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

Monday, December 28, 2015

Junior Girl Scouts @ Ijams hold Household Elf Workshop

Recently, Ijams held a Household Elf Badge workshop for local Junior Girl Scouts. Senior naturalist, Peg Beute served as the host.

Requirements for earning the Household Elf Badge: Step 1: Save Energy. Step 2: Save Water. Step 3: Use Natural Products. Step 4: Reuse or Recycle. Step 5: Clear the Air. In other words, Living Clean & Green.

Ijams will be hosting one workshop a month. For a listing of all local workshops go to: Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians.

- Stephen Lyn Bales

Monday, December 21, 2015

Ijams announces the holiday Visitor Center hours

Don't be sad! It will turn your nose red. 
The grounds and all the trails at Ijams will be  
open every day—dawn to dusk—this holiday season.

However, the Visitor Center will be closed part of the time.
Here are the holiday hours.

December 21 & 22: 9 AM until 5 PM

December 23 - 25: Closed

December 26 - 30: 9 AM until 5 PM

December 31 & January 1: Closed

January 2 & 3: 9 AM until 5 PM

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Nocturnal hikers prepare a "Night Tree" for woodlandians

Do you love the outdoors at night? What is awake when we go to bed? Ijams recently had a night hike to find out. 

It all started inside with the story, Night Tree. After that the guests prepared delicious treats for our woodland friends, the group then found the perfect “night tree” to hang the munchables for the animals to find.

All in great fun. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

TN Naturalists @ Ijams class completes 2015 season

Peg, Jen and Dr. Louise with TN Naturalists at last meeting

The TN Naturalists @ Ijams class of 2015 wrapped up the birding portion of the curriculum and celebrated the year-end session with a potluck lunch. 

Class meets an eastern screech-owl.
Photos by Amy Arwood.
The TN Naturalist Program @ Ijams is a total of 40 hours of naturalist classes covering a wide range of topics plus 40 hours of volunteer work. All classes are taught by Ijams' staffers: Peg, Jen, Dr. Louise and Stephen Lyn. 

Congratulations to Mac, Joe, Debi, Lucy, Rich, Chris, Donna, Leslie, John, Amy, Terri and Lori for completing all requirements and graduating.

The TN Naturalists @ Ijams classes run March through November. We are already taking registration for 2016. For information call Peg at (865) 577-4717, ext. 114. (She needs your name, phone number and email address.)

And for a look back at some of this year's sessions, click the following links:

Monday, December 14, 2015

Third Annual Holiday Marketplace at Ijams was crafty success

The Holiday Marketplace @ Ijams held last week was a handmade extravaganza. The holidays are the fortuitous time to support local. And we had your local! Over 40 artists, crafters and designers were in the Visitor Center selling their unique, one-of-a-kind, fashioned with care items that included beautiful jewelry, all natural body products, glass, pottery, apparel, bird houses, prints, books and so much more, all created within a few miles of Ijams. 
There was also local food, a beer garden and live music to add to all the festivities of the day. 

The staff of Ijams thanks all of the shoppers and vendors who attended. Our hats are also tipped to our own multi-talented Sarah Brobst who planned and organized the entire shebang. 

Here are just a few of the smiling vendors...

Friday, December 11, 2015

Junior Girl Scouts @ Ijams attend 'Scribe' workshop

Young scribe reads her news article about a lost bear.

Words are powerful tools. Great writing can make people feel encouraged, entertained or excited. It can create fantasy worlds or preserve events from history. And just writing down your feelings actually makes you feel better!

Ijams recently hosted a Scribe Badge workshop for local Junior Girl Scouts. The scribes got to write a pretend news story, a poem, a group short story and other fun activities to spark their creativity.

Ijams will be hosting one workshop a month. For a listing of all local workshops go to: Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians.

- Jennifer Roder and Stephen Lyn Bales

At the end, each Girl Scout was awarded a pin. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Ijams Owlologists learn all things owl, next open class in January

Albino barred owl named "Sugar."            Photo by Jason Dykes.

All things owlishto learn all things about those nocturnal wonders—that was our "raison d'être," or at least it was on this Sunday afternoon.  

At our first Owl-ology 101 class, future owlologists learned about all the species of owl that are found locally, dissected an owl pellet in search of rodent bones, met an eastern screech-owl and went on a hike in the woods searching for owls. (But wait there's more!)

Ijams volunteer naturalist Laura Twilley also prepared owl-themed treats including too-cute-to-eat chocolate owl cupcakes. 

But, the oohs and ahhs of the workshop came when local wildlife rehabilitator Lynne McCoy entered the classroom with the albino barred owl named "Sugar" under her care.

Word has gotten out about the innate adorableness of Sugar, so the class is already full for our December Owl-ology 101 workshop this Sunday but we are already taking registration for a session on Sunday, January 10. 

Please call (865) 577-4717, ext. 110 for more information.  

Paparazzi swarmed the "Sugar" on Lynne McCoy's arm  
Dissecting an owl pellet takes a gentle touch...
and sometimes teamwork. 
Ijams volunteer naturalist Laura Twilley with owlish chocolate perfection. 
Who? Who? Who? Could eat such preciousness? 
 Clutch of too-cute-to-eat cupcakes. Note they are "horned' owls.  
Rex McDaniel (front right) leads Ijams Owlologists in search of Strix varia.  

Monday, November 30, 2015

Pre-Thanksgiving crafters get creative with gourds

Just in time for the holiday season, local artisan Jackie Harbin hosted a workshop at Ijams on the art of transforming a gourd into a decorative and useful household item for the Thanksgiving table. Filled with biscuits, rolls or any other holiday treat, they make perfect centerpieces. Jackie's workshop was just one of the Creative Series of classes taught at Ijams. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving from the staff of Ijams

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Visitor Center (and gift shop) will be closed today but reopen Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so stop by and say "Hello." And remember, at Ijams Fridays are never black.

The grounds and all the trails are open every day, 365 days a year! We are a great place to come and walk off your big meal of thanks. 

- Stephen Lyn Bales

Monday, November 23, 2015

Ijams Hiking Club explores new Wood property

Members of the Ijams Hiking Club explored one of the new trails being built on the Wood Property. The new parcel will become part of the Knoxville Urban Wilderness South Loop. It is currently under the watchful eye of the Legacy Parks Foundation (LPF) and although it's not yet open to the public, we were given permission to go for a test drive (well, actually a test walk).

Here's a description from the LPF website: The Wood Property is a new "acquisition of 100 acres, generously donated by the Wood family to Legacy Parks, will provide a key connection from the Urban Wilderness South Loop Trail System to nearby neighborhoods and South Doyle Middle School and its Outdoor Classroom. The plans for the property call for a variety of trails and features including a one-mile introductory mountain bike trail for riders of all ages, a skills/play area, three-and-a-half miles of mixed-use trails with two overlooks and three creek-crossing structures."

The Ijams Hiking Club meets once a month to explore one of the Urban Wilderness Trails.

- Stephen Lyn Bales

Ijams volunteer Eric Johnson led the way
And away went.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

News Sentinel features Ijams Waggin' Walk story

Ijams Waggin' Walk
Saturday, November 21, 9 a.m.

(All Ages: Both human and dog) Grab your favorite four-legged friend and join Ijams’ own veterinarian, Dr. Louise Conrad, as she walks her own canine companions. She’ll review good doggy etiquette at the park and help owners understand the special safety concerns for dogs in nature. The fee for this program is $5 for non-members and FREE for members. Please call (865) 577-4717, ext. 110 to register.

Louise's last walk was featured in the Knoxville News Sentinel. Here's a link: Along the Waggin' Trail

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Ijams welcomed Scout Packs 630, 110 for guided hike

Last Sunday afternoon Ijams hosted Boy Scout Packs 630 (Cedar Bluff) and 110 (Sevierville) on a nature hike. The scouts were working on the requirements for the Bear CORE Adventure: "Fur, Feathers and Ferns." For this adventure, the scouts learn about wildlife and plants in their area, composting and endangered species. For more details click: ScouterMom.

Ijams volunteer Mac Post led the two groups to the Garden Demonstration Site, up and over Tower Trail and then along the River Trail back to the Visitor Center to complete the worksheet.

Ijams has been hosting such scouting activities—both girl and boy scouts—for over 90 years.

- Stephen Lyn Bales

Scouts work their way down the new Ben Nanny Stone Staircase of Awesomeness.