‘Crown jewel’s’ convenience expanding

Knox County’s “crown jewel of our parks system,” that’s how County Mayor Glenn Jacobs labeled The Cove at Concord Park during a recent County Parks & Recreation Department press release video.

With such status, The Cove is, and will be, undergoing improvements — namely more parking and easier parking lot access.

“The overall project is expected to take about six weeks, but will be broken into two phases – one now and the other next fall,” an e-mailed Parks & Rec press release stated. “Once complete, officials say the project could add 25 to 30 new parking spots.”

Moving The Cove’s entrance “roughly 300 feet” eastward last October “caused some issues with the flow through the parking lot,” Jacobs said in the video. “So we’re fixing that. … Anything we can do to make it easier for people when they’re out here.”

Knox County Engineering and Public Works Department began last week “to start repaving most of The Cove’s overflow gravel parking lot next to the small fishing pond,” the e-mailed release stated. “They’ll leave a portion closest to the pond and the picnic tables gravel and encourage folks to park on the paved area.”

Additionally, “We’re going to make a loop so you can actually come in and access the parking lot easier,” Knox County Commissioner John Schoonmaker (R-District 6, which includes Farragut and Concord) said in the video.

“… This park is so used, we need the additional parking,” he added.

“Then, this fall, when attendance at The Cove has slowed a bit, construction crews will come back and repave and stripe the main parking lot,” the e-mailed release stated.

“They will also install larger signage along South Northshore Drive, guiding visitors to the entrance.”

“We’re going to put in some One-Way signs and some directional information to show people how to get in the parking area,” said Joseph Mack, an official with Parks & Rec. “… It’s going to allow more people to come out and enjoy the park.”

This added parking also would serve youth baseball and softball families and fans whose fields line Northshore Drive across from The Cove.

“The main parking lot currently has about 70 spaces, and another 70 vehicles can fit into the overflow lot depending on how motorists park,” the e-mailed release stated.