Volunteers can help the City of Knoxville get national recognition for being a healthy place for its wildest residents.


The City of Knoxville Offices of Solid Waste, Sustainability and Neighborhoods in cooperation with Knox County Solid Waste will begin a series of public land and stream clean-up projects this Sunday, Dec. 4, 1-4 p.m. at Holston River Park (3300 Holston Hills Road) to improve the quality of life for birds, insects, amphibians, reptiles, and small mammals.


“Our goal is to remove waste, pull out invasive plants, and support the growth of native plants at the points where they are most vulnerable to pollution,” says Drew Thurman, Compliance Manager for Knox County Solid Waste.


Volunteers will pick up trash and work to remove invasive plants like privet, “tree of heaven” and bush honeysuckle that choke out native species, which tend to be disease resistant and helpful to native pollinators and other animals. Volunteers will be trained and provided with all necessary equipment, although participants may want to bring a pair of gloves, as supplies may be limited.


This clean-up series is part of a local effort to have Knoxville recognized as a National Wildlife Federation (NWF) Certified Community Wildlife Habitat. The NWF Community Wildlife Habitat program seeks to provide healthy habitat for wildlife throughout a community by providing four basic elements that all wildlife need: food, water, cover, and places to raise young. Conservation projects are a key component to protecting wildlife habitats.


“These activities preserve our area’s natural beauty and support the continuation of many species unique to our region,” adds City of Knoxville Office of Sustainability Project Manager Brian Blackmon.


For more information, or to find out about more volunteer opportunities, contact Wyatt Pless at wpless@knoxvilletn.gov <mailto:wpless@knoxvilletn.gov>  or (865) 215-3456.