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7. Executive Director of Legacy Parks Foundation, Carol Evans

On this week’s episode of Sweet Tea & Strategy, we sat down with Carol Evans, Executive Director of Legacy Parks Foundation here in Knoxville. Evans’ mission with Legacy Parks is to enhance local parks and provide greenways, trails and any outdoor space needed for the community. An advocate for outdoor recreation, Evans explained to us just how important accessibility is for outdoor spaces.

“So now you can get in it and on it a little bit easier. And so, if you wanted to do a bike ride or a hike or a paddle on your way home from work on a Saturday morning, you can do that very easily. And I do think people appreciate that. They appreciate having something in their neighborhood or close to their neighborhood.”

Legacy Parks works to conserve our natural assets, create public places and connect communities. The Foundation has raised over $6 million for parks and trails, created over 50 miles of urban trails and added over 500 acres of parkland in Knox County. Evans recognizes that Legacy Parks is not only essential for community recreation, it is also an economic driver.

“Simple things like people will pay $9,000 more for a house near a park, your home is worth 25 percent more within a mile [of a park]. Geenways are one of the top three requested amenities when someone’s looking for a home,” said Evans. “Parks make a difference in where people choose to locate themselves now.”

Evans also has over 25 years of marketing experience, including leading marketing and communications efforts for the Scripps Networks, Knoxville Chamber and the UT Lady Vols. She holds a bachelor’s in communications from the University of Georgia and a Master of Science in Education from the University of Tennessee. Click below to hear the full episode.