County crews clear trails at IC King Park

Sandra ClarkFun Outdoors

Mike Donila reports: We had a crew out at the IC King trails the past couple of days, cleaning up the fallen trees. I’ve included a picture of Mike Edsell taking a break.

We also had folks at New Harvest Park, pressure washing and repainting the main building. At some point, it’s going to require a lot more work but this should be a good quick fix for the next few years. Also, we installed a new barrier between the splash pad and playground. It’s more for safety. We had a number of kids who were running from one to the other and getting on the slide, wet, and going down it a lot faster and some almost falling off it. This slows down their momentum. We also put up some caution signs.

The biggest thing we’ve been dealing with is vandalism. It’s always bad during the summer when kids are out of schools but it ramped up much quicker when the COVID-19 pandemic caused school to end months earlier.

Next week, we’re going to send a couple of folks down Beaver Creek, tracing the flotilla’s path to see what it’s like out there and then clean up what we can. I’ve asked them to take some pictures when they’re floating down it.

Splash pads opened Tuesday. The playgrounds are still closed under the health department’s phase 2 reopening plan.

Ijams Nature Center sets phase 2 opening

Kids enjoy the lake at Mead’s Quarry.

Amber Parker reports: Ijams Nature Center has opened the swimming area at Mead’s Quarry in phase 2 of the city/county reopening plan, which went into effect May 26.

River Sports Outfitters began offering paddle rentals on the lake Memorial Day weekend. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday. Rentals will close if inclement weather and will be announced on the RSO Facebook page at @RiverSportsOutfitters.

The Ijams Outpost, which offers concessions, beer and other items, will mirror RSO hours. Restrooms at the quarry remain open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Visitor Center restrooms and limited-contact gift shop/concessions purchases continue to be open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All restrooms will close for short periods at set times each day to allow facilities to be cleaned and sanitized. During those times, the front lobby of the Visitor Center also will be closed.

Navitat is open Monday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday-Saturday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are by appointment only. You are encouraged to wear masks when entering the Visitor Center and while passing other people on the grounds.

Ijams remains committed to the health and safety of visitors and staff, and will be evaluating reopening policies, procedures and hours; changes may be implemented at any time. Info: 865-577-4717.

Museum of Appalachia has reopened with social distancing measures in place; the grounds are available to tour daily from 9-5. The museum restaurant is serving homestyle lunch from 11-2 and also providing curbside pickup service. Info here.

Jason Altman of the Knoxville Track Club demonstrates etiquette for safely using greenways and walking trails during the COVID-19 pandemic. Video here.

Knoxville Parks and Rec: Now accepting applications for its 2020 Challenge Grant Program, which offers grants up to $2,500 to nonprofit projects associated with public parks or recreation facilities located within city limits. Deadline to apply is Friday, June 26: 2020 Challenge Grant Application

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