Make memories this Leap Day

Carol EvansOur Town Outdoors

There’s just something cool about Leap Year, when we get an extra day on the calendar. It feels like a challenge – to do something memorable that day, something where the anniversary comes around only every four years.

This year, with Leap Day being on a Saturday – tomorrow, to be specific – it feels like there are even more possibilities than usual to make special memories. For example, Ijams Nature Center is hosting its fifth annual Weed Wrangle starting at 9 a.m.

This is a citywide volunteer effort to remove non-native, invasive plants that wreak havoc on native habitats. It’s hard work that pays off in front of your eyes, and it’s fun to tackle alongside friends old and new.

Locations include not only Ijams Nature Center but also Lakeshore Park, Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum, Fort Dickerson and East Knox County Elementary School.

State parks are getting in on the Leap Day action. Frozen Head State Park is having a Leap to Falls Hike with a hike to Emory Falls. Seven Islands State Birding Park is offering a Leap Day Loop Hike.

Cove Lake will have a Cold Weather Walk and Survival Talk. And Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area will host a Dinner and Dark Sky Program – how intriguing. All of these sound like great memories in the making to me.

There are lots of good outings for birders and climbers, including novices, coming up over the next 10 days. And if you discover tomorrow that you like wrangling weeds, there are many more opportunities next weekend as parks start getting ready for spring.

Even though it’s not on Leap Day, one of Knoxville’s most memorable events of the year is coming up on Saturday, March 7. It’s Mardi Growl, a pet march through downtown Knoxville to raise awareness for Young-Williams Animal Center. Make sure your leash is sound and your pet’s outfit shows off his or her personality!

Find details on these and other outdoor events 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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