Collier Preserve Officially Opens in Knox County!

April 5, 2021 Conservation Easements, FLC Partners, FLC Projects, Land Management Practices

Carol Evans, Legacy Parks Foundations Executive Director, welcomes the attendees and explains the history, features, and partnerships that went into the establishment of the Collier Preserve.

Legacy Parks Foundation, along with the Collier Family and the City of Knoxville, celebrated the official opening of the ‘Stella Moore Collier Preserve’. This 12-acre public park was donated by the late Dr. Robert Collier and wife Louise, and was named after Robert’s grandmother, Stella Moore.

Located in the community of Powell and adjacent to the Powell branch library, this newly established public park offers an island of habitat amid an urban setting, and therefore is an oasis for wildlife. The mature trees and shrubs offer plentiful seasonal food, cavities, nesting sites and cover for most urban wildlife and for migratory and resident birds.  The creek, which offers a year-round source of water, is an important resource for wildlife including fish, waterfowl, amphibians, and aquatic arthropods.

Back in 2015, Dr. and Mrs. Collier placed a conservation easement on the property with Foothills Land Conservancy and then donated the property to the Legacy Parks Foundation for the purpose of public access. Dr. Collier wanted his family’s land to become a public, low-impact park complete with walking trails, which would also provide one link in the Knoxville area greenways.

Trees Knoxville, along with many volunteers, planted dozens of native trees, like redbuds, dogwoods, and sweetgums. Volunteers and Legacy staff also spent many dedicated hours removing trash and invasive plants. The park now includes a walking trail, benches, a council ring, and an information kiosk. The kiosk was built using wooden posts from the Collier family’s former barn and corn crib and was intentionally placed at the same location to mark the former barn site.

Over the last few years, Foothills’ biologists partnered with Legacy Parks to ensure that the conservation values of the property remained intact while also allowing for trail systems, signage, and other features without disturbing native wildlife.

FLC Biologist, Matt Moore, discusses the partnerships that went into establishing the Collier Preserve and the conservation approach to the park’s establishment.