There is abundant news to report in regards to the Sharps Ridge Veterans Memorial Park project! In February the City of Knoxville Parks and Recreation Director retired and has been replaced, Sheryl Ely has been promoted from Public Works to take this position and brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience about our park! She has made the park a real priority and recently created a small group to lead the design efforts for the renovation of the park. VHSF has been included in this group to consult and contribute to the Veteran themed aspects of the design. The design work will be handled by the Community Design Center through various grants. With this news, comes a well-timed donation of 42 acres of usable property adjacent to the park which has been accepted by Legacy Parks who has committed the land to be added to the park itself once construction is complete. This donation has created the need to revisit our design plans with Legacy Parks, so that we can take full advantage of the new property. Among the agreed upon plans for the park is a Veterans Memorial incorporated into a new overlook to replace the current one which is old enough that repairs are no longer an efficient use of maintenance dollars and man hours. Plans also include a new parking lot, a Nature Adventure children’s play area, renovated picnic areas, and a new War Dog Memorial Dog Park, honoring Military Service Dogs. These components have been on our wish list from day one, so this feels like great progress for us! The ABMC has also agreed to our request for renaming the trails in a more Veteran themed way and they have requested a youth Bike Skills area be incorporated near the play area, which was also approved. We look forward to our next meeting where we will finalize the design plan.