kingsport logo

From April 2 through 13, the city of Kingsport is holding its annual spring clean-up service for residents. Residents can place extra items on the curb for garbage crews to haul away at no extra charge. The city encourages residents to clean up and clean out their yards, garages and basements. Every resident will receive their normal garbage and recycling pick-ups and one trash pick-up during each week.

The city will pick-up:
Tires (only 4 per household and off the rim)
Small amount of building materials (drywall, carpet, scrap lumber)
Yard debris
Bagged grass
Bagged or loose leaves
General junk

The city will not pick-up:
Hazardous material
Propane tanks
Tires on rims
Contractor generated building materials
Contractor generated tree debris

During the clean-up weeks, the city will accept items outside the garbage can. A leaf truck will also be running during this time. While the spring clean-up service is free for residents, the city will still charge for contractor generated waste and tree debris during these weeks.

Computer items, such as monitors, keyboards and hard drives, can be taken to the Sullivan County Transfer Station on Brookside Drive.

Sullivan County will hold its annual hazardous material collection on April 28th at Sullivan Central High School from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

For more information, please call 423-229-9451 or visit

Bays Final Logo Brown

Learn how to adapt to the rough conditions of the outdoors! Outdoor Survival Basics is a series of classes taught at Bays Mountain Park to help teach the average person the techniques for outdoor survival. After a successful introductory run in December, the program series returns this April.

The following survival classes will be held in the Discovery The­ater at Bays Mountain Park at 3:00 p.m.

  • April 1 – “Snake Bites”
  • April 8 – “What To Take Hiking?”
  • April 15 – “Lost & Afraid”
  • April 22 – “Outdoor Survival Basics”
  • April 29 – “Bear Aware”

These classes will cover the techniques a person should use in a dan­gerous situation to save themselves or others. These techniques are meant to provide the basic ne­cessities for human life including water, food and shelter, as well as the need to think straight, to signal for help, to navigate safely, to avoid unpleasant interactions with animals and plants and for first aid.

Many of these skills can be used to enjoy extended periods of time in re­mote places and to thrive in nature. Even when hiking, back­packing, horseback riding, fishing or hunting, you need to make sure to have the basic wilder­ness survival skills to handle an emergency situation.

Each class in the series is $3/person and free for Bays Mountain Park members. Participants can complete as many classes as they would like, and those who attend all five classes will receive a certificate of completion. For more information please call 423-229-9447.

kingsport aquatic center logo

Summer is just around the corner and that means it’s time to get your water park pass! The outdoor water park at the Kingsport Aquatic Center will open its gates on Monday, May 14 at 10:30 a.m.

Purchase your pass for the summer season and get access to both the indoor facility and the outdoor water park. Passes grant admission to the indoor facility beginning May 1 and to the outdoor water park May 14, when the park opens.

Swimmers can enjoy two waterslides, the Eastman Credit Union 900-foot lazy river, climbing structure and play area with water cannons, lily pad crossing and concessions stand. New this year, the Kingsport Aquatic Center will have cabanas available for rent.

“We’re excited to open early again this year for the swimmers who can’t wait to jump in,” said Kari Matheney, director of the Kingsport Aquatic Center. “With our new park additions on the horizon, we hope to see even more guests taking advantage of the water park this summer.”

The Waterpark Pass entitles the user to admission to indoor and outdoor pools during the water park operational season (early May through September).

  • Lil’ Splasher: Under 48”- $75/ season
  • Big Splasher: 48” and taller – $100/ season
  • Master Splasher: Age 55+ – $75/season
  • Splash Pack: 4 people/same household – $200/season ($15/add. person)
Outdoor waterpark hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday 10:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

For more information about the Kingsport Aquatic Center or to purchase a water park pass, please visit or call 423-343-9758.

kingsport aquatic center logo

If you are looking for the perfect summer job that offers competitive pay and a great work environment, apply for a position at the Kingsport Aquatic Center! The KAC is hosting a job fair on March 22nd for those interested in learning more about the KAC’s available positions and for those who would like to apply.

With the summer season ramping up, the KAC is hiring lifeguards, concessions attendants, aquatic attendants, gate attendants and water safety instructors. The job fair will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Kingsport Aquatic Center. For those who cannot attend the job fair, applications can also be submitted online at, under the Employment Opportunities tab.

“All of our positions allow for flexible schedules and a fun work environment,” said Chassy Smiley, assistant manager at the Kingsport Aquatic Center. “High school and college students make great candidates for these positions. They get to enjoy a job that’s rewarding and active.”

For the month of March, the Kingsport Aquatic Center will be offering a 20% discount on American Red Cross Lifeguard training classes for those applicants who need to become certified. The American Red Cross Lifeguard Training with CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer will take place March 19 – March 23, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. With successful completion of this course participants can apply to become a lifeguard at the Kingsport Aquatic Center.

If you’re thinking you’d like to be a part of a team of individuals that work together to save lives, register online for the training course at There are prerequisites to taking the class and there is a $175 class fee.

For more information, please visit or call 423-343-9758.

Bays Final Logo Brown

Come out, enjoy the spring weather, and get to know some of our local wildflowers! Bays Mountain Park will be hosting six wildflower hikes this spring, both at Laurel Run Park and at Bays Mountain Park.

Hikers can expect to see anywhere from 20-30 species of flowers in just a couple of hours on one of these naturalist led hikes. Many of the wildflowers are showy and easy to find, including redbud, dogwood, pink azalea and wild geranium. The hike days and times are as follows:

  • Laurel Run Park – March 23rd, April 6th and April 20th
  • Bays Mountain Park – March 26th, April 9th and April 27th

Given the effects of elevation, the wildflowers seen on the hikes will be somewhat different at Laurel Run and Bays Mountain.

“Generally, mid-April to mid-May seems to be the time we have the largest numbers and diversity of wildflowers here on the mountain,” said Megan Krager senior naturalist at Bays Mountain Park.

The wildflower display at Laurel Run Park can be much earlier because of its lower elevation. There is often a good display of flow­ers at Laurel Run by mid-March. The combination of richer soil and more consistent moisture means that hikers can find wild­flowers at Laurel Run that do not grow well at the upper elevations of the Bays Mountain Park. These flowers include columbine, Dutchman’s breeches and trilliums.

The wildflower hikes are free and do not require registration. Hikes at both parks will begin at 10 a.m. Hikers should meet in the main parking at Laurel Run Park for the Laurel Run hikes and at the Nature Center for the Bays Mountain hikes.

Depending on weather and what is blooming, the hikes may take up to two hours and participants may walk 2-3 miles. The hikes will go rain or shine, so hikers should dress for the weather.

For more information on Bays Mountain, please visit or call 423-229-9447.

Bays Final Logo Brown

Cinema Under The Stars is back just in time for St. Patrick’s Day! Come out and celebrate with us by watching Leap Year in the Bays Mountain Amphitheater!

Leap Year will be showing this Saturday, March 17th at Bays Mountain Park. This is the third movie in the Cinema Under The Stars movie series sponsored by Bays Mountain Park and Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union. The series, which started in October of 2017, has sold out at each showing.

“With the success of the first two movies in the fall, it was a no brainer to continue the series this spring” said Mark Kilgore recreation coordinator for Bays Mountain Park. “We are thrilled with the amount of support for special programming like Cinema Under The Stars.”

The movie will be shown in the amphitheater and begins at 7:00 p.m. The gate opens at 6:00 p.m. No outside food or drinks are allowed, but concessions will be available for purchase. Attendees are encouraged to bring a stadium chair or blanket.

Admission is $5 for anyone over the age of 6 and free for children ages 5 and younger. All proceeds will benefit Bays Mountain Park.

Tickets are available for purchase in person at the Bays Mountain gift shop or online at Eventbrite. To purchase tickets through Eventbrite, visit For more information, please call Mark Kilgore at 423-230-6357.

Bays Final Logo Brown

Look at the big ideas that have guided human understanding of the cosmos and its patterns in the sky! Bays Mountain Planetarium’s latest alternate presentation, A Part of the Sky Called Orion, starts this month.

A Part of the Sky Called Orion looks at how three different ancient cultures viewed the same part of the sky we know as the constellation Orion. The show focuses on the Greek, Egyptian and Inupiaq cultures along with their different star stories and images using the night sky. The program is followed by a tour of the current night sky using our exceptional Carl Zeiss ZKP-4 star projector.

The show was produced in-house by Bays Mountain Productions and is shown at 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through April.

Also showing through April, is the main feature, Out There – The Quest for Extrasolar Worlds. Bays Mountain Planetarium’s main features are shown at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on the weekends and at 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

Tickets are $5 per person. Children ages 5 and younger receive free admission with a paying adult. For more information on Bays Mountain’s planetarium shows, please visit or call 423-229-9447.

Bays Final Logo Brown

Explore the sky with Bays Mountain’s StarWatch and SunWatch observing programs! Presented by The Bays Mountain Astronomy Club and Bays Mountain Planetarium, these annual programs return this month.

StarWatch and SunWatch are free, family friendly programs offered at Bays Mountain Park. During the viewing, Bays Mountain Astronomy Club members and BMP Planetarium staff will operate telescopes and provide a description of what that telescope is viewing.

StarWatch is a nighttime viewing of the evening sky using large telescopes for the entire family. The program is offered Saturday nights in March, April, October & November starting at dusk. Based on what is visible, typical celestial delights viewed include, the Moon, star clusters, galaxies, globular clusters, double stars, nebulae and much more.

The 2018 StarWatch dates are as follows.

  • March 3rd, 10th – 7:00 p.m.
  • March 17th, 24th, 31st – 8:00 p.m.
  • April 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th – 8:30 p.m.
  • October 6th, 13th – 7:30 p.m.
  • October 20th, 27th, November 3rd – 7:00 p.m.
  • November 10th, 17th, 24th – 6:00 p.m.

During SunWatch, participants can view the Sun using special telescopes at the Bays Mountain dam. SunWatch observations are held on clear Saturdays and Sundays at 3:00 p.m., March through October.

For StarWatch, if the weather does not cooperate, an alternate live star tour will occur in the planetarium theater. The weather typically feels cooler on Bays Mountain than the measured temperature, so guests should dress accordingly.

To visit Bays Mountain there is $5 gate fee per car. For more information on Bays Mountain’s programs, please visit or call 423-229-9447.

Womens Day Photo
March 8th marks International Women’s Day, which celebrates the achievements of women in all spheres of life. In Kingsport, women hold various positions from Police Officer to Transportation Planner to Stormwater Quality Control Technician.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau of 2016, 3.4 million women live in Tennessee and 1.5 million of those women were in the labor force. Women all across the state push forward every day to pursue their careers of choice.

In Kingsport, roughly 150 women work full-time for the City of Kingsport. Their jobs include many that are considered non-traditional roles for women, such as transportation planner, lab technicians or asphalt pavers.

Women’s empowerment can boost city growth. Increasing women in the labor force expands the talent pool which helps to boost productivity and in turn, city growth.

The strong women in these roles hope to use their career path as an example and inspiration to other women.

“Don’t let yourself or anyone else tell you that you can’t do something,” said Officer Terry Hughes. “If you think it and want it, then you can do it.”

In the most recent Board of Mayor and Alderman election, Colette George was reelected and Jennifer Adler and Betsy Cooper were elected to serve. For the first time in our city’s history, the six-elected alderman are 50% female.

The women that serve and work for the city are no strangers to overcoming challenges. Kristen Steach is the Wastewater Technology Services Coordinator and works every day with different departments within the city, communicating and coordinating services.

“I love my role at the city,” said Steach. “It is challenging and rewarding to work with the various public works groups to determine how to manage our public infrastructure and services.  No two days are the same and I love that there is always room for improvement that will positively impact our city and its citizens.”

Kingsport is thankful that there are so many women breaking barriers and choosing to make an impact in our city. While these women are being recognized today and for International Women’s Day tomorrow, they deserve our thanks every day for the work they do.

“It’s important to pause and celebrate the amazing women who propel this city forward every day,” said City Manager Jeff Fleming. “I want my daughter and granddaughter to know they can choose any job they find rewarding, challenging, and fulfilling.”

Be sure to check out the ‘Kingsport Spirit’ Facebook page tomorrow to meet all the women in the photo!

Photo Caption:  L to R: Amanda McMullen (Stormwater Quality Control Technician), Terry Hughes (Kingsport Police Officer), Robin DiMona (Parks & Recreation Assistant Manager), Kristen Steach (Wastewater Technology Services Coordinator), Lesley Phillips (Transportation Planner), Kayla Evans (Asphalt Paver), Kitty Frazier (Parks & Recreation Manager), Lynn Tully (Development Services Director)