The Environmental Journal of Southern Appalachia

Cindy Hassil

Girl_Climbing_Log_Steps_at_Ijams_Nature_Playscape_by_Cindy_Hassil.jpgIjams Nature Preschool students were the first to explore the Ijams Nature Playscape at Grayson Subaru Preserve before it opened to the public in May 2022. Customers who purchase or lease a new Subaru from Grayson Subaru Nov. 6, 2023-Jan. 2, 2024, can choose to have Subaru of America, Inc., donate $250 to Ijams as part of the 2023 Subaru Share the Love Event. Donations will be used to expand this natural play area as well as improve the Mead’s Quarry swim area.  Cindy Hassil.

Starting in mid-November, getting a new car from Grayson Subaru could mean new places to play and learn at Ijams Nature Center.

Grayson Subaru has chosen the nonprofit nature center as its hometown charity for Subaru of America, Inc.’s annual Subaru Share the Love Event.

Published in Feedbag

ijams kid playscapeA child defends an elaborate stick fort at Ijams Natural Playscape, which opened this week at the South Knoxville nature center.  Ijams Nature Center

New Ijams playground reconnects kids with neighborhood woods, forts and creeks of yore

KNOXVILLE — Ijams Nature Center officially opened a portal into pure childhood beast mode this week.

The Ijams Nature Playscape at Grayson Subaru Preserve is specifically designed for young children to play in a creek, climb hills, dig, build, crawl and engage with nature in an organic, unstructured way. The new space features a large nest, tunnels, log steps and different rooms to play in.

“For generations, many of us had the opportunity to roam and play in the woods, empty lots and fields that surrounded our homes and neighborhoods,” Ijams Executive Director Amber Parker said. “We remember the freedom we had to use our imagination, test ourselves and become a part of the natural landscape, at least until we were called home for dinner.”

Ijams Girls 1923 Martha Elizabeth Mary JosephineMartha, Elizabeth, Mary, and Josephine Ijams (from left) are seen in this 1923 photo. The girls were active in scouting and became accomplished naturalists early in life. Ijams Nature Center

Help give thanks across history to founders of the South Knoxville nature center and celebrate the addition of 3 acres

Cindy Hassil is a writer for Ijams Nature Center.

KNOXVILLE When H.P. and Alice Ijams purchased 20 acres of land along the Tennessee River in 1910, they couldn’t have known their family would still be contributing to the legacy that would become the 318-acre nonprofit Ijams Nature Center more than a century later. 

Ijams Nature Center will celebrate the contributions of the Ijams family and dedicate three acres of land recently donated to the nature center by H.P. and Alice’s granddaughter, Martha Kern, at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 28. The public is invited. 

Brittany Fleurish Vertical 9The Fleurish fashion show will feature sustainable and stylish clothes to reduce your big old footprint on Earth.  Courtesy Fleurish/Ijams Nature Center

Help rock the catwalk at Ijams’ display of sustainable clothing

Cindy Hassil is a writer for Ijams Nature Center.

KNOXVILLE — Clothes can be a burden to both bear and wear. Ijams Nature Center offers fashionable alternatives with sustainability cred this month.

Ijams and Natural Alternatives Salon and Spa will present Fleurish: A Sustainable Fashion Event, from 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday, April 24.

“Fleurish is a runway show focused on how sustainability, conservation and beauty intertwine and affect our lives … and our future,” Fleurish Creative Director Ben Prager said. “This event engages the audience in ways that will help the average consumer make changes in their day-to-day lives to better impact the planet while never losing sight of the beauty of nature and the human experience.”

Twelve local designers, along with hair stylists and makeup artists, are coming together to create looks using both recycled and natural materials.