Displaying items by tag: cindy hassil
Roll up your sleeves and clean our Tennessee River waterways on April 15
KNOXVILLE — Volunteer registration is open for the 34th Ijams River Rescue on Saturday, April 15, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. A severe weather date is set for Saturday, April 22.
Ijams Nature Center’s annual event removes tons of trash and tires from sites along the Tennessee River and its creek tributaries. Sites are typically located in Knox, Anderson, Blount and Loudon counties.
“During this cleanup, between 500-1,000 volunteers come together to make a tangible, positive difference in their community,” Ijams Development Director Cindy Hassil said. “It’s eye-opening to participate because you really get to see what ends up in our waterways. Hopefully it makes people more aware of how they dispose of trash and recyclables, and inspires them to look for ways to reduce the amount of waste they create.”
There are cleanup sites on land, along the shoreline (boots/waders recommended) and on the water (personal kayaks/canoes required).
Volunteers will receive a free T-shirt featuring a great blue heron designed by Stephen Lyn Bales. This year’s event shirt, created by Allmade®, uses an average of six recycled water bottles for 50 percent of its content. The remainder is 25 percent organic cotton and 25% modal.
Potential volunteers can learn more and sign up for a site at Ijams.org/ijams-river-rescue. Slots fill on a first-come, first-served basis and typically book quickly. The deadline to register is April 1, or until all slots have been filled.
Groups from scout troops, churches and other organizations may sign up to do a particular site together. All members of a group must register individually to complete a waiver and provide personal contact information should Ijams need to communicate with all volunteers at a particular site.
Site captains will be stationed at each site. Bags, gloves and other supplies will be provided.
The 34th annual Ijams River Rescue is made possible by Tennessee Valley Authority, Allmade, City of Knoxville Stormwater Engineering, Dow, Nothing Too Fancy, Dominion Group, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Vulcan Materials Company, Commercial Metals Company, Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union, Old Sevier District, Tailwater Properties, and Waste Connections of Tennessee. Other supporters include CAC AmeriCorps, Responsible Stewardship, Thompson Engineering’s Thompson Foundation, and Water Quality Forum.
Responsible Stewardship also will be conducting a multi-site cleanup of Watts Bar Lake in Roane, Rhea and Meigs counties on April 15.
— Cindy Hassil, Ijams Nature Center
Knoxville kids go beast mode at new natural playscape
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.”
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Ijams Nature Center honors deep roots with expansion dedication
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.
The days the Earth stood still (Part 2): South Knoxville’s Ijams Nature Center weathered Covid with grit, gifts and gratitude. Naturally.
Ijams posted record visitation during pandemic even as resources were challenged
(This is the second in an occasional Hellbender Press series about the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the natural world. Here's the first installment about air quality improvements in the Smokies.)
Individuals and organizations can learn a lot from a pandemic.
You up your technology game. You innovate and run harder and get leaner. You realize the importance of face time (the real face time).
You learn the power of allies and those who really love you.
And in the case of Ijams Nature Center in South Knoxville, you learn just how much people need and value the natural world and the outdoors, especially in times of acute stress and uncertainty.
Ijams played host to a record number of visitors in 2020; there was no usual winter slowdown. Parking lots were full virtually every day during the height of the pandemic that claimed the lives of at least 600,000 people in the U.S. That visitation trend has continued at Ijams, with the coronavirus somewhat comfortably in the rear-view mirror.
An estimated 160,000 people visit the popular nature center annually, but there’s no exact count. Officials said the 2020 visitation substantially surpassed that number, and they plan a visitation study because a very “porous border” prevents an accurate count.
“The one great thing that has come out of Covid, is that people have recognized the importance of nature in their lives; they’ve recognized it as a place for solace, a place to get out and be safe and feel comfortable,” said Ijams Nature Center Executive Director Amber Parker.
“The sheer mass number of people coming were new to Ijams, or maybe come once or twice coming multiple times a week,” said Ijams Development Director Cindy Hassil.
“We were so excited to be this refuge for everyone,” Parker added.
The two women spoke on a sunny spring afternoon on the fetching expanse of stone terrace behind the visitors center in the shade of tulip poplars, red buds and dogwoods. Cardinals chirped and early 17-year cicadas throbbed behind a natural green curtain.