- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Stephen Lyn Bales, editor

Monday, April 30, 2018

This year's Ijams River Rescue collected record amount of debris

Love seat found on Love's Creek

The 29th annual Ijams River Rescue was held Saturday, April 7. And as it turned out, it was a chilly, damp and even rainy day. But folks still came out to help.

Thank you to the 625 volunteers who met at 42 public sites along the river and tributary streams to make our East Tennessee home more beautiful. Folks came in boats, canoes and trucks. They brought wheelbarrows, rakes and a steely-eyed resolve to "do the right thing." And despite the weather, 39.7 tons of trash were collected from our local waterways.

The last time the numbers were this high was during the first three years Ijams tracked the event’s results. Then the amounts totaled 36 tons in 1995, 48 tons in 1996 and 35 tons in 1997.

What makes this year’s total even more interesting is that most of the trash—an estimated 30 tons—came from one location: An illegal dumping ground on Loves Creek. The City of Knoxville hauled away eight truckloads full of debris from that site alone, making it the dirtiest location in the annual cleanup’s history.

Even with this record-breaking site, the news is more good than bad: The remaining 41 sites together only yielded 9.7 tons of trash, which is on the low end of what has been collected since the mid ‘90s.

We tip our hats to presenting sponsors TVA and DOW Chemical Company.

And special thanks to everyone who participated in the cleanup, and to the event’s other sponsors: City of Knoxville Stormwater Management, First Tennessee Foundation, Knoxville Open Water Swimmers, Grayson Subaru, Keurig Green Mountain, Lowe’s, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, American Rivers, Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union, Thompson Engineering, Wood Realtors, AmeriCorps and Water Quality Forum.

All who volunteered got a free Ijams River Rescue t-shirt with a whooping crane on it. This endangered species is sometimes seen spending the night on Looney Island opposite Marine Park. 

One person can make a difference. Hundreds of people make a movement. Scruffy little city? Not any longer!

If one photo is worth a thousand words, here's over 37,000 more words.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Ijams welcomes WBIR Livw@5@4 new reporter Emily DeVoe

We will welcome WBIR Live@5@4's Emily Stroud and new reporter Emily DeVoe to Ijams on today's program. Yes, now we have two Emily's!

At the nature center, new Emily began to learn what to be afraid of and what not to be afraid of in the natural world around us...in this case, a harmless corn snake. (Can you guess, it was the first time Emily#2 had ever held a snake not made out of rubber.)

East Tennesseans—especially kids—have been enjoying the wonders and sanctity of nature at Ijams since the summer of 1923.

Be mindful of snakes and let them go on their merry way, but you do not need to be afraid of them. The snake that Emily #2 is holding was actually bought at a local pet store.


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Bloudering Hike explores little known side of Ijams

"Here we go a-bouldering, Among the leaves once green. Here we coma a-wandering, So far to be not seen." 

During this time of giving consider helping us protect the sanctuary we maintain for the animals and for our outdoor adventures like naturalist Christie Collins' hike through the quarry boulders yesterday.

H.P. and Alice Ijams declared their 20-acre homesite a sanctuary in the 1920s. Since then we have grown to over 300 acres for all to explore and get away from it all.

For information about making a donation, click: Ijams Facebook page. 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Ijams Homeschool Academy wraps up semester with yardbirds

It was a day of smiling faces yesterday as we wrapped up the fall semester of Ijams Homeschool Academy. This was the last of the four fall natural science classes and we will take a break of two months for the holidays.

Yesterday the learning activities were built around the topic of Yardbirds, or the birds we traditionally see around our homes visiting the bird feeders. The homeshoolers were divided into three age groups hosted by Christie, Ashlind and Stephen Lyn, each with age appropriate lessons. One group even made suet cakes for the birds—yum—while the overachieving older kids found a barred owl. Yardbird? Well anything is possible at Ijams.

Happy Holidays homeschool families!

For a look back at the other three fall 2017 classes click: