Oh, go fly a kite!

Carol EvansFun Outdoors

All this recent passion for Mary Poppins has me humming “Let’s Go Fly a Kite,” and what do you know? The 10th annual Fine Arts Blount Kite Festival just happens to be this Sunday, April 14.

The fun starts at 10 a.m. at Pearson Springs Park in Maryville, and it’s free. You can bring a kite to fly or purchase one to build, design and fly. Food trucks will be onsite for lunch and snacks.

There’s a chance of rain on Sunday, so if it’s too wet to fly, the festival will be held April 28.

Springtime in East Tennessee offers plenty of opportunities for guided and individual walks and hikes among beautiful trees and flowers, but two this weekend have caught my eye. The first is today, a Dogwood Nature Trail Guided Walk at 1:30 at the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum.

KBGA head gardener and Native Plant Rescue Squad cofounder Joy Grissom will lead the way through the extensive dogwood collection, which includes 20 cultivars of our native Cornus florida, 16 distinct species and dozens of varieties of other Cornus family members. The collection is one of Knoxville’s hidden gems.

The second is the Wildflower Greenway Garlic Mustard Pull & Wildflower Hike at 10 a.m. Saturday in Oak Ridge. It just sounds nasty – garlic mustard – and it is – an invasive, non-native pest that’s taking over the native wildflower areas of the Wildflower Greenway. Take out your frustrations on this pest, and then enjoy a wildflower hike with botanist Kris Light.

Another walk coming up is the Walk with Elected Officials in the South Knoxville Urban Wilderness. At 6 p.m. Tuesday, head out on a one-mile loop with Knoxville City Council members and other elected officials and discover the connection from the planned Gateway at the James White Park terminus to the Urban Wilderness.

Afterward, walkers are encouraged to hang out at SoKno Taco Cantina and enjoy dutch-treat food and drinks. (The rain date is April 22.)

This is the time of year for egg hunts, and Ijams is offering two unusual-sounding ones. On Saturday, April 13, there’s one at 10 a.m. at the Pavilion at Founder’s Park in Farragut. You’ll scour various habitats searching for the different places native animals lay eggs. Recommended for ages 6 and up.

Then next Thursday, April 18, there’s an egg hunt at 10 a.m. at Ijams Nature Center for children age 2-4 and their caregivers. It’s a fun learning experience with a very special egg hunt.

Check out the Outdoor Knoxville calendar for details on these and other outdoor activities.


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