Knox recruits teens for summer jobs; Flotilla is Saturday

Mike DonilaOur Town Outdoors

The Knox County Parks and Recreation Department has some good news for high school students looking to make money and have a bit of fun (although they do have to work for it). Team members are actively recruiting students for part-time opportunities as groundskeepers at our parks and ballfields, recreation assistants and golf cart attendants along the course at Three Ridges.


We’ve already visited a number of high schools this week and plan to visit some more next week to meet with 16-year-olds, 17-year-olds and seniors. We will have a booth on display inside the schools and are available to answer any questions.

“We are excited to announce that we have lowered the minimum age for a number of our entry level positions in our department,” said Joe Mack, senior director of the Knox County Parks and Recreation. “I’ve worked with young people in the past and they have been an integral part of our teams.”

Hours and schedules are flexible, and students can work up to 30 hours per week during the summer. Recreation jobs, though, tend to focus more on afternoons, evenings and weekends and the parks maintenance jobs are generally Monday through Friday during the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Positions at the golf course are open seven days a week. The recreation and parks jobs pay $12 an hour and the golf cart attendant jobs pay $7.50 per hour.

“These jobs will introduce young Knox County residents to the part-time work force and give them a sense of responsibility, and a feel of belonging, provide them with work experience for future employment, and teach them about local government and how it impacts their lives daily,” Mack added. “I also truly believe that we should all be training someone to take our place one day. This opportunity as a ballfield groundskeeper or golf attendant could be one of our new teenage hires’ introductions to recreation that could grow into a passion that might lead them on a path to a lengthy and impressive career in the recreation industry.”

For a list of jobs, click here.

In other awesome parks and rec news, we’re opening Beverly Dog Park today!

Our crews finished the last of the concrete pads for the extra trash cans and we’re going to go ahead and get it up and running. We’re calling this a “soft” opening because we’re still waiting on some features to arrive. We expect them within a few weeks and will have an official ribbon cutting at that time to celebrate. Also, today we turned on the three splash pads!

“As the weather heats up, take comfort knowing you can stay cool every day at these park attractions,” Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs said. “Just be sure to read the rules and be safe.”

The 2022 splash pad season runs through Sunday, Sept. 11. The free automated water playgrounds are open to the public from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, weather permitting. They are located at:

  • Carl Cowan Park, 10058 S. Northshore Drive
  • Powell Station Park, 2318 W. Emory Road
  • New Harvest Park, 4775 New Harvest Lane

See the video on Knox County’s splash pads on YouTube.

I wanted to take the time to give a shout out to Glenda Irwin, who spent three decades with the county, including a number of years with the Parks and Recreation Department as the administrative supervisor before recently retiring.

Glenda Irwin

Glenda started out typing envelopes and making appointments for the Health Department. She quickly took on more responsibility and because a secretary for school nursing and infectious diseases. After a couple of years, she started keeping time for state and county employees and was the receptionist for the Director of the Department of Health. Her next position was personnel coordinator, where she remained for 15 years before transferring to the Parks and Recreation Department. While there, she was the go-to-person and the entire team came to rely on her.

Glenda has one daughter, two grandchildren and one great-grandchild and another on the way. She has a green thumb and loves plants (we planted a tree in her honor by the way). She likes being outdoors, in the woods and off-roading on 4-wheelers. She also enjoys fishing and travel. Her favorite movies are action-dramas and westerns (“Cowboys and Aliens” and “Tombstone,” for example). In retirement, Glenda is looking forward to her time and traveling west. Her dream is to go to Perth, Australia and spend six months visiting friends.

In other Parks and Recreation news, our crews fixed the dock near Powell High School to get it ready for this weekend’s flotilla. The recent storms knocked some boards loose. And speaking of those storms, we had crews out overtime in Beaver Creek getting it ready for the more than 400 kayakers who will descend on the Knox County Water Trail on Saturday morning.

In addition, the storm knocked down a ton of trees, so team members spent a lot of time cleaning those up.

As always, this time of year, are crews were out mowing, weed-eating and spraying weed killer. And of course, it wouldn’t be a column without a mention from our one-man machine Frank Christian.

In a text he sent me, Frank said: “This week me and others were working at the Beverly Dog Park – tree trimming, signs and trash cans done. Powell kayak launch cleaning before the flotilla this weekend. Marine Park, car crashed into park sign and hedges, hedges taken out and changed new location for new sign we put up. Working at Roy Arthur Stormwater Park, new walkway to the kayak launch area. Good weather means good things getting done!”

Here are some photos from work around the county:

Mike Donila is communications director for Knox County government

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