Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness

Client: City of Knoxville

Equinox led the development of a four-year plan for an alliance of partners working to connect a fabric of over 1,000 forested acres, parks, open space,  and 50-miles of multi-purpose trails in the urban heart of Knoxville.  The concept of the Urban Wilderness is quickly evolving into the “Urban Wilderness Alliance”, with the core of the partner leadership being the City of Knoxville, Knox County, Legacy Parks Foundation, Appalachian Mountain Bike Club, and Ijam’s Nature Center.

The City led the project because of the need for stronger aligned and common consensus in planning, fundraising, capacity building, communications, and marketing for the Urban Wilderness.  The Implementation Plan focuses on the following components:

•       A vision and set of goals to guide the future of the Urban Wilderness.

•       A detailed four-year plan and a more abbreviated long-term plan, integrating a multitude of planning documents, stakeholder interviews, and an intensive vetting process. This detailed four-year plan included specific actions placed in an implementation timeline.

•       A two-day stakeholder workshop, with over 60 collaborating partners who provided input on the future of the Urban Wilderness.

•       Recommendations based on partner input and precedents of similar alliances from other parts of the country.

•       A design guide for wayfinding and gateway signage for the Urban Wilderness.

•       Funding opportunities and deadlines.

The resulting plan is a road map for seeking City capital funds, fundraising, and for partners to formalize and effectively collaborate as the Urban Wilderness Alliance.


Environmental Planning  |  Greenway  |  Land Planning  |  Landscape Architecture  |  Open Space & Park Planning  |  Outdoor Recreation Planning  |  Partnership and Capacity Building  |  Regional Planning  |  Sustainable Site Planning