Archive for April, 2019

Ijams River Rescue Removes Close to 37 Tons of Trash From Area Waterways

Wednesday, April 24th, 2019

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The 30th annual Ijams River Rescue presented by TVA with support from Lowe’s collected 36.8 tons of trash and tires from 33 sites in and along East Tennessee’s waterways on April 6, 2019, once again removing a significant amount from Loves Creek.

Volunteers and crews from the City of Knoxville removed 19 tons from one site along the creek at the end of Loves Creek Road behind Food City. The City, which also sponsored this year’s event, carted away two nine-ton truckloads of shingles, along with construction debris such as wood, siding and paint cans at this site.

“It’s disheartening to find a site where someone has dumped so much construction debris,” said Ijams Executive Director Amber Parker. “Ijams, other organizations, neighborhood associations and thousands of volunteers have been cleaning up this community for decades, yet there are still people who seem to care more about avoiding fees than protecting the environment. When will they realize that protecting the earth is important? They live here too.”

The event brought 680 volunteers out to clean up the community. They removed 1,646 bags of garbage and 449 tires from sites in Knox, Anderson, Blount and Loudon counties.

“It was an interesting cleanup,” Ijams Volunteer Coordinator Lauren Bird said. “When the waters receded from the flooding we had earlier in the year, we found a lot of debris many feet from the shore and in the trees.”

One of Ijams River Rescue’s sponsors, Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful (KTNRB), and a crew from Living Lands & Waters also participated in the event as part of KTNRB’s Tennessee River Grand Slam Cleanup, which covered 400+ miles of river in four weeks. Three boat teams comprising 25 volunteers removed 2,359 pounds of trash, including 33 tires, during the Knoxville leg of the group’s four-city cleanup from Iuka, Miss., to Dayton, Tenn.

In addition to the typical trash volunteers find during a cleanup such as aluminum cans, tires, Styrofoam and plastic bottles, this year’s cleanup also retrieved unusual items such as a hot water heater, refrigerator, a fishing pole, multiple lawn chairs, the top of a boat’s storage compartment, a plastic ear of corn, a couch cushion, a rusted metal billboard sign, a fire extinguisher, car parts and a rain barrel.

Ijams appreciates everyone who helped make the 2019 Ijams River Rescue a success. This event would not have been possible without the generous support of TVA, Lowe’s, City of Knoxville Stormwater Management, Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful, Dow, First Tennessee Foundation, Grayson Subaru, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Thompson Engineering, WestRock CP, LLC, WUTK 90.3 The Rock, American Rivers, AmeriCorps, Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union, Waste Connections, and the Water Quality Forum.

Ijams Nature Center is a nonprofit, 315-acre educational nature center for all ages, abilities and walks of life. Ijams’ mission is to encourage stewardship of the natural world by providing an urban greenspace for people to learn about and enjoy the outdoors through engaging experiences. 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 center offers hundreds of educational programs annually, from school field trips and off-site programs to on-site outdoor and classroom education programs that focus on topics from birding and wildflowers to yoga hikes, cooking classes and art programs. The Ijams grounds and trails are open every day from 8 a.m. until dusk. The Visitor Center is open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit Ijams.org or call 865-577-4717.

Volunteers at the April 6 Ijams River Rescue tackled three sites on Loves Creek as well as 30 other sites. Some of the 22 Loves Creek volunteers at the site behind Walmart stand by some of the trash they collected. Another Loves Creek site at the dead end of Loves Creek Road was the dirtiest site of the cleanup; City of Knoxville crews and 10 volunteers removed more than 38,340 pounds of trash–most of it construction materials–from that site. 


Grayson Subaru presents record-breaking check to Ijams Nature Center from 2018 Subaru Share the Love Event

Monday, April 22nd, 2019

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From left, Grayson Auto Group Marketing Coordinator Dan Moyer and
Grayson Subaru Manager Randy Carter present Ijams Executive Director Amber Parker and Ijams Board President Bo Townsend with a record-breaking check
for $21,896 from the 2018 Subaru Share the Love Event.

Grayson Subaru presented Ijams Nature Center with a check for $21,896 from Subaru of America’s 2018 Share the Love event on Monday, April 22.

The check breaks last year’s record for the largest amount ever presented by Grayson Subaru to a local hometown charity.

“This gift is possible because Grayson Subaru customers have again shown their love not only for Subaru vehicles but also for Ijams Nature Center,” said Randy Carter, Grayson Subaru sales manager. “Subaru of America’s Share the Love Event makes a difference on both the national and local level. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to give back to an organization in our community in such a significant way.”

The Subaru Share the Love event ran Nov. 15, 2018, through Jan. 2, 2019. 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.

In celebration of the campaign’s 11th 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.

Since the Share the Love Event began, Subaru of America and its retailers have donated more than $140 million to national charities and more than 1,170 hometown charities.

“Ijams is so grateful to be Grayson Subaru’s hometown charity,” Parker said. “It means a great deal to have partners that believe in and support Ijams’ mission, and it’s incredible to know that the people Ijams serves feel the same way.”

Funding will assist the nonprofit nature center in cleaning up and restoring the Grayson Subaru Preserve, a 13.46-acre property that will become a cutting-edge nature play area for children with observation areas for parents.

Work to clean up the site began in 2018. The former homesite had been an illegal dumping ground when the prior owners moved off the property. A team of Grayson Subaru volunteers first tackled the site in April 2018 as part of the annual Ijams River Rescue, removing 112 tires and an estimated 1,332 pounds of trash, most of it glass.

In January 2019, Ijams contracted with Invasive Plant Control, a company based in Nashville, Tenn., to conduct a mass removal of invasive species on three acres of the property running along Island Home Avenue between McClure and Harold Lanes.

Volunteers removed another 100 pounds of trash and 29 tires from the property during the 30th annual Ijams River Rescue presented by TVA with support from Lowe’s on April 6.


Public Invited to Celebrate Success of 2018 Subaru Share the Love Event April 22; Grayson Subaru To Present Largest Check To-Date to Ijams

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

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The public is invited to join Ijams Nature Center and Grayson Subaru in celebrating the success of the 2018 Subaru Share the Love event on Monday, April 22, at 10 a.m. during a check presentation and reception 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 breaks last year’s record as the largest amount to-date presented by Grayson Subaru to a local hometown charity.

“This gift is possible because Grayson Subaru customers have again shown their love not only for Subaru vehicles but also for Ijams Nature Center,” said Randy Carter, Grayson Subaru sales manager. “Subaru of America’s Share the Love Event makes a difference on both the national and local level. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to give back to an organization in our community in such a significant way.”

The Subaru Share the Love event ran Nov. 15, 2018, through Jan. 2, 2019. 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.

In celebration of the campaign’s 11th 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.

Since the Share the Love Event began, Subaru of America and its retailers have donated more than $140 million to national charities and more than 1,170 hometown charities.

Ijams plans to use the donation to assist in cleaning up and restoring the Grayson Subaru Preserve, a 13.46-acre site that will ultimately feature footpaths, natural play elements for children and observation areas for parents that will allow them to watch their children but not inhibit their nature free play. The site also will be a place for citizen science and other Ijams education programs.

In January 2019, Ijams contracted with Invasive Plant Control, a company based in Nashville, Tenn., to conduct a mass removal of invasive species on three acres of the property running along Island Home Avenue between McClure and Harold Lanes. Volunteers removed about 100 pounds of trash and 29 tires from the site during the 30th annual Ijams River Rescue presented by TVA with support from Lowe’s on April 6.

“Ijams is so grateful to be Grayson Subaru’s hometown charity,” Parker said. “It means a great deal to have partners that believe in and support Ijams’ mission, and it’s incredible to know that the people Ijams serves feel the same way.”