Legacy Parks has unveiled its Oak Ridge Natural Assets Guidebook, a collaborative project created at the request of the City of Oak Ridge, Roane County and Anderson County civic and business leaders in response to recommendations from the Oak Ridge Blueprint Plan that urged the exploration of both recreational opportunities and enhancement of the area’s natural assets.
“The Guidebook is intended to be a living, working document that will serve as a philosophical and practical set of guidelines for how to maximize the area’s natural assets so that they provide a sustainable foundation to engage residents, promote wellness, attract tourism, and increase economic development,” said Carol Evans, executive director of Legacy Parks Foundation.
Evans explains that while the Guidebook identifies natural assets and related opportunities across the whole of public land within Oak Ridge, including Department of Energy land, it does not consider future uses of that land for mission-related or growth purposes.
“The vison driving the Guidebook is to assure that Oak Ridge’s natural assets are perpetually valued and appropriately utilized as economic drivers for the community,” said Evans. “The recommendations in the plan were guided by four principles: stewardship, regional and national impact, district identity, and connectivity.”
Evans says that through the development of the Guidebook, Legacy Parks worked alongside civic and community leaders, as the organization has done in other communities throughout the region to enhance the recreational, conservational, greenways, and blueways assets for Oak Ridge and beyond.
A grant from UCOR, UT-Battelle, CNS/Y-12, and Oak Ridge Associated Universities to Legacy Parks funded the initiative. Evans and Legacy Parks Board Member Don Parnell coordinated the team from Ackermann Marketing & PR, Ross/Fowler Landscape Architects and Equinox Environmental.