Sesquicentennial Commission breaks ground on Natural Adventure Area

Published 8:48 am Tuesday, October 8, 2019

JOHNSON CITY — The Johnson City Sesquicentennial Commission and Fundraising Committee, joined by the Board of Commissioners, on Thursday broke ground on the Natural Adventure Area playground, the second phase of the sesquicentennial legacy project.

Located in King Commons, the sesquicentennial legacy project was selected by the Sesquicentennial Commission to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the City’s founding. The Natural Adventure Area will be a multigenerational, all-inclusive site where families will gather in downtown Johnson City.

“This project — which will impact the local economy as the downtown landscape continues to positively transform — would not have been possible without the generosity of our donors,” said Donna Noland, chairwoman of the Sesquicentennial Commission’s Fundraising Committee. “We are thrilled and honored that they chose to leave this legacy for future generations.”

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The individual elements of the Natural Adventure Area include an outdoor classroom and music play structures as well as more traditional play areas that allow children to run, jump and climb. The space is a nod to the natural beauty of our area, with most elements made of natural materials.

The playground will be located across the street from the first phase of the project, a history circle listing key dates and information about Johnson City’s history and a “tri-star” area that pays tribute to the Tennessee state flag. A commissioned art piece selected by Johnson City’s Public Art Committee will stand in the center of the history circle. The sesquicentennial time capsule will also be buried beneath the plaza.

“The health and well-being of our youth is near and dear to my heart, and providing a space for families to be physically active in the heart of downtown is a need for our community,” said Johnson City Mayor Jenny Brock. “I can’t wait to see children, including my own grandchildren, enjoying this Natural Adventure Area.”

For more information about the sesquicentennial legacy project or the yearlong sesquicentennial celebration, visit or follow @jctn150 (Johnson City 150 — Sesquicentennial Celebration) on Facebook.