The Knox Parks Foundation was started by city councilwoman Betty Knox in 1966 when she established a trust fund to help improve the city. Following her death, during its first decade, the Knox Parks Foundation developed two areas of focus – funding community development and operating "greening" programs. In 1976, the organization split, with the Knox Foundation continuing the funding function and the Knox Parks Foundation focusing on horticulture. From 1978 to 2000, the Knox Parks Foundation was located in the caretaker's cottage in Hartford's Elizabeth Park. In 2000, Knox Parks moved its entire operation to Laurel Street when the city of Hartford undertook renovation of the cottage and its conversion to a park visitor center.
Knox Parks, now known as KNOX, coordinates a variety of greening programs, including the Green Crew AmeriCorps, Community Gardening Program, Blooms Planters, Trees for Hartford Neighborhoods, Green Team, and Hartford Cleans Up. KNOX is an ever-growing coalition of residents, volunteers, corporate partners, and community organizations that support Hartford's people and environment.