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

Paddlers on Mead's Lake

Paddlers on Mead's Lake
Outdoor Adventure Campers! on Mead's Lake. Photo S.L.B.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Flow with outdoor yoga at Ijams on Wednesdays

Yoga instructor Leslie Wagner.  Photo by Kristy Keel. 
Join us for a Wednesday Evening Yoga Flow class for everyone—beginners and yoga converts alike. 

Instructor Leslie Wagner provides a safe, fun class that will have you breathing well and feeling connected and peaceful. 

This class will be held outdoors on the Visitor Center lawn. In the event of rain, class will be relocated to the Homesite pavilion. 

The cost is $12 per class and will be blocked into series of 6 classes or pay as you go for $15 per class as your schedule permits. 

No registration required. If you have any questions about the class, please contact Leslie Wagner at (504) 621-9413. 

Session 1 dates: Sept. 3, 10, 17, 24, Oct. 1, 8 at 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

29th Symphony in the Park closes summer season

Photo Stephen Lyn Bales

In late summer, as the sun sits a little lower in the sky and the jewelweed blooms around the ponds and streams, Mother Nature ramps up her symphony. The drone of dragonflies and bumblebees fills the meadows. The first of the migrating birds add their voices to the chorus that greets the early-morning sun, and the evening buzz of the cicadas reaches a crescendo that rivals the work of Beethoven himself.

As the summer draws to a close here at Ijams, we like to make a little music of our own.

Maestro Richman
Last Sunday, September 7, Ijams celebrated the 29th year of Symphony in the Park (SIP). This annual fundraising event brings people together for an elegant evening of music in an idyllic outdoor setting. Cocktails and a silent auction give way to dinner and an enchanting performance by the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. This was Maestro Lucas Richman twelfth and last SIP. All have been memorable. 

Richard Pratt
In addition to music, Symphony in the Park also highlights a local visual artist each year.

This year’s event highlighted the work of Knoxville painter Richard Pratt. Natural themes and abstract color usage are embodied in Pratt’s work, and the natural setting of Ijams provides the perfect backdrop for his art. Several of his pieces will be on display throughout the evening.

Symphony in the Park raises money to support Ijams’ mission of providing engaging outdoor experiences for people of all ages and walks of life. 

Special thanks to our sponsors

DOGWOOD ($10,000)
Stephen and April Harris

Jupiter Entertainment 
Pilot Flying J 

LENTEN ROSE ($2,500)
Alcoa, Inc.
City of Knoxville
Moxley Carmichael 
Pinnacle Financial Partners
Sherri Lee
The Trust Company of Knoxville

IRIS ($1,910)
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & 
Berkowitz, P.C.
Joe and Deb DiPietro
Bryant Research
Home Federal Bank
Southern Shores Development, LLC
Visit Knoxville 
Vulcan Materials Company

Thanks also to
Pete and Linda Claussen
Deborah Franklin 
John and Nancy Stewart 
Paul and Pat Green

- Story by Jenny Newby

Photo by Rex McDaniel

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Vestal finishes Outdoor Adventure Camp with a splash: Week 8

The best way to avoid the afternoon heat? Get out of it.

We ended Outdoor Adventure Camp 2014 with a group of eager kids from the Vestal Boys & Girls Club. 

We caught up with the group dip-netting for tadpoles and newts, practicing how to set up a tent quickly, a simulated backcountry rescue and a team canoe relay race. Don't worry the victims were camp counselors only pretending to be lost and hurt. 

Outdoor Adventure Camp is a confidence builder. It's a new program for Ijams and it's made possible with the help of these generous partners:

          • West Knoxville Sertoma Club 
          • Boys and Girls Club of the Tennessee Valley 
          • Grassroots Outdoor Alliance 
          • Horny Toad Activewear 
          • Pelican International 
          • River Sports Outfitters

Additional food and funding provided by:

          • South Knoxville Alliance  

Ijams offers camp scholarships for kids in traditionally under-served communities. After the first four weeks we've seen kids from Walter P. Taylor, Western Heights, Middlebrook, North Ridge Crossing, Halls/Powell and Haslam, Norwood, Montgomery Village and Vestal Boys and Girls Club. 

Here's some highlights of week eight:

- Jennifer Roder. Story and photos by Stephen Lyn Bales. 

Finding a fossil is worth 100 points in the team scavenger hunt! (Photo suggested by Kasey Sumeriski)

Dip-netting for tadpoles and newts.

Setting up a proper tent class with Todd

Practicing backcountry rescue with Chris.

Kasey and Abe organizes team canoe race

The two judges are in place.

Last good-byes of summer

And the last bus of summer leaves.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Kayak-ety Yack scheduled for this Saturday morning

The best way to experience Mead's Quarry Lake, to see the 180-foot cliff up close, to learn the history of the quarry, to see turtles swimming through the water, is by kayak.

Join naturalist Stephen Lyn for a Kayak-ety Yack outing on the lake early this Saturday morning, September 13. We meet at 8 a.m. and paddle about the water for about two hours. Ijams supplies the kayaks, paddles and life-jackets, you supply the wonder.

Fee: Ijams members $15, non-members $20. Space is limited. To register call (865) 5774717, ext. 119.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Nature Day Campers form Justice League to protect world


It’s a bird, it’s a plane!

No, it’s the Justice League of Ijams! Today we look back at this “Super” fun week of Nature Day Camp held a few weeks ago for campers ages 5-7 (Entering Grades K-2). 

Jen Roder, Dean of Justice League Academy, said "this group was eager, loaded with S.H.P.—super hero potential." 

The five-day camp looked at the superheroes in the animal world, as well as brushed up each camper's own innate super powers, allowing them to look inside and find their own superhero. 

It was perfect for little ones that were “faster than a speeding bullet,” or “able to leap tall buildings with a single bound!”

• Introducing the Ijams Justice League 2014 •

• Superhero job skills: Removing dangerous green krytonite from Jo's Grove • 

• Rescuing an army squad miniaturized and frozen by Mr. Freeze • 

• Once rescued and returned to normal size,
Squad Leader Todd thanked the Justice League saying,
"You don't know what it feels like to be so small and frozen." • 

• Leaping over buildings in a single bound • 

• Punching through a wall of blocks •