Volunteers needed for Ijams River Rescue

Amber ParkerFun Outdoors, South Knox, West Hills

Volunteer registration is now open for the 31st Ijams River Rescue on Saturday, Nov.21, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Ijams Nature Center’s annual event focuses on removing trash and tires from 32 sites along the Tennessee River and its creek tributaries from the river’s headwaters in Knoxville to the shores of Loudon County.

This event was originally scheduled for March 28, but the pandemic forced us to cancel it. Because the cleanup is outside and volunteers can distance themselves from each other or work with family members and friends in their own “bubble,” it’s something we can do safely to bring the community together and make a difference.

Volunteers can register using an online, interactive site map accessible from the Ijams River Rescue page on Ijams’ website here. Slots are filled on a first-come, first served basis, and typically book quickly. The deadline to register is Nov. 14 or until all slots have been filled.

Those wishing to sign up as a group should have all members register individually so that they can complete a waiver and provide personal contact information should Ijams need to communicate with everyone at a particular site.

The 31st annual Ijams River Rescue is sponsored by Home Federal Bank, TVA, city of Knoxville Stormwater Management, First Horizon Foundation, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, CAC AmeriCorps, Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union, Waste Connections and the Water Quality Forum.

Ijams Nature Center is a nonprofit, 315-acre educational nature center for all ages, abilities and walks of life. Ijams’ mission is to encourage stewardship of the natural world by providing an urban greenspace for people to learn about and enjoy the outdoors through engaging experiences. Located just three miles from downtown Knoxville, Ijams features 12 miles of hiking and mixed-use trails, a public access river dock, swimming, boating, biking and more. The center offers hundreds of educational programs annually, from day camps and school field trips to outdoor and classroom education programs on beginner birding and hiking to wildflower walks and family adventures. The Ijams grounds and trails are open every day from 8 a.m. until dusk. The Visitor Center is open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit Ijams.org or call 865-577-4717.

Amber Parker is executive director of Ijams Nature Center.

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