Natural Wonders

Want to get more tuned into the environment around you? You can get a good start by participating in these events at Ijams Nature Center in Knoxville, Tenn.; Melton Hill Dam Reservation near Lenoir City, Tenn.; and Little Cedar Mountain Small Wild Area west of Chattanooga, Tenn.

Unleash Your Inner Naturalist at Ijams

Where: Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville
When: June 17, 2016
What time: 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Directions: Take James White Parkway from I-40; cross over the Tennessee River and take the Sevier Ave./ Hillwood exit. Follow signs to Ijams.

From hikers and hunters to birders and beach-combers, the world is filled with naturalists, and many of us record like to what we find. What if all those observations could be shared online? You might discover someone who finds beautiful wildflowers at your favorite birding spot, or learn more about the birds you see on the way to work. If enough people recorded their observations, it would be like a living record of life on Earth that scientists and land managers could use to monitor changes in biodiversity, and that anyone could use to learn more about nature.

That’s the vision behind Learn how to participate, if you like recording your findings from the outdoors. Or even if you just like learning more about the world around you, join us for this fascinating two-hour class.

Be a Part of the Melton Hill Bioblitz

Where: Melton Hill Dam Reservation near Lenoir City, Tenn.
June 18, 2016
What time:
9 am to 4 pm
Directions:  Take exit 364 on Interstate 40; proceed north approximately .7 mile and turn east into the Melton Hill Dam Reservation.

Want to know more about the critters that inhabit this eco-friendly campground? Join us for a daylong bioblitz—an event that focuses on finding and identifying as many species as possible over a relatively short period of time. The idea is to bring the community together to get a count of the plants, animals, fungi and other species that live among us at the Melton Hill Dam reservation. This area includes both inland and riparian habitat—so be prepared for land and shore work. Visit for registration. 

Discover Life in America at Little Cedar Mountain Small Wild Area

Where: Little Cedar Mountain Small Wild Area
July 16, 2016
What time:
9 am to 4 pm
Directions: Take exit 158 on I-24 about 25 miles west of Chattanooga, TN and turn left.

The Little Cedar Mountain Small Wild Area near Chattanooga is a gem among TVA public lands and lies along the shore of Nickajack Lake. In addition to the diversity of plant life, the mountain supports an abundance of wildlife. Deer and turkey are commonly spotted, and—though few see the elusive creatures—coyote signs are also common. From one of the overlooks, it’s not unusual to catch sight of an osprey or even an occasional bald eagle. Come experience the diversity for yourself. Visit for registration.