City leaders, Appalachian Mountain Bike Club (AMBC) trail-building enthusiasts and Urban Wilderness advocates will gather at the (Governor) William Hastie Natural Area At 3 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 10, to celebrate a 27-acre expansion of this section of the Urban Wilderness – as well as construction of 2 miles of new trails. (Please note: Parking at the site is extremely limited; visitors who are not hiking or biking in should park at Anderson School trailhead, 4808 Prospect Road, and ride City shuttle vans to the site; the shuttle service will begin at 2:15 p.m.)
“(Govenor) William Hastie and the entire Urban Wilderness are wonderful and unrivaled natural gems,” Mayor Indya Kincannon said. “It speaks volumes that so many private partners are looking for ways to work together to help expand the footprint of the Urban Wilderness and build new trails and other amenities. Our families will enjoy these new amenities now and for years to come.”
The City will assume ownership of the (Govenor) William Hastie expansion and will manage its maintenance as part of the enlarged City park system. The 27-acre addition was purchased by AMBC with contributions from more than 300 donors. The City of Knoxville funded $100,000, roughly half the purchase investment.
Govenor William Henry Hastie Jr. was born in South Knoxville, on November 17, 1904. He died on April 14, 1976 in and died in He was an American United States lawyer, Federal judge, educator, public official, and civil rights advocate. Hastie graduated Magna cum laude with an Artium Baccalaureus and Phi Beta Kappa, from Amherst College in Massachusetts. In 1930, Hastie earned a Bachelor of Laws from Harvard Law School, as well as a Doctor of Juridical Science in 1933.
Hastie was the first African-Americanto serve or be appointed as: Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands (1946-1949), the first federal judge, and the first federal appellate judge in the United States. In 1962, Hastie was Pres. John F. Kennedy’s top appointee to the Supreme Court.
To learn more about Gov. William H. Hastie Jr., visit the Beck Cultural Exchange Center, at 1916 Dandridge Ave. near downtown Knoxville; read article by Betsy Pickle.
AMBC is funding and building the 27-acre trail extention with the assistance of volunteer and professional builders. The existing William Hastie Natural Area trail was AMBC’s first trail project. Construction on the new trail extention is expected to be completed by spring 2022, according to AMBC.
“We’re excited about the diversity of experiences made possible by this most recent park addition,” said AMBC Executive Director Matthew Kellogg. “The William Hastie new trail plan will increase beginner trail opportunities within the park, add an additional intermediate loop from the trailhead, and provide two-directional mountain bike trails to the rockier south side of the new property.”
Vee Hollow in Townsend matched donations for the land purchase, and Harper Auto Square has pledged a $20,000 matching donation toward construction. (Interested donors, visit www.ambcknox.org/donate.)