Learning about the outdoors can be useful, life saving

Carol EvansOur Town Outdoors

We encourage kids to become lifelong learners, but shouldn’t the same apply to adults? Learning keeps you young, and in certain cases it keeps you alive. At the very least, it can make you more comfortable, especially outdoors.

Seven Islands State Birding Park is doing a birds of prey hike on Saturday, Jan. 11, to teach folks about, well, birds of prey. Granted, birds of prey probably aren’t going to be hunting you, but the info might come in handy if you should ever find yourself living the nightmare of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.” (OK, I know that’s a stretch, but  …)

Speaking of birds, Ijams Nature Center is offering “Ducks Amok” on Saturday, Jan. 11, as part of the Birds-n-Bagels series. Preschoolers are the target age group for Ijams’ Nature Nuggets program; this month’s session is on “Beginning to Bird” on Thursday, Jan. 16. Ijams’ monthly third-Saturday visit to Farragut will offer “Winter Tree ID” at Mayor Bob Leonard Park on Jan. 18.

REI has some workshops coming up: “How To Pack a Backpack” on Monday, Jan. 13, “Ski and Snowboard Waxing” on Jan. 14 and “Winter Camping” on Jan. 16.

Thinking of trying a 10K? Fleet Feet Sports is holding a Q&A session on the Cooper River Bridge Run training program, which is designed to help beginner runners complete their first 10K or intermediate runners achieve their 10K time goal.

Here’s a good one: On Saturday, Jan. 18, the Joy Ride Trail School will meet at our Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center. Randy Conner of Contour Trail Design Company will give a presentation on building and maintaining trails. Then on Sunday, Jan. 19, Bell Joy Ride will host a Women’s Dig Day at Sharp’s Ridge. Women will do the groundbreaking for new, all-access/adaptive mountain-biking trails.

Need more? Seven Islands has a hike for homeschoolers on Monday, Jan. 13. River Sports Outfitters will offer “Backpacking 101” on Thursday, Jan. 16, and Panther Creek State Park will teach “Light My Fire Basics” on Sunday, Jan. 19. If you think fishing might be your thing, 3 Rivers Angler is offering Fly Fishing 101 on Saturdays, Jan. 11 and 18. And Onsight Rock Gym offers several “Intro to Climbing” classes.

This month’s Harvey Broome Group of the Sierra Club meeting will feature David Hrivnak talking about his recent book, “Driving to Net 0,” a collection of stories of hope for a carbon-free future. It’s a great opportunity for those who love the outdoors, and it’s free; check it out on Sunday, Jan. 12.

Don’t worry, you won’t be graded on any of these!

Find details on all these opportunities in the Outdoor Knoxville calendar.

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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