Roy Arthur, Watershed Coordinator for Knox County Stormwater Management and a Research Associate at Tennessee Water Resources Research Center at UT, recently won an Individual Service Award from the Tennessee Recreation and Parks Association for his tireless efforts on Knox County’s new Harrell Road Stormwater Park. Legacy Parks and Knox County Parks and Recreation nominated Roy for the award.
From a 19-acre remnant of “unbuildable” land donated to Legacy Parks, Roy helped create a beautiful passive neighborhood park with impressive features that both protect the adjacent Beaver Creek and serve as an educational resource for stormwater management. The park has two constructed stormwater wetland ponds, a rain garden, established native vegetation, and a soon-to-be installed pervious paver parking area. The wetland ponds divert stormwater from the nearby subdivision allowing for pollutant treatment and infiltration – water that was previously routed to Beaver Creek. Seeded with a mixture of native grasses, widlflowers, and shrubs, and with a tree grant providing native trees, the park may one day be designated a state arboretum.
In addition to the conservation and education advantages, other amenities make Harrell Road a unique community asset – a three-quarter mile walking trail, greenspace vibrant with the sights and sounds of nature, a kayak/canoe launch on Beaver Creek, and interpretive signage throughout the park.
And we can thank Roy Arthur for most of this. His dedication to the project went above and beyond his professional responsibilities. Roy has been involved in every aspect of the development of the park – from land acquisition, design, fundraising, installation including educating and guiding volunteers, and putting in extensive personal hours. to create this natural jewel for East Tennessee that has long term educational, research, and environmental benefits for our entire community.