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Oct. 25, 2021

King Commons honored by Tennessee Recreation and Parks Association

The Tennessee Recreation and Parks Association (TRPA) awarded the City of Johnson City with a Four Star Award at the association’s 2021 annual conference held in Clarksville, Tenn., Oct. 18-20. The City was recognized in the category of Renovated Facility for King Commons.

King Commons is the City’s second stormwater system project designed to alleviate downtown flooding while serving as useful greenspaces that draw people to the central business district. The project included the daylighting of 800 feet of an encapsulated culvert at the convergence of King and Brush creeks. The 3-acre site has since been developed into greenspace featuring public art, an amphitheater, a Natural Adventure Area playground, Johnson City’s landmark sign, and a monument featuring significant events in the City’s first 150 years.

“King Commons has become a focal point of the community,” said Parks and Recreation Director James Ellis. “This area was underutilized and inhibited by flooding. The conversion of the property to its current design and use has helped to transform downtown and created a beautiful, multiuse outdoor space that draws people to the area.” 

King Commons offers a park setting in the heart of downtown, where a growing number of people prefer to spend leisure time and host events. It complements the overall park system by providing a play area specifically targeted for older children. The natural elements are unique and speak to the outdoor recreation offerings of the area. With the Johnson City Public Library overlooking the park, there is a great deal of collaboration on educational programming. The library sponsors a storybook walk throughout the playground and utilizes King Commons for large events and programs. It is a game-changing facility that is not only a success in its own right but has spurred success for numerous businesses in the vicinity.