February 6, 2020Tennessee RiverLine 2020 Summit Convenes Partners, Exhibits Student Work, Plans for Future
The fourth annual Tennessee RiverLine Summit convened members of the Tennessee RiverLine Partnership, Pilot Community partners, UT officials as well as other key project stakeholders in January. The summit gave partners time to reflect on experiences in the past year and plan for the next phase of the Tennessee RiverLine vision. Additionally, student work was exhibited for summit attendees.
The Tennessee RiverLine is a multi-generational vision for a 652-mile paddle-hike-bike trail experience along the Tennessee River from its start in Knoxville to its end in Paducah, KY. The visionary project began in 2016 as a studio project at the UT School of Landscape Architecture. It quickly gained momentum and now students, faculty and partners have engaged hundreds of citizens in communities along the river to determine how this project can catalyze their economy, impact quality of life and help them access, protect and celebrate the Tennessee River.
The summit, held January 21-23, focused on highlights and next steps presented by the five 2019 Pilot Communities as well as organizational development and outreach planning for the Tennessee RiverLine Partnership. The partnership is a group of dedicated river advocate agencies from across the Tennessee River watershed who contribute to the development of the project’s vision.
Attendees included representatives from Tennessee Valley Authority, National Park Service, Tennessee Department of Health, Tennessee RiverLine 2019 Pilot Communities, Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful and students, faculty, staff and administrators from UT Knoxville.
As part of the summit, students from the School of Landscape Architecture hosted an exhibit of unique work produced in their fall 2019 Tennessee River Studio, led by Assoc. Prof. Brad Collett. The exhibition showcased student achievement and community engagement through conceptual designs for the pilot communities.
Matthew Scoggins, UT Knoxville Chief of Staff, welcomed the group during the exhibit, and Collett and Dean Scott Poole added remarks.
Summit guests also attended a private tour the TVA River Forecast Center, which monitors weather conditions and adjusts water levels for the Tennessee River system to keep its communities safe.
The Partnership recognized several individuals and groups for their commitment to developing the Tennessee RiverLine. TVA was awarded the organizational “Partner of the Year,” and Julie Harris of the River Discovery Center was given individual “Partner of the Year.”
Additional pilot communities will be added in spring 2020; applications will be available soon at tnriverline.org.