Archive for April, 2018

2018 Ijams River Rescue Marks Second Highest Trash Yield Since 1995, Breaks Record for Total Debris Collected from One Site

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

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The 625 volunteers of the 29th annual Ijams River Rescue presented by TVA and Dow Chemical Company collected 39.7 tons of trash from East Tennessee’s waterways on April 7, making it the second highest amount collected since Ijams started tracking data from the cleanups.

The last time the numbers were this high was during the first three years Ijams tracked the event’s results. 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.

“After almost 30 years of holding this event, people seem to be more aware of the harm litter does to the environment,” said Ijams Executive Director Amber Parker. “We’re seeing a reduction in the amounts collected at sites we’ve been targeting for years, and it demonstrates that our community is making progress. However, we’re also finding dump sites that have been there for years at some of the new locations we added this year.”

In addition to the Loves Creek area, one of those old dump sites is on a former family homesite that Ijams recently purchased and plans to name the Grayson Subaru Preserve after the local car retailer that is donating funds to cover the cost of the site as well as additional funds to develop it into a protected nature play area for children.

Grayson Subaru, which also sponsored the Ijams River Rescue, had a team of volunteers who removed about 1,332 pounds of trash, most of it glass, and 112 tires—almost half of the 240 total collected—from the property on April 7.

Presenting Sponsors TVA and Dow also had teams that day. TVA’s 29 volunteers collected about 3,550 pounds of trash and 12 tires from Watts Bar. Dow had about 20 volunteers at its site, a location on Williams Creek in East Knoxville that had not been addressed for several years. The Dow team removed 1,100 pounds of trash and 27 tires from the location and the roadways around it.

In addition to the typical trash one expects to find during a cleanup such as aluminum cans, fast food wrappers, tires, Styrofoam and plastic bottles, this year’s cleanup also retrieved unusual items such as brass knuckles, two full gallons of milk, a toilet, a bathing suit, Elsa (Frozen) dolls, a car fuel tank, a child’s 2009 diary, a child’s wading pool, a television, a “rubber” duck from a River Race scull boat, a pair of shoes, a cell phone, a baker’s rack, two purses, several shopping carts, a toy skeleton, a Tonka toy truck, a diaper bag, a vacuum, a lamp, a car battery, two mattresses, a duck decoy, a football, an orange and white construction barrel and almost 10 overgrown home foundations with full plumbing and electrical.

Special thanks to everyone who participated in the cleanup, and to the event’s sponsors: Dow Chemical Company, TVA, 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.

Ijams Nature Center is a nonprofit, 315-acre educational nature center for all ages, abilities, and walks of life. Located just three miles from downtown Knoxville, Ijams features 12 miles of hiking and mixed-use trails, a public access river dock, swimming, boating, biking, and more. The Ijams grounds and trails are open every day from 8:00 a.m. until dusk. The Visitor Center is open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.Ijams.org or call 865-577-4717.

 


Ijams Hosts Nature Preschool Open Houses April 25 and 30

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

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Ijams Nature Center will host open houses for families interested in learning more about the new Nature Preschool at Ijams Wednesday, April 25, at 6 p.m. and Monday, April 30, at 6 p.m. at the Ijams Miller Education Building, 2915 Island Home Ave.

Registration is open for the Nature Preschool, which will focus on child-led, age-appropriate, experiential learning for children ages 3-5. The fall semester starts August 20 and features four sessions:

– Monday/Wednesday 9 a.m.-noon
– Monday/Wednesday 1-4 p.m.
– Tuesday/Thursday 9 a.m.-noon
– Tuesday/Thursday 1-4 p.m.

The Nature Preschool at Ijams will blend traditional education standards with the opportunity to learn about and explore the natural world. Children will spend the majority of their time outdoors, where they will learn through play, discovery and inquiry.

“Ijams’ Nature Preschool will align with Waldorf Education principles, which focus on developing the whole child,” Education Director Jennifer Roder said. “Activities will focus on sensory experiences with live animals, natural objects, artifacts and art materials.”

Roder said the Nature Preschool’s curricula will encourage curiosity, cognitive growth and motor skills through unstructured, child-led outdoor adventures. Children will build problem-solving, math and engineering skills through hands-on experiences, and cultivate social skills through group play and opportunities for cooperative learning.

Ijams Nature Center also is offering eight consecutive weeks of Nature Preschool Day Camp in morning and afternoon sessions starting June 4. The morning session runs from 9 a.m. to noon; the afternoon session runs from 1-4 p.m. To register for Nature Preschool Day Camp, call 865-577-4717, ext. 114.

For more information about the Nature Preschool at Ijams Nature Center and the upcoming open houses, visit www.ijams.org/naturepreschool.

Ijams Nature Center is a nonprofit, 315-acre educational nature center for all ages, abilities and walks of life. Located just three miles from downtown Knoxville, Ijams features 12 miles of hiking and mixed-use trails, a public access river dock, swimming, boating, biking and more. The Ijams grounds and trails are open every day from 8 a.m. until dusk. The Visitor Center is open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.Ijams.org or call 865-577-4717.


Celebrate ‘Subaru Share the Love’ Success with Grayson Subaru at Ijams April 16 at 10A

Friday, April 13th, 2018

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The public is invited to join Ijams Nature Center and Grayson Subaru to celebrate the success of the 2017 Subaru Share the Love event on Monday, April 16, at 10 a.m. at a check presentation at the Ijams Nature Center Visitor Center, 2915 Island Home Ave. in Knoxville.

Grayson Subaru officials will present Ijams Executive Director Amber Parker with the donation, which is the largest amount to-date presented by Grayson Subaru to a local hometown charity.

“We’d like to thank our loyal Grayson Subaru customers for making this donation possible,” said Randy Carter, Grayson Subaru sales manager. “Together with Subaru of America, we’re making a difference in our community.”

The Subaru Share the Love event ran Nov. 16, 2017, through Jan. 2, 2018. Subaru of America, Inc., donated $250 for each new Subaru purchased or leased to the customer’s choice of several charities. Grayson Subaru customers could choose to designate donations to Ijams or one of the following charities: ASPCA, Make-A-Wish, Meals on Wheels America and National Park Foundation.

Subaru of America, Inc. recently announced its donation of $21.8 million to national and local charities as part of the 2017 Share the Love event. In celebration of the campaign’s 10th anniversary and the automaker’s 50th anniversary in the United States, Subaru did not place a cap on total contributions to its Share the Love charitable partners for the second consecutive year.

This year’s donations, along with a match of more than $2 million from Subaru retailers, including Grayson Subaru, brings the grand total amount donated throughout the life of the program to more than $118 million, exceeding the $115 million total estimate predicted at the launch of the 2017 Subaru Share the Love event.

Ijams plans to use the donation to assist in cleaning up and restoring a 13.46-acre site recently purchased by the nonprofit. After restoration, the site will feature footpaths and natural play elements for children. The site also will be a place for citizen science and other Ijams education programs.

A team of Grayson Subaru volunteers was the first to tackle the site at the 29th annual Ijams River Rescue April 7, removing an estimated 1,332 pounds of trash and 112 tires.

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