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A Recap of Recent Departmental Events! 
Dogwood Arts House & Garden Show
The central idea behind this year's Water Quality Forum booth at the Dogwood Arts House and Garden Show was to spread the word that there are many ways to recycle water at home! We love partnering with the Water Quality Forum and appreciate the work they are doing to educate the public on healthy water practices. 

This year's booth was decorated as a home that was collecting rainwater into a rain barrel with excess rainwater running through pervious pavers into a rain garden. The plants in our rain garden were donated by the Native Plant Rescue Squad. We also raffled off a rain barrel. Thank you to all you stopped by, and we can't wait to see you at next year's Dogwood Arts House and Garden Show. 
33rd Annual River Rescue presented by TVA

Knox County Stormwater site captains were happy to participate in this clean-up as part of the 33rd annual Ijams Nature Center's River Rescue on March 19th. We were even more excited to see this section of Flat Creek get cleaned up, since we walk Flat Creek for our visual stream assessments and use this site at the Mascot Road Bridge for bacterial monitoring. 

You could not walk two steps without stepping on bottles and cans along Flat Creek at the Mascot Road Bridge, but with a couple of hours and 8 hard-working volunteers, we gave the area a total make-over. Volunteers walked along the roadway and worked on the steep stream bank. In total, 400 pounds of trash, several tires, and the front bumper of a car were collected!

River Rescue is a great volunteer opportunity that has a big impact. This year, close to 560 volunteers safely removed 21+ tons of trash, including 146 tires, across 44 clean-up sites in Knox, Anderson, Blount, Loudon and Roane counties. Since Ijams started tracking what cleanups collected in 1995, more than 1 million pounds of trash has been removed from areas in and around waterways.
Tennessee Tree Day 2022
On Saturday, March 19th our department participated in Tennessee Tree Day as a pick-up site. Our AmeriCorps members worked during the week beforehand to bundle orders, and on Saturday, they handed out over 700 trees to Knoxville residents who had preordered saplings. 

TN Tree Day, coordinated by the Tennessee Environmental Council, occurs annually and is the largest community tree-planting project of its kind designed to help maintain a healthy tree canopy across the state. Last year over 50,000 trees were planted with over 75,000 projected for this year. 

A big thank you to our partners at UT Gardens for letting us use their space. Go check out the gardens at their upcoming Spring Spectacular Plant Sale this Saturday, April 9th! 
At-Home Practices to Improve Water Quality
Four ways you can implement into your home outdoor care this Spring.
If you apply fertilizer to your lawn, always do so at the recommended rate only. Applying more than recommended can burn your lawn, or run off during the next rain. Additionally, soil tests with fertilizer recommendations are available through the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture HERE.

If you are adding a patio or front walkway, consider using pervious pavers. This attractive alternative to asphalt or concrete allows rainwater to infiltrate into the soil below through spaces between the pavers, instead of running off and ponding in a low area. 

Try washing your car on the lawn instead of in the driveway or street. This will prevent soaps from getting into the local creeks and you will also be watering your grass. Car soaps won't hurt your grass.

Lastly, if you see any illicit discharge (any discharge to the storm sewer system that is not composed entirely of stormwater) in your neighborhood, report it! Examples of illicit discharge include oil, sanitary wastewater, laundry wastewater, and auto and household toxics. Additionally, make sure grass clippings or other yard waste does not end up in the storm drain. 
Upcoming Events!
Cheers to Clean Water: Tennessee River Clean-Up & Paddle Off
Participate in the Cheers to Clean Water: Tennessee River Clean-Up & Paddle Off presented by Earthadelic Landscape & Construction benefitting the Water Quality Forum on Saturday, June 11th at Suttree Landing Park.

Participants are encouraged to bring a kayak, canoe, or paddle board and take part in a competitive race, or join forces with the The City of Knoxville Waste and Resources Management Office, Ijams Nature Center River Keeper, and other partners to clean-up the river!

Following the race is a celebration in the name of clean water at the park featuring local brews, yard games, local water experts, music, and a chance to take home some swag.

For more information and to sign up, check out their website
Rainy Day Brush Off

We are looking for local artists to paint rain barrels! Rainy Day Brush Off is a community-building event that features the work of local artists and students who create unique, artistic rain barrels. Rain barrels are a great way to collect rain water to use on your garden later. 

If you are not the artistic type, you can still participate by buying a finished rain barrel when they are all auctioned off. They will be displayed in the middle of May at different community buildings and businesses around Knox County. The event will culminate at the Cheers to Clean River: Tennessee River Clean-Up & Paddle Off Celebration on Saturday, June 11th from 12:30 to 4:30pm.

If you are interested in learning more, email Haley Michael-Lee at programs
Teaming to Educate for Agricultural Mastery (TEAM) Conference 
Volunteer Opportunites!
WaterFest 2022: From Mountain To Fountain
WaterFest is the Water Quality Forum’s largest annual education event. Over 800 students in first through third grade are introduced to water science concepts through fun, hands-on activities that teach them about their local water resources and how to protect them.

WaterFest is on Tuesday, May 10th at Ijams Nature Center. Volunteers are needed to help with some activities. To sign up to volunteer or if you have any questions, email Haley at


Come with your family or gather your friends, coworkers, or associates and become a member of the Adopt-A-Stream program!

The Adopt-A-Stream program is a citizen-based monitoring and litter-prevention program intended to protect the health and serenity of our local waterways. Participating groups will be asked to complete two stream clean-ups per year. For more information or with any questions, email

Here is where you can find information about our AmeriCorps members and what projects they are working on this year.
Our AmeriCorps members have been hard at work these past several months. In between the different departmental events, they have been in the field and in the classroom. 

One of the main duties of our AmeriCorps team is to complete Visual Stream Assessments (VSAs) of our county waterways, where they look for erosion, stream buffer health, and human impacts of our streams. They have completed VSAs for Flat Creek and Little Flat Creek and are currently working through Beaver Creek.

Our team has enjoyed going into classrooms where they have taught about macroinvertebrates, pollution in a watershed, the dangers of excess sediment in streams, and about stream morphology and erosion. Additionally, they helped South Doyle middle schoolers clear invasive species and plant native tree saplings along Baker Creek.

They are excited to see what these next couple months bring and to finish their term strong.
Left: Marie and Madison talking about water filtration to students.
Right: At the tree planting event with 8th graders at South Doyle Middle School.

Knox County Stormwater
205 W. Baxter Ave.
Knoxville, TN 37917
Phone: (865) 215-5540

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