Think green, donate bikes for Earth Day

Carol EvansOur Town Outdoors

Time to show some love for your mother – Mother Earth, that is.

Earth Day is coming up Monday, April 22, and Knoxville’s 20th annual EarthFest will get the celebration started this weekend. Join the fun from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at the Knoxville Botanical Garden & Arboretum, 2743 Wimpole Ave.

Appropriately, the theme of the event will be “20/20 Vision,” with a look back at how EarthFest and Knoxville have made sustainable choices over the past 20 years and a look ahead at sustainable practices for the next 20.

The free festival will offer speakers, demonstrations, a youth-activity area, a vendor area, live music, food trucks and craft beer. A new feature this year is “Ask the Expert,” where attendees can meet one on one with local experts to get answers to their questions about a variety of green topics.

Parking is not available on-site, but shuttles or KAT can get you there. Visit the website to view transportation options and find out more about EarthFest.

Donate a bike, help your neighbors

A Bike Elf bike presentation (Photo from the event Facebook page)

On Earth Day itself, you can make a difference by donating a used bike. Your gift will not only help get more people onto bikes and foster a healthier community, but it will also help create jobs for at-risk youth in Knoxville.

DreamBikes Knoxville and Bike Elf of Townsend are partnering on the Earth Day Bike Drive, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday, April 22, at DreamBikes, 309 N. Central St. Every kid’s bike donated will go to Bike Elf, which gives bikes to children and young adults who earn them by participating in various community groups.

Donated adult bikes will stay at DreamBikes, where young people from disadvantaged neighborhoods are hired to repair and sell them, learning skills and confidence that will help them when they enter the working world.

“Our organization can’t exist without the support of our community,” says Mitchell Connell, the general manager of DreamBikes Knoxville. “By donating your bike, bike parts or bike accessories, you are choosing to create jobs for underserved youth in Knoxville and help provide affordable transportation to the Knoxville community.”

During Monday’s drive, tune-ups will be 25 percent off, and refurbished bikes will be 25 percent off as well. All donations are tax deductible.

Paddle your way to nature

Another event Monday, April 22, is the Earth Day Kayak Paddle at 2 p.m. at Fort Loudoun State Historic Park. Kayakers will depart from and end at the boat dock/kayak launch next to the main parking lot.

The paddle is rated easy. You can rent kayaks and equipment or bring your own. Cost is $20 for renters and $10 for those who bring their own. Register online, or phone 423-420-2331.

For more ideas on how to get outside and have fun, check out the Outdoor Knoxville calendar.


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