The Augusta Avenue entrance to Fort Dickerson Park and adjacent quarry lake is closed as preliminary work begins on $1.77 million in quarry access improvements. The Augusta Quarry project includes a gateway with stone walls, a paved parking lot, additional landscaping complementing the existing forestry, and infrastructure to support future phases to improve the quarry lake.
“Interest in the quarry has increased with the Urban Wilderness Gateway Park planning and the recent opening of public swim in the quarry, so this is a natural and much-needed next step for Fort Dickerson Park,” said Sheryl Ely, Parks and Recreation Director.
Park visitors can still access the park and trail system from the Fort Dickerson Park Gateway entrance off of Chapman Highway, located at 3096 Fort Dickerson Road.
The Augusta Quarry project is largely made possible through an investment from the Aslan Foundation, which paid for the design and planning work of this project as well as $330,000 toward its construction. Utilizing the design and planning funding donated by the Aslan Foundation, Sanders Pace Architecture and Port Urbanism collaborated with the City of Knoxville through creative, interactive public meetings, which informed the final design.
“Augusta Quarry is one of the City’s most beautiful natural spaces and the Aslan Foundation is passionate about increasing accessibility to this important piece of Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness,” said Andrea Bailey Cox, Aslan Foundation Executive Director.
The 91-acre Fort Dickerson Park is located in the Battlefield Loop area of the Urban Wilderness, featuring a historic Civil War fort at its highest point and a 350-foot deep quarry at its lowest. In 2017, the Aslan Foundation contributed $1.65 million to assist the City of Knoxville with improvements to create the Fort Dickerson Gateway off of Chapman Highway.
Over the coming winter, crews will construct the hardscape at Augusta Quarry. By spring, native trees, shrubs and perennials will be planted to enhance quarry. City officials plan to reopen access to the quarry in time for the 2019 swimming season.
“Much attention to detail and design has been aimed at the experience and safety of park visitors,” said Rebekah Jane Montgomery, Urban Wilderness Coordinator for the City.
Sanders Pace Architecture and Port Urbanism worked with Vaughn and Melton to provide complete design plans for the project. Design and Construction Services Inc. will perform actual construction.
For more information, visit http://www.visitknoxville.com/urban-wilderness.