Once only a dream, Aspire, the 350-acre park with passive and recreational opportunities coming to Clinton, Tennessee, has finally started to become a reality, made visible by the bustling activity on the site.
While the official groundbreaking has yet to take place, the Aspire Foundation obtained a grading permit in mid-August, one of 18 total permits so far, and rough grading began to raise the Lower and Upper Meadows on September 11. A groundbreaking ceremony celebrating the start of construction on one of the park’s buildings is expected to take place in the next several months.
In total, nine federal and state entities have a direct impact to the park’s development. Aspire Foundation executives and agency officials continue to work conjointly to ensure compliance and safety for the park’s visitors.
“The City of Clinton has been helpful and cooperative in assisting us in getting to this point; and the city’s cooperation, advocacy and continued support will be essential to Aspire’s completion”, said Mike Wallace, Executive Director of the Hollingsworth Foundation.
The Aspire Foundation has received preliminary approval from the Planning Commission for their Lower Meadow design, which will include The Groves, the Xchange and a dog park, designed for both large and small dogs. Due to the deteriorating health of the trees that were already on-site in the Lower Meadow, The Grove will feature a wide variety of 450 new blossoming trees planted to create a staggered canopy, providing a peaceful ambiance for picnicking and interaction. The Xchange, an open-air community event space, will have a sprawling 225-foot roofline of metal and wood components with nearby parking
and restrooms. The Xchange is expected to host an area of events such as farmers’ markets, car shows, food trucks, birthday parties, reunions, and more.
A memorial honoring first responders and military as well as over two miles of passive trails will also be in the Lower Meadow.
The Upper Meadow, the proposed site for The Landing and an event lawn, are presently in the design and permitting stages, and a preliminary design will be presented to the Planning Commission on Monday, October 14. Currently, a foot of topsoil is being added to a portion of the Upper Meadow to cultivate roughly six acres of wildflower meadow mix, which will attract new bird species and butterflies
to the area.
The Aspire Foundation and TVA are in the process of coordinating the completion of the TVA 26A Permit
for The Launch, allowing access to the Clinch River; and are working toward a cooperative agreement for trailing aspects on the Lost Ridge Mountain property.
Joe Hollingsworth, President of the Hollingsworth Foundation explained that “from an individual economic opportunity as well as community lifestyle, we believe Aspire will dramatically assist with the Anderson County Chamber of Commerce’s Clinton vision in making Clinton a cool place to live.”