House Mountain was donated to the state of Tennessee for a state park, the only one in Knox County. But after years of inattention and no development, the land came back to county control to become a county park. Development of the park got caught up in politics, a state budget crisis, park closings, and the fight over a state income tax.
There appear to be provisions in place to prevent this happening with Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge, county land being transferred to the state for a park—to again be the only state park in Knox County. The transfer of the 390 acres includes the understanding that the state will develop a campground and other facilities and will truly make it a state park. The resolution to approve the transfer notes the state agrees to a "significant financial investment."
Gov. Bill Haslam is expected to make an announcement Friday on just how significant and about what the state plans to do to develop the new park.