Bearden Village has much to be proud of

By Mike Steely

Senior Writer

The Bearden neighborhood began as farmland in the 19th century and is named for the former Knoxville Mayor and state legislator Marcus De Lafayette Bearden. In 1962 it was annexed into Knoxville. Today Bearden is a mixed community of nice homes and many businesses.

Bearden Village Council President Tim Hill was asked to describe the community.

“The Bearden Village Council is made up of neighborhood representatives, business owners, and commercial property owners in the defined Bearden District. In general, we have defined the boundaries of the Bearden Village Council as the residential neighborhoods bounded by (but with some exceptions) the Interstate (North) to the Tennessee River (South) and Concord Road (East) to Northshore Drive (West),” he told The Focus.

All council meetings are open to anyone who lives, works, or owns property in the defined areas.

“The council’s purpose is to foster connections to promote a forward-thinking Bearden Village community. We concentrate heavily on the overall beautification and walkability of our community. We also promote the wonderful businesses in the Bearden area,” Hill continued.

Hill said the council has been a strong advocate for many projects in Bearden, including its successful effort of obtaining funds for the construction of three-plus miles of completed greenways and sidewalks.

Hill said the council’s “main street” effort on Sutherland Avenue included new sidewalk construction, pedestrian crossings, decorative fencing, and two additional greenway links from Sutherland Avenue to the Third Creek Greenway.

The council was instrumental in adding trees to beautify, provide shade and help clean the air. It also assisted with sheltered KAT transit stops and surrounding landscaping and installing granite historic markers documenting local history on greenways and sidewalks with grants from the city council and the Knox Greenway Coalition.

“One of our most recent, and notable, projects was the Everly Brother’s Park completed in 2019 in Bearden. This pocket park connects the Bearden Village Greenway at the corner of Kingston Pike and Forest Park Boulevard and honors the Everly Brothers who were Knoxville residents and attended West High School. The park serves as a convenient, shady, and educational respite for pedestrians and public transit patrons,” Hill said.

“Our city council representative is Andrew Roberto. Yes, we interact often with elected officials, and have many attend our meetings. Our relationship with city leaders is key to the success of our organization and its overall mission,” he said.

“The Bearden community is very fortunate to have many established shopping and retail businesses, as well as beautiful parks and attractions for not only our neighborhood to enjoy but for the overall community’s enjoyment (Lakeshore Park, Sequoyah Parks, Everly Brothers Park, the Greenway- just to name a few),” Hill added.

As of now, the Bearden Village Council holds bi-monthly meetings. Anyone interested in attending may reach out to the board’s secretary, Mary Katherine Wormsley, for more information.