A cure for cabin fever

Carol EvansFun Outdoors

Happy Friday the 13th, y’all!

Or do we really want to go there?

Some would say that with all the events being canceled over concerns about spreading the novel coronavirus, it’s been a week of bad luck. Others, determined to claim the luck of the Irish with or without a public St. Patrick’s celebration, are looking on the bright side.

I like to look for the good in everything, so if “social distancing” is in the cards for you, it may be time to visit a park or greenway or trail. Obviously, if you’re sick or feeling unwell, you should stay at home, but our area has plenty of remote spaces where you can escape the confines of your abode without running into crowds of people.

Another option is to catch up on your reading. Legacy Parks Foundation recently published the “Oak Ridge Natural Assets Guidebook,” covering the city of Oak Ridge and Anderson and Roane counties.

The guidebook is intended to be a living, working document that will serve as a philosophical and practical set of guidelines for how to maximize the area’s natural assets so that they provide a sustainable foundation to engage residents, promote wellness, attract tourism and increase economic development.

The guidebook identifies the natural assets across the whole of public land within Oak Ridge, including Department of Energy land. The vision behind the guidebook is to assure that Oak Ridge’s natural assets are perpetually valued and appropriately utilized as economic drivers for the community. The recommendations in the plan were guided by four principles: stewardship, regional and national impact, district identity and connectivity.

If you enjoy using any of recreational amenities already available in Oak Ridge and want to learn about the potential for more outdoor activities in the area, you might want to check out the guidebook. You may even have suggestions that you can share with me or Oak Ridge, Anderson or Roane leaders.

Check out our Outdoor Knoxville calendar for a lineup of outdoor activities planned in the coming days. Bear in mind that things are subject to change as we all try to adapt to the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Carol Evans is executive director of Legacy Parks Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to ensuring that our community enjoys exceptional recreational opportunities, natural beauty and open spaces, and that those assets exist for generations to come.


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