Collier Preserve

In 2016, Legacy Parks received a 12-acre gift of land in Powell from Dr. and Mrs. Collier. The property had been in the Collier family for many generations, and Dr. Collier wished to honor the history of his family’s land by placing a conservation easement on the property.

The parcel of land in the heart of Powell adjoins Beaver Creek, Emory Road and the Powell Library. The property is an important component of the Beaver Creek Water Trail, an initiative that aims to protect and restore the naturally functioning ecosystem of the creek while opening the creek up for recreational use.

With help from Dr. Collier and the Powell and Halls communities, the park design was created and included:

  • An ADA accessible walking path
  • ADA accessible parking and observation area
  • Natural surface walking trails
  • Kayak rest stop on Beaver Creek
  • Council ring

The topography of this park provided a unique challenge as parts of the property can flood with rise and fall of Beaver Creek. Specific designs and materials were chosen to be able to withstand the flooding, including a unique permeable flexible paving material that makes up the 1.5-mile ADA accessible walking path. The surface is a porous flexible pavement made with recycled tires that is ECO friendly, holds up to the rising water and provides great cushion underfoot!

Legacy Parks began fundraising in 2017 and was awarded a $200,000 Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grant from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to fund the development of Collier Preserve. The TVA Retirees Association supported the project by donating $10,000 to fund six benches along the trail.

Construction began in 2020 with special care taken to ensure the park remained natural.

It was important to Dr. Collier to keep as many native plants and trees as possible, in order to maintain the natural character of the property. Every element of the park, including the nature trail was designed and constructed to have the least impact on the existing habitats.

In 2021, 42 trees were planted at Collier Preserve, including six new species, thanks to an Urban Trees Grant from the Tennessee Division of Forestry. The park was designated as a Level 1 Tennessee Certified Arboretum in 2022. View the Collier tree list.

The Knox County Master Gardeners continue to maintain and add native species plantings at Collier Preserve and eradicate invasive species.

The location next to the Powell Branch Library provided a unique opportunity to create a storybook trail. A storybook trail is a fun, educational activity that places the pages from a children’s story along a trail in a community. It is for children of all levels to enjoy the outdoors and read a book with their family and friends. Working with the Knox County Public Library, the permanent storybook trail was opened in 2022 featuring the book Old Rock (is not boring) by Deb Pilutti.

The park opened in 2021 and was conveyed to Knox County to be owned and managed as a public park.

Project Partners

Tennessee Recreational Trails Program, Knox County, Merit Construction, Trey Benefield, S&ME, TVA Retirees Association, Trees Knoxville, Knox County Master Gardeners, Foothills Land Conservancy, Knox County Public Library