor enthusiasts throughout the community.

“This is a spectacular property with amazing potential to create an environment for business and recreation that can serve as a model of how we can best take full advantage of our natural assets,” said Carol Evans, executive director of Legacy Parks Foundation. “It is an ideal setting to respond to an emerging workforce who wants to experience the highest quality of life – every day.”

Legacy Parks will serve a coordinating role in the development of the concept plan, working with the University of Tennessee, Ross Fowler Landscape Architecture, the UT Department of Anthropology and McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture, and others. The plan development is anticipated to take about six months.

“Legacy Parks Foundation is known for their ability to work collaboratively with other organizations on park designs and conservation projects,” said Tom Rogers, president and CEO of the UT Research Park. “We are delighted to have this opportunity to partner together.”