Ijams Recent News

City of Knoxville and Knox County Offer Tree and Light Recycling Programs

December 27th, 2019

Posted by admin,

While Ijams is NOT collecting holiday trees this year, you can still recycle live Christmas trees and working or nonworking lights through City and County programs.

Christmas tree collection in the City follows the same process as brush collection. After all decorations have been removed, trees should be placed at the street for collection. Please note that Public Service Department crews will be concentrating on leaf collection and will pick up brush and Christmas trees as time allows. The regular two-week schedule for brush will not begin until March 1, depending on the area of the City.

City residents can also take advantage of the County’s Tree-Cycling program. After Jan. 1, 2020, City residents can leave trees at one of the Knox County convenience centers listed below:

  • Carter Convenience Center – 8815 Asheville Highway
  • Dutchtown Convenience Center – 10618 Dutchtown Road
  • Halls Convenience Center – 3608 Neal Drive
  • John Sevier Convenience Center – 1950 West John Sevier Highway
  • Karns Convenience Center – 6930 Karns Crossing Lane
  • Powell Convenience Center – 7311 Morton View Lane
  • Tazewell Pike Convenience Center – 7201 Tazewell Pike

Trees must be cleaned of all ornaments, lights, wire, string and other decor before bringing them to be tree-cycled.
More information available at Knox County Solid Waste

You also can recycle your old or unwanted Christmas lights. Any store that accepts donations should take working holiday lights. If not in working condition, bring lights to one of the following locations:

  • Any Goodwill donation store
  • All City of Knoxville recycling drop-off centers. NOTE: You MUST give them to a Goodwill attendant between 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.!
  • Knox County convenience centers at Halls, Dutchtown, John Sevier and Karns; NOTE:  You MUST give them to an attendant!
  • City of Knoxville Household Hazardous Waste facility at 1033 Elm St. NOTE: City and Knox County residents only.

Thank you for protecting the planet!

Ijams Primal Playground Ribbon Cutting and Green Exercise Festival is Saturday, Oct. 12, 2-5 p.m.

October 11th, 2019

Posted by admin,

There will be more than one kick-off happening in Knoxville on Saturday, Oct. 12!

Please join Ijams Nature Center for the grand opening of the Ijams Primal Playground with a ribbon cutting and Green Exercise Festival at Mead’s Quarry from 2-5 p.m. The first-of-its-kind green exercise space is a short walk from the main Quarry parking lot along Pink Marble Trail.

Come dressed to work out! You’ll have the chance to try the natural elements of the playground with assistance from Ijams volunteers after the ribbon cutting and short remarks. Local outdoor vendors and partners will also be there to promote the many other outdoor/green exercise options in Knoxville. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

The Ijams Primal Playground was made possible by The Siddiqi Charitable Foundation, Earthadelic, Legacy Parks Foundation, Knox County Parks & Recreation, City of Knoxville Parks & Recreation and countless volunteers.

It’s going to be a great day to celebrate outdoor movement and the wonder of East Tennessee’s natural areas, so we hope you can join us!

Ijams Primal Playground Ribbon Cutting and Green Exercise Festival
Saturday, Oct. 12, 2-5 p.m.

Mead’s Quarry / Pink Marble Trail at Ijams Nature Center
3518 Island Home Ave.
Knoxville, TN  37920


2 p.m.  Ribbon-cutting ceremony and remarks

  • Amber Parker, Executive Director, Ijams Nature Center
  • Stephanie Welch, Council Member, 1st District, City of Knoxville
  • Mark Rice, Designer of Primal Playground

2:30-5 p.m.  Ijams Primal Playground opens. Volunteers will be available to assist community members in learning how to use the new exercise space. The following organizations will have information promoting other ways to be active outdoors:

  • Earthadelic
  • Knox Area Climbers
  • Knoxville Track Club
  • Legacy Parks Foundation
  • Navitat – Knoxville
  • River Sports Outfitters

Grayson Subaru Presents 2019 Subaru Outback to Ijams Nature Center

October 2nd, 2019

Posted by admin,

Grayson Subaru presents 2019 Subaru Outback to Ijams Nature Center.

When Grayson Auto Group Marketing Coordinator Dan Moyers invited Ijams Nature Center’s Amber Parker and Cindy Hassil to come to Grayson Subaru for a surprise, they weren’t sure what to expect.

Grayson Subaru has been a longtime supporter of the nonprofit nature center, most recently partnering with Ijams on work to clean up and restore a 14-acre property named The Grayson Preserve. However, there was stunned silence when Grayson Subaru Sales Manager Randy Carter and Moyers gestured to the lot of new vehicles, saying, “Let’s go pick out your new car.”

“Dan knew how badly Ijams needed a new vehicle for outreach programs and general business, but Grayson Subaru had never presented a car for such use before,” Ijams Executive Director Amber Parker said. “That’s what makes this so special. Our friends at Grayson Subaru believe in the mission of Ijams so much that they wanted to help in a significant way. We are truly grateful to the Grayson family, Randy and Dan for making this possible.”

The 2019 Subaru Outback features a full-color wrap showing children learning and playing in nature. The wrap was created by Great American Sign Company.

“This car is a wonderful reminder to people of all ages to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors,” Moyers said. “Ijams Nature Center and Subaru both believe that nature is something to enjoy and protect.”

“We knew an Outback was the perfect car for Ijams,” Carter added. “Even the interior is made for easy cleanup after transporting animals or wet, muddy gear. We’re proud to partner with an organization that is working to make a difference in the world.”


Dan Moyers, Marketing Coordinator, Grayson Auto Group
865-693-4550 / dmoyers@graysonauto.com

Amber Parker, Executive Director, Ijams Nature Center
865-577-4717, ext. 118 / aparker@ijams.org

Ijams Parking Lots Closed on Sunday September 15

September 4th, 2019

Posted by admin,

Since we have a large rental on Sunday, September 15, the main Visitor Center parking lot and the main overflow lot will be CLOSED ALL DAY. Parking will be available at the Ijams Quarry lot and the Quarry overflow lot. Trails, paddling rentals and the Ijams beer garden will be open normal hours (weather-permitting). The Visitor Center will be open until 5 pm. Thanks for your cooperation and support!

Ijams’ Symphony in the Park on Sept. 8 features debut of ‘wing’ installation by Pretentious Glass Company owner Matthew Cummings and musician Christina Horn

August 16th, 2019

Posted by admin,

Ijams Nature Center’s 34th annual Symphony in the Park, presented by Clayton Homes, honors nature in art and music on Sunday, Sept. 8.

The annual event, which is the nonprofit nature center’s largest annual fundraiser, is from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and features a silent auction during a cocktail hour followed by a seated dinner and concert on the Ijams Visitor Center lawn by the Knoxville Symphony Chamber Orchestra led by Music Director Aram Demirjian. Each year, Ijams highlights the work of guest visual and musical artists. 

This year’s fundraiser includes the debut of a “wing” installation created by Matthew Cummings, owner of Pretentious Glass Company, and will spotlight the work of the organization’s other glass artists. Reminiscent of wings, Cummings’ long, colorful glass pieces are about 3 feet in length and are weighted to move independently within their environment. They can be hung in a variety of ways.

Cummings designed the torch sculpture in the University of Tennessee’s new student union. The 30-foot, 320-piece glass-and-steel creation weighs about 4,000 pounds and spans several floors of the new building.

As the guest musical artist, local musician Christina Horn continues the theme of nature and how it juxtaposes with technology. Since 2009, Horn has performed with Nate Barrett as Hudson K, a duo that bills itself as “electro-rock with Moog bass lines, danceable beats and swirling electronica.” Horn is the keyboardist/singer/songwriter, with Barrett on drums and vocals.

Christina Horn

Horn is classically trained in piano and holds a bachelor’s degree in music and a master’s degree in pedagogy and literature from the University of Tennessee. When she’s not writing, performing and composing, she is an adjunct faculty member for Pellissippi State Community College’s Audio Production Engineering Program, and teaches private piano and keyboard lessons.

Horn first performed with Demirjian and the KSO in 2017, playing the keytar as an “alien” in “Mothership,” composed by Mason Bates. The concert also will feature favorites from Mozart, Beethoven and Debussy, as well as a few pop surprises.

The 34th annual Ijams Symphony in the Park, presented by Clayton  Homes, is also supported by Ergon Terminaling, Inc., Home Federal Bank, Jupiter Entertainment, Regal, Thermal Label Warehouse, Est8te, Sharon and Steve Gigliotti, Gulf and Ohio Railways, Sherri Lee, Pilot Flying J, Pinnacle Financial Partners, Ann Sartwell and Robby Moore, Smile-A-Day, LLC, and Sunspot.

Tickets are $175 per person or $1,750 for a table of 10. Reservations are due by Friday, Aug. 30, and can be made by calling Elizabeth Newman at 865-577-4717, ext. 123. For more information about Ijams Nature Center’s Symphony in the Park, visit https://Ijams.org.

Ijams Presents Wonder of Hummingbirds Festival Aug. 24

August 13th, 2019

Posted by admin,

If you love learning about hummingbirds, butterflies and gardening, you won’t want to miss Ijams Nature Center’s ninth annual Wonder of Hummingbirds Festival on Saturday, Aug. 24, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

If you’re lucky, you might even get to hold a ruby-throated hummingbird.

Photo by Oak Roots Creative

As part of the event, Mark Armstrong, a certified master bander, demonstrates how ruby-throated hummingbirds are harmlessly captured, weighed, measured and banded. Because ruby-throated hummingbirds are most active in the early morning, banding demonstrations take place from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. or until the last bird is captured, so attendees should come early for the best chance to see a bird.

Small groups visit Armstrong’s banding station to learn about these tiny creatures, which normally weigh about one-tenth of an ounce, while he applies a numbered band to the bird’s leg. The band helps scientists track the bird’s migration. When banding is complete, one member of the group releases the hummingbird, which now can continue a journey that includes a 500-mile, nonstop flight across the Gulf of Mexico to wintering grounds in Mexico and Central America.

This overseas flight takes about 20 hours in favorable conditions. During that time, the bird’s heart rate is about 1,200 beats per minute and its wings beat 53 times per second. To prepare, these fierce omnivores double their body mass by feeding on nectar and insects in the weeks prior to departure and can be seen chasing other birds and bees from their favorite food sources.

Native species such as trumpet honeysuckle, bee balm, cardinal flower, trumpet vine, salvia and columbine are excellent food sources for ruby-throated hummingbirds. Feeders are a great way to supplement natural nectar, but must be cleaned regularly to provide safe feeding.

To make nectar, mix one cup of refined white sugar with four cups of water and stir until sugar dissolves. Store any extra nectar in the refrigerator. Avoid using products containing red dye or other additives that are harmful to hummingbirds. If your tap water is high in chemicals or has a strong taste or odor, use bottle or purified water.

The event also features nature talks led by expert gardeners, naturalists and birders, as well as visits with Ijams’ animal ambassadors, kids’ activities and crafts, and a marketplace featuring locally made arts and crafts, bird feeders and supplies, plants and garden décor, as well as food trucks and a beer garden. At the end of each session, attendees will have the chance to win a Perky Pet Hummingbird feeder.

Admission to the festival is $8 for ages 12+, $4 for children ages  5-11, and $20 per family (includes parents or guardians and up to four children). Children 4 and under are free.

The ninth annual Wonder of Hummingbirds Festival is sponsored by WBIR-TV Channel 10, Ergon Terminaling, Inc., HomeTrust Bank, Agri Feed Pet Supply, City of Knoxville, Redfin, Renewal by Anderson, Tennessee Wildlife Federation, Visit Knoxville and Wild Birds Unlimited, with support from Perky Pet and The Round-Up Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlor.

Learn More About Ijams Nature Center’s Wonder of Hummingbirds Festival

IJAMS NATURE CENTER PARTICIPATES IN 2019 NATIONAL MOTH WEEK; Annual Event Focuses on Nighttime Pollinators

July 9th, 2019

Posted by admin,

Honeybees may get the lion’s share of attention as pollinators, but you may be in the dark about another insect doing this important work: The moth.

Nature’s often unheralded nighttime pollinators will be in the spotlight July 20-28 during the eighth annual National Moth Week (NMW).

This event invites moth enthusiasts of all ages and abilities to participate in a worldwide citizen science project that literally shines the light on moths, celebrating their beauty, ecological diversity and the critical role they play in the natural world.

Since its inception, NMW has inspired thousands of public and private moth-watching and education events in all 50 states and almost 80 countries. Sites have included national parks and monuments, museums and local recreation areas, private backyards and front porches. All you need is a light and somewhere for moths to land.

Anyone can register a public or private event, or can find one in their area by visiting nationalmothweek.org. Event registration is free. The NMW website features a map showing events around the world.

This year, Ijams Nature Center is getting in on the action with some friendly competition. Ijams will offer two simultaneous citizen science moth programs, one at the Ijams Visitor Center in South Knoxville and one at McFee Park in Farragut.

If you’re put off by the words “citizen science,” there’s no need to be, said Ijams Public Programs Coordinator Jeremy Clothier.

“We like to emphasize the “CITIZEN” in citizen science, as these programs invite EVERYONE to participate in hands-on fieldwork,” Clothier said. “We get to do the FUN part of the science, which is baiting, netting, collecting, photographing and, finally, releasing the moths. Then we upload the photos to let the scientists run statistics and analyze data. The citizens get to do the exciting part of research that scientists wish they had time for.”

Attendees for both programs will stay up late to attract, capture and identify moths. At the end of the night, they’ll total their catch to see which group identified the most species of moths.

Both Ijams programs are designed for ages 8 and older and take place on Saturday, July 20, from 9 to 11:30 p.m. The cost is $5 per individual or $10 per family. For more information or to register, visit https://ijams.org/events/.

Participants like those who attend the Ijams programs and other worldwide events will share photos and data to NMW partner websites as well as the NMW Flickr group, which now boasts nearly 95,000 moth photos. Moth observations submitted to iNaturalist.org, a site for sharing observations in the natural world, will be added to the NMW project on that site. Last year, more than 27,000 moth observations were posted on iNaturalist.

Moths are among the most diverse and successful organisms on Earth. Scientists estimate that there are 150,000 to more than 500,000 moth species. In addition to studying their benefits as pollinators, moths also are being observed to determine the impact of climate change on their numbers and distribution.

According to a report in Science Daily, a study in the United Kingdom found that moths accomplish a significant amount of pollination under cover of darkness. By analyzing pollen grains found on moths, researchers suggested that “moths supplement the daytime work of bees and other pollinating insects…” and do their work over wider areas than bees.

For more information about National Moth Week, visit nationalmothweek.org or write to info@nationalmothweek.org. NMW information is available on Facebook (National Moth Week), Twitter (@moth_week) and Instagram (mothweek). Hastags are #nationalmothweek and #mothweek.

National Moth Week was founded in 2012 by the Friends of the East Brunswick (NJ) Environmental Commission, a nonprofit organization dedicated to environmental education and conservation. It is now one of the most widespread citizen science projects in the world and is coordinated by an all-volunteer team in New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, Washington, Ecuador, India and Hong Kong.

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.

# # #

For more information, contact:

  • Jeremy Clothier, Ijams Public Programs Coordinator, at jclothier@ijams.org or 865-577-4717 ext. 127
  • Sandra Lanman, National Moth Week Team, at sandra.lanman@gmail.com

Ijams Nature Center joins forces with Aslan Foundation, Tennessee Department of Agriculture Forestry Division and Grayson Subaru to wage war on weeds

June 24th, 2019

Posted by admin,

In 2019, Ijams Nature Center has declared war…on weeds.

With support from the Aslan Foundation, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry, and Grayson Subaru, Ijams’ new Weed Warriors program focuses on eradicating invasive, nonnative species and restoring East Tennessee’s native landscape.

“Preserving the native plants, trees and grasses of this region provides a healthy habitat for native animals, birds, insects and fish to thrive,” Ijams Executive Director Amber Parker said. “Bush honeysuckle, English ivy and other fast-growing, nonnative species choke out the rich diversity of plants native to this area.

“Our native species are what make this region so special,” she said. “If we don’t protect them, we could lose them—and the wildlife that relies on them for habitat and food—forever.”

During the first year of the program, funding from the three partners is helping with start-up costs, from developing an education program and training volunteer Weed Warriors to building a bank of tools and gear to conduct the work. Over the course of their training, volunteers will learn about invasive plant identification, treatment and removal, how to use tools properly and methods to work safely in an outdoor setting. The initial cadre of Weed Warriors will lead their own volunteer groups to cover even more ground on the property.

The second year of the project will move beyond Ijams’ borders and into the community. Weed Warriors will teach individuals, neighborhood groups and businesses to identify invasives, promote the benefits of native plantings and encourage them to choose natives when landscaping their homes and offices. 

The Weed Warriors project started with a mass eradication of invasive species on three acres of property that is the future home of the Grayson Subaru Preserve. Using the bulk of the first year’s funding, Ijams hired Invasive Plant Control, a Nashville-based company that specializes in treating large areas in a short amount of time. A team of six IPC staff cleared and treated three acres in only three days.

Parker said this approach, while expensive at $5,000 per acre, has the potential to become a best practice in how nature centers, parks and other protected natural areas are managed. It would take many months to accomplish the same result with staff and volunteers.

“This initial investment in expert eradication followed with maintenance by trained volunteers may be the best way to effect meaningful, long-term landscape change,” Parker said. “We’re studying how this approach affects the restoration of native landscapes, how it impacts the diversity of flora and fauna, and how human perception of the landscape changes.”

Aslan Foundation’s Executive Director, Andrea Bailey, agrees.

“The Aslan Foundation is committed to protecting Knoxville’s natural resources,” Bailey said. “What we learn during this partnership with Ijams has the potential to be a model for one of the area’s most valued treasures, Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness.”

Aslan plays a key role in developing parks within Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness, specifically within the Battlefield Loop. The Foundation recently restored Loghaven, a South Knoxville property it purchased in 2008 to save it from redevelopment. The property will be home to the Loghaven Artist Residency, a program designed to nurture artists of excellence from around the world while preserving 100 acres of natural and built environments. The Foundation preserves beauty, advances livability and supports cultural assets through its grantmaking, public-private partnerships and projects.

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, swimming, boating, biking and more. The center offers hundreds of educational programs annually, from day camps and school field trips to outdoor and classroom education programs on beginner birding and hiking to wildflower walks and family adventures. 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 https://Ijams.org or call 865-577-4717.

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

April 24th, 2019

Posted by admin,

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

April 22nd, 2019

Posted by admin,

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.