Riverbend Park Public Meetings

The Kingsport Parks and Recreation Department will be holding two public meetings this month to provide an overview of the next phase of development for Riverbend Park.

Meetings will be held on the following dates:

–          March 14 at 1:30 p.m. in the Renaissance Center Atrium

–          March 27 at 5 p.m. in the Civic Auditorium Conference Room

The meetings are open to the public and the public is encouraged to attend to learn about and offer feedback on the proposed additions to Riverbend Park. This second phase of development for Riverbend Park is being done through a State of Tennessee Local Parks and Recreation Fund grant program.

Riverbend Park is located behind the Walmart Supercenter on Fort Henry Drive and will ultimately stretch from Riverbend Drive to Wesley Road. The first phase of the project includes a half-mile, granite walking trail along the river, a fishing pier and emergency access to the park.

Archery Classes

Beginner Archery

Eligibility: Ages 7 and up.

Skills Offered:

  • Archery safety
  • History of Archery
  • Understanding of Commands
  • Proper preparation, shooting, and arrow retrieval techniques
  • Archery equipment uses and upkeep

Fees: TBA

Program Timeline: Fall and spring sessions offered – check our online registration portal for current availability.

Class Location: Lynn View Community Center (257 Walker Street)

Class Registration: Register online or in person at V.O. Dobbins, Sr. Complex (301 Louis Street)

For More Information, Contact (423) 343-9723


Advanced Archery

Eligibility: Must have completed the Beginner Archery class.

Fees: TBA

Program Timeline: 1 Spring Session

Class Location: Lynn View Community Center (257 Walker Street)

Class Registration: V.O. Dobbins, Sr. Complex (301 Louis Street)

For More Information, Contact (423) 343-9723

Carousel Park Close for Maintenance

Carousel park will be closed for maintenance Tuesday, May 18 – Thursday, May 20.

We appreciate your patience and understanding!

New Additions to the Kingsport Greenbelt!

With warmer weather approaching and Spring right around the corner, it is a great opportunity to get out and explore some new additions to the Kingsport Greenbelt!

  • Three new birding signs have been installed along the Wetlands Boardwalk at the Indian Trail Drive Trailhead.
  • Two new bike pump and repair stations have been installed at the Creekview Drive Trailhead and Stonebrook Place Trailhead.


Allandale Mansion offerering drive-thru Christmas event


Allandale MansionFor many local families, taking a tour of the elaborate Christmas decorations at the historic Allandale Mansion is a holiday tradition. In a normal year, the mansion is filled with festive cheer in the form of 40 elegantly decorated Christmas trees, as well as hundreds of lights, garland, and other ornaments.

However, amidst concerns regarding social distancing and limiting group sizes within the mansion, the Friends of Allandale has been forced to reimagine Allandale’s Christmas festivities for the 2020 season.

“We do not want to be a hotspot for the spread of this stuff,” said curator Rod Gemayel. Instead of inviting guests inside the home, the mansion staff plans to move the decorations outdoors.

The exterior of the mansion will be richly decorated, including the front, back, and many of the small exterior features and monuments. Guests are invited to enjoy the splendor of Allandale at Christmas from the safety of their vehicles in drive-thru style. Lights around the house will come on at sunset and remain on until about 11 p.m.

The public is invited to visit anytime until the end of the year, although more decorations will be put up throughout December. Unlike the indoor tours, there will be no charge for the drive-thru visits.

“We said, ‘What could we do for the community, for people to enjoy?’ and Friends of Allandale stepped up to the plate and said, ‘Instead of decorating the inside, let’s decorate the outside,’ ” said Gemayel. “We’re cutting new ground here. It’s something that we’re not familiar with. We’ve learned a lot.” After the 2020 season, Allandale staff plans to continue decorating the exterior of the mansion for families who wish to drive through rather than — or in addition to — enjoy the regular indoor tours.

In a typical year, Allandale’s Christmas decorations are sponsored by a variety of businesses and individuals throughout the community in exchange for a plaque on one of the many trees located throughout the mansion. Though this was not a possibility this year, Allandale staff and the Friends of Allandale organization would like to thank these sponsors in this especially difficult season, without whom they would not be able to share these beautiful outdoor decorations with the community: Armstrong

Miracle Field Wins Project of The Year

Kingsport, Tennessee – December 2, 2020

The Kingsport Miracle Field was recently honored with the Mark Miller Tennessee Public Works Project of the Year Award.

The Miracle Field Complex features a rubberized baseball field, along with an adaptive playground, pavilion, and concessions. It was built to accommodate special needs children, wounded warriors, and others. The support for the project was overwhelming and shows how generous the Kingsport community is. Making baseball accessible to all is a great way to bring people together, from those playing on the field to the parents and volunteers supporting them. This field was a highly successful project that will benefit the community for years to come.

“In many ways, this project turned out to be such a breath of fresh air,” said Deputy City Manager Ryan McReynolds. “I’m very proud of how the design and construction of this field, which is different than a standard baseball field, came together through various city organizations, such as Barge Design Solutions and Visit Kingsport.”

The Project of the Year award, given by the Tennessee Chapter of the American Public Works Association (TCAPWA), recognizes a project within the state of Tennessee that emphasizes outstanding planning, construction, and management. Kingsport’s success with the Miracle Field Complex is an excellent example of how a public works department can operate as a team to produce high-end results.

For more information about Kingsport’s parks and playgrounds, please visit kingsportparksandrecreation.org.

Pickleball blossoming in Tri-Cities

By Tanner Cook
Johnson City Press

Pickleball is a rapidly growing sport in the United States, taking elements from badminton, tennis and table tennis to create a sport that is both fun and tiring.

“I’m all about the growth of the sport,” said pickleball ambassador for the Tri-Cities Anna Walters. “It’s a great sport for any age. It’s easy to pick up and it’s like tennis where it gets more complicated with more strategy.”

When looking at a pickleball court, it looks quite similar to that of tennis, but without the alleys.

The group at V.O. Dobbins meets on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday beginning at 6 p.m. on the outdoor tennis courts.

It does, however, closely resemble a doubles badminton court. The inner courts that extend seven feet out from the net are non-volley zones, also known as the “kitchen” and the outer courts are divided by service lines.

“We are hoping it grows more,” Walters said. “We have a solid core of about 30 people.”

The net hangs 36 inches from the ground on the poles and 34 inches at the center.

Joel Pritchard — who would later serve in Congress and as lieutenant governor in Washington — invented the game in 1965 when he came home from golfing to find his family bored.

They set up a badminton court, but could not find a shuttlecock. Pritchard had the idea to lower the net and played with a perforated plastic ball.

He also fabricated some wooden paddles out of spare plywood he found in his woodshed.

How did the name come to be pickleball, though?

According to Pritchard, “The name of the game became Pickle Ball, after I said it reminded me of the Pickle Boat in crew where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of other boats.”

There is also the theory that the Pritchard family dog, Pickles, used to chase the ball around the court and that the name stuck.

Since then, the sport has taken off.

The United States Pickleball Association (USAPA) was established in 2005 and there are many tournaments around the country.

You can find all of the tournaments, rules, and how to play the game on the website.

Locally, Kingsport has recently lined the new outdoor pickleball courts at the V.O. Dobbins Center and has taken a big step in progressing the game in this area.

“Lines mean that the city of Kingsport sees pickleball as a viable sport in the long term,” Walters said. “These lines are the basis for growth and give the pickleball community the opportunity to enhance the recreational landscape of the Kingsport community.”

There will also be a beginners class July 28 at 6:30 p.m. at the V.O. Dobbins tennis courts for those interested in learning how to play.

As a testament to how much the game of pickleball is growing in the area, the Crown Colony neighborhood — a private community off 11W in Kings- port — recently refurbished the tennis courts. With much interest among some of the residents, one of the tennis courts was converted into a pickleball court.

“I’m grateful for past efforts, I’m confident in the present and I’m excited about the future,” Walters concluded.

You can reach Walters via email at waltersanna4@gmail.com.

Coming soon the the Kingsport Greenbelt

2021 begins with some exciting new destinations and signage along the Kingsport Greenbelt.

Stay tuned for updates that include parking lots, birding signs, and much more.

Visit the Kingsport Greenbelt at http://www.kingsportgreenbelt.com

StoryWalk® now in Glen Bruce Park

The Kingsport Public Library has installed a StoryWalk® in Glen Bruce Park to encourage reading and outdoor activity for families in an interactive format.

StoryWalk, a system created for outdoor spaces with numbered stations that contain laminated pages from children’s books, can be found in all 50 states and internationally.

“A StoryWalk is a wonderful way for the community to combine literacy and movement as residents and visitors enjoy downtown Kingsport,” said Chris Markley, manager of the Kingsport Public Library. “Glen Bruce Park is an ideal location adjacent to the library for families to stroll and read during a visit. Families can enjoy a book and outdoor time even when the library is closed. Thank you to Kitty Frazier, manager of Kingsport Parks and Recreation, and the Advisory Committee for approving this new installation.”

The first book to be featured is “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt,” as retold by author Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury.

“This book celebrated its 30th anniversary of publication last year,” said Casey Applebaum, youth services senior librarian. “It is a timeless story with an interactive storyline that will get children of all ages out and moving, which made it a perfect choice for the first StoryWalk.”

The library plans to change the stories quarterly, and new books will be announced on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/kingsportlibrary/.

Participants are encouraged to share photos via social media and tag the Kingsport Public Library on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Participants also are encouraged to visit the library to check out books to share together in the park or at home.

Glen Bruce Park is located at 414 Broad St., in downtown Kingsport, adjacent to the library. Free parking is available.

Anne Ferguson created the StoryWalk concept, and it was launched in 2007 at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier, Vermont.

Youth Soccer (Fall)

All children who qualify for the offered age groups are eligible to participate.

Leagues offered:
U9/U10 Boys
U9/U10 Girls

There are two divisions offered by Kingsport Rec Soccer:

Rec Soccer – This division is open to players ages 3 to 15 who are primarily devoted to the enjoyment and love of the game without a strong emphasis on competition. Players meet twice a week—on a weekday evening and on Saturdays.

Tribe Soccer – This division is open to players ages 8 to 15 who are interested in competitive soccer and committed to attending additional training and games, as well as developing skills on their own. Players meet 3 to 4 times a week.

Fees: Contact recdir@kingsportsoccer.org

League Timeline:
Registration Period – June 19 – August 13 at 11:59 PM
Leagues Begin – September 4
Leagues End – November 4

Eastman Park at Horse Creek

Program Administrator:
Tri-Cities United / Kingsport Rec Soccer

For more information, please contact Shane Davis at (423) 408-8144 or recdir@kingsportsoccer.org

More information can be found on the Tri Cities United / Kingsport Rec Soccer website. 

Youth Basketball (Winter)

How to Register: 

Click here to access the Kingsport Parks and Recreation Catalog.
Click “Youth Leagues”
Click “KPR Athletics Youth Basketball” and select the desired league.
If this is your first time registering on our CivicRec system, you will need to create an account.

You may also register in person at V.O. Dobbins, Sr. Complex (301 Louis Street).

All children who are residents of the City of Kingsport, whose parents own property in the City of Kingsport, or children who attend Kingsport City Schools are eligible to participate.

Leagues offered:
Bantam– (Ages 5-6 Coed)
Pee Wee Boys – (Ages 7-8)
Pee Wee Girls – (Ages 7-9)
Rookie Boys – (Ages 9-10)
Junior Boys – (Ages 11-12)
Junior Girls – (Ages 10-12)
Intermediate Boys – (Ages 13-14)
Senior Boys – (Ages 15-17)

Fees: $30 per participant ($15 late fee)

League Timeline:
Registration Period (5-6 BTM, 7-8 PWB, 7-9 PWG, 9-10 RB): mid-September to early October
Leagues Begin: Late October
Leagues End: Mid December

Registration Period (10-12 JG, 11-12 JB, 13-14 IB, 15-17 SB): late October to mid-November
Leagues Begin: Early December
Leagues End: Late February

During the league registration period, volunteers, 18 years or older, will need to inform the Athletics’ Office of their interest. Volunteers will be selected by the Athletics Office before the season begins and upon selection, will be sent a link via email, to complete a background check.

For More Information:
Call (423) 229-9460 or (423) 343-9723