Make like a penguin; take the Plunge!

Carol EvansFun Outdoors

Whether it’s a flirtation or a full-blown love affair, having a relationship with the outdoors is the important thing.

Sorry – getting a little sappy on Valentine’s Day! But seriously, it’s true. Spending time outside is good for your physical health and your mental health. Some people like a fun run or ride followed by a refreshing beer or two with friends. Others like the challenge of training for and then competing in a marathon.

And then there are those crazy people who will leap into freezing water in the middle of winter!

The Knoxville Polar Plunge gives you the chance to jump into a freezing pool of water at World’s Fair Park for a good cause. The event – at 10 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 23, raises money to support Special Olympics Tennessee athletes.

Participants with a minimum $75 in donations ($50 for students and children) get a T-shirt, lunch and bragging rights. And possibly chilblains. Just kidding – you won’t have to stay in the pool long.

It’s always up to you to choose the amount of time and money you want to invest in your outdoor commitment. If you really love nature, count yourself lucky that we have Ijams Nature Center right here.

Ijams participates in the Tennessee Naturalist Program, an education training course designed to introduce the natural history of Tennessee to everyone 16 years and older. There are 11 monthly sessions from February to November, and they take place both in the classroom and in the field. The program starts Feb. 21, so act fast.

Lots of great hikes and rides are coming up. Pick one – or more – using our Outdoor Knoxville calendar, and enjoy!

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.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *