River Bluff Wildlife Area

Wife, brother (visiting from LA), and I got a tour of the western anchor of the proposed Urban Wilderness and Historic Corridor .  This parcel is now referred to as the River Bluff Wildlife Area, but most of us know it as the Rose Property. 

There has been a bunch of  new high-density development on top of this hill.  High density is good, usually, but this area is too steep for high density, too poorly served by roads, and too far from services.  It becomes high-density sprawl that requires car transportation, but the only access is by narrow, windy roads on the edge of a precipice, and through traffic bottlenecks.  If this kind of development were to occur on the Rose Property, it would wreck the existing view of the wooded river bluffs currently visible from UT and Downtown.

The good news is that Legacy Legacy Parks just closed on the property, and this area will become part of the Knoxville parks system.  The Legacy Parks Foundation welcomes contributions to support this and other purchases in the corridor.

We started up by the water tower that now dominates the skyline.   It is a symbol of bad planning, worse communication, and general ugliness.

There are woods, bluffs, and two ponds in the hinterland.

There is a little ice on the pond and at the outlet of the pond.

At the base of the river bluff  there is an old road. It’s perfect for a trail, with potential for connection to a riverside greenway system (should the rest of the system ever happen).

And from the top of the bluff, there are views down stream (waste water treatment plant and university on right, UT hospital on left)…

And up river, toward down town…


In spite of the ugliness in context, the water tower looked kind of cool on the way out…

And here are a couple more out-of-context pictures:

Small glade cress, House Mountain, December 28

Neyland Stadium struggles to rise from the fog


, , , ,

  1. #1 by Steve on December 31, 2009 - 11:22 pm

    Is that really a gladecress? If the basal rosette in the picture goes with the flower, I’d guess that it is tiny bluets (Houstonia pusilla).

    • #2 by valvejob on January 1, 2010 - 2:02 pm

      My book (Carman, Wildflowers of Tennessee) says that the small bluet (Houstonia pusilla, AKA H. patens, AKA Hedyotis crassifolia) flower is blue or purple with a reddish eye. The photo doesn’t show clearly, but the leaf shape and form of the basal rosette is not quite right, though the petal shape and flower form (but not color) is pretty close. I wish I had taken a photo that shows leaf shape more clearly.

      On the other hand, I am no longer at all certain that my initial ID (Leavenworthia uniflora) was correct. The flower color is right and the time of bloom (Feb-May) is at least believable for a flower found in December, but the petal shape is wrong and I am not sure about leaves and rosette.

      I did not have the ID book with me in the field, since I did not expect to see any flowers at this time of year. Another excursion may be in order.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: