Bays Final Logo Brown

Mountain biking is a great way to exercise while connecting with nature—but hurtling down a mountain on a bike might seem intimidating if someone has never done it before. This March, Bays Mountain Park is offering the Beginning Mountain Biking Series to teach participants the tips and tricks every beginner needs to know.

This three-session series will give each participant the opportunity to learn from experienced riders, ask questions, and develop their skills. The first two sessions will start in the Discovery Theater before moving outside to learn a skill. On March 17, learn about the equipment needed for mountain biking, bike language and trail types and etiquette. The March 24 session covers additional equipment and equipment maintenance, what to wear and what to pack.

The last session on March 31 teaches about where to ride and how to build a trail. Participants will end with a six-mile group ride along Chestnut, Big Oak and Chinquapin Trails, with experienced riders sharing trail and maneuver tricks to keep everyone moving safely.

Beginning Mountain biking is provided in part by Reedy Creek Bicycles LLC and Achieving Balance Mountain Bike Skills Instruction. By the end of this series, participants will be able to navigate Bays Mountain Park’s 32 miles of biking trails with ease and confidence.

All sessions run 3 to 5 p.m. and are free to Park members (must show membership card at the gift shop) and $3 per session for non-members. Preregistration for the Beginning Mountain Biking Series is available at Eventbrite.com. There are 56 spots per session, and 28 are open for preregistration. Everyone must check in at the Nature Center gift shop for each session, regardless of preregistration.

For more information on Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium, please visit baysmountain.com or call (423)229-9447.

The Kingsport Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization (MTPO) is in the process of developing a new Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for fiscal years 2020-2023. The TIP is a four-year financially constrained priority list of projects within the MTPO planning area funded with federal, state, and local dollars. This is the opportunity to submit potential projects to be funded with Federal Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) funds. Most projects require a 20 percent local match and shall be sponsored by a governmental entity that can demonstrate a financial commitment to the project. Completed applications must be received by the MTPO no later than April 5, 2019.  To be eligible for funding, projects must be included in the 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan. Chapter 7 of the plan includes project recommendations and can be found on the MTPO’s website by following this link: https://www.kingsporttn.gov/city-services/kmtpo/plans-and-documents/long-range-plan/.

Click here for the TIP Project Application

The Kingsport Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization (MTPO) is in the process of developing a new Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for fiscal years 2020-2023. The TIP is a four-year financially constrained priority list of projects within the MTPO planning area funded with federal, state, and local dollars. This is the opportunity to submit potential projects to be funded with Federal Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) funds. Most projects require a 20 percent local match and shall be sponsored by a governmental entity that can demonstrate a financial commitment to the project. Completed applications must be received by the MTPO no later than April 5, 2019.  To be eligible for funding, projects must be included in the 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan. Chapter 7 of the plan includes project recommendations and can be found on the MTPO’s website by following this link: https://www.kingsporttn.gov/city-services/kmtpo/plans-and-documents/long-range-plan/.

 

Click here for the TIP Project Application

Inventor center logo

The first weekend in March marks the grand opening of the Inventor Center, a new community space for Kingsport’s creators, makers and artists of all kinds.

The festivities kick off at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 1 with a ribbon cutting. Return to the Inventor Center on Saturday for classes taught by YouTube influencers, and again on Sunday for an open house.

Here are the YouTube maker stars appearing Saturday, March 2:

  1.  Izzy Swan – https://www.youtube.com/user/rusticman1973
  2. Johnny Brooke, Craftedhttps://www.youtube.com/user/craftedmagazine
  3. Fred Sexton , Redneck DIYhttps://www.youtube.com/user/blazingnailgun
  4. Nathan Elliot, Out of the Woodshttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiPGkIebcT4QmEw6P6Lkubw

Located at 118 Shelby Street, the Inventor Center adds to Kingsport’s developing entrepreneurial ecosystem. Places like RCAM, Streamworks, D-B Excel, SyncSpace and now the Inventor Center give Kingsport citizens a place to learn new skills, foster community or build a business.

The Inventor Center comes from a public-private partnership led by the City of Kingsport with Engage Kingsport and the Model City Makerspace. This new facility is a premier makerspace that provides makers the space to develop a variety of skills, as well as unique, specialized equipment they will rarely find anywhere else.

More than just a space to create, the Inventor Center is a place to learn. Through programs and classes for inventors, entrepreneurs and employers, the Inventor Center is focused on creating opportunities that benefit Kingsport as a whole.

Keep reading to learn more about the Inventor Center’s six focus areas.

Makers
Where craft meets science, this group has a strong connection to making (and breaking) things to see what they can create next. This includes woodworkers, engineers, sculptors, hackers, and more.

Community Arts
Here we cover traditional arts and crafts. Whether professional or hobbyist, all painters, printmakers, ones who sew, sculptors, and other traditional artists are welcome.

Social Impact
A primary goal for the Inventor Center is to improve the lives of others. Every class and program gives our community new opportunities to better themselves and build a stronger future.

Entrepreneurs
The Inventor Center aims to cultivate Kingsport’s entrepreneurial spirit by connecting mentors to business owners and startups. Mentors provide advice and guidance, and entrepreneurs can create physical prototypes of their device or product.

Employers
The Inventor Center offers Kingsport employers programs ranging from workplace and equipment training to electronics development and community investment. All programs are designed to strengthen employers and their ability to recruit and provide amenities and training opportunities to employees.

Education
Curiosity, learning, and making are all at the heart of the Inventor Center. Programs designed for elementary to higher education are a top priority.  The Inventor Center aims to connect with other community organizations to provide access to classes and more for students.

The Inventor Center offers a variety of classes for all skills levels, as well memberships for makers, artisans and innovators. Visit http://theinventorcenter.com/ to learn more.

kingsport aquatic center logo

The Kingsport Aquatic Center will begin construction on a new outdoor pool this year.

The City of Kingsport Board of Mayor and Alderman approved the design and construction at its February 5 business meeting. The pool comes as part of a larger expansion, which includes a shaded pavilion outside, additional outdoor restrooms, an administrative area, and other amenities.

“We’re really excited about this project,” said Community Services Business Manager Sid Cox. “This is something our customers have requested, and we expect people to really enjoy it. It’s going to make the overall facility more attractive and more adaptable beyond just swimming.”

The new outdoor pool is will cater to adults and teens. With a 180-person capacity and a four to five foot depth, it’s designed for multipurpose use. The pool will include three 25-yard lanes for outdoor lap swimming, a circular social area with hydrotherapy jets, a seated bench area for outdoor water aerobics classes, and an area for water basketball and volleyball. Around the pool, there will be room for additional seating of up to 60 lounge chairs.

The new pavilion will provide shaded seating at 16 picnic tables for waterpark guests to enjoy their lunch, or simply get out of the sun for a while. It will attach to the existing roof of the outdoor lifeguard office/gate area. This building expansion will include a new walk-in freezer for the Oasis concession stand, as well as three family changing restrooms.

An extension from the Aquatic Center’s Legion Room toward the parking lot will provide a centralized office space for operational, programming and support staff.

The Kingsport Aquatic Center first opened in 2013 and committed to the mission of providing year-round swim programming for all ages and abilities. This new expansion will help the Aquatic Center better cater to its existing customers and new ones alike.

Lose & Associates, Inc., the company that designed the Kingsport Aquatic Center facility, provided design services for this expansion. The BMA awarded the project bid to BurWil Construction Company in the amount of $2.04 million. As part of the bid, BurWil Construction will clearly mark the designated construction area to ensure that guests visiting the Aquatic Center or YMCA will stay safe despite the project.

The Aquatic Center expects to complete this expansion in time for its 2020 summer season.

cultural arts logo

A new flock of birds landed in Kingsport today—painted birds, that is. The installation of the “Silent Skies Mural Project,” which features portraits of all 678 birds on the endangered species list, began in downtown Kingsport this morning, Tuesday, February 5.

This 24-foot by 50-foot vinyl-printed mural will hang at the corner of Market and Broad Streets, where the “Humanae” mural once hung. The “Silent Skies Mural Project” is a representation of an installation that opened in Vancouver, Canada, last August. That installation featured the original 678 portraits on 8-inch by 8-inch canvases, arranged in a 100-foot mural. Artists for Conservation, a Canada-based non-profit that promotes conservation through wildlife art, launched the collaborative project with an international call for artists.

Kingsport’s own Suzanne Barrett Justis is a Signature Member of Artists for Conservation, and “Silent Skies” features six of her portraits. The windows of her gallery, Suzanne Barrett Justis Fine Art, look out directly onto the wall where the mural will hang. This morning, she was out on the street excitedly taking pictures of the mural installation, which is expected to be done by end-of-day.

“It’s exciting for me as an artist,” Justis said, “but I hope it’s exciting for Kingsport to say, ‘Hey, we have this mural, and one of our own is on it.’”

The idea of printing the mural on vinyl was Justis’ idea. A longtime wildlife and conservation artist who originally studied animal science, Justis believed it was important to bring this mural to as many places and people as possible. While the original installation has hung in Vancouver and Arizona and is now set to travel to China, Justis is working hard to bring vinyl versions to cities and zoos across the country. The Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts worked with Justis to make Kingsport the very first place to host the vinyl installation.

“This mural is bringing awareness to the 678 endangered species of birds,” Justis said. “It’s also letting international artists shine, and it has a call to action to learn more about each species.”

The mural invites people to visit http://www.artistsforconservation.org where they can view each bird portrait online. Prints of each portrait are available for purchase, and the proceeds will benefit conservation education among youth, as well as bird conservation.

The “Silent Skies Mural Project” will hang in downtown Kingsport for six months. For more information, please visit http://www.artistsforconservation.org. To learn more about the Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts, please visit https://engagekingsport.com.

farmers market logo

The Kingsport Farmers Market began accepting online and paper applications for vendors on February 1 for its 2019 season.

Every vendor must reapply for the market each new season. The application is available online by going to https://kingsportfarmersmarket.org and clicking on the “Get Involved” tab and selecting “Become a Vendor.” Those who prefer a paper application can request one during the registration period by calling (423)392-8414.

Before applying, vendors should take time to review the Vendor Handbook on the Kingsport Farmers Market website under the “About Us” tab. This handbook lists the KFM’s policies regarding what types of vendors will be accepted to the Market.

Vendor acceptance, placement and dates granted are at the discretion of the Kingsport Farmers Market staff. All accepted vendors will be notified on or before April 1, 2019.

Though it’s been in operation for more than 40 years, last year marked the first season that the City of Kingsport took over administration of the Kingsport Farmers Market’s seasonal operation. A number of successful programs and festivals made it one of the most memorable years yet, and Tennessee Magazine once again named the Kingsport Farmers Market the Best Farmers Market in East Tennessee.

The Kingsport Farmers Market hopes all its new and returning vendors will help to make the 2019 Market season even more successful.