Bays Final Logo Brown

Interested in learning more about Tennessee’s natural history so you can help maintain it? Registration for the Tennessee Naturalist Program at Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium is now open.

The Tennessee Naturalist Program is an education training course designed to introduce the natural history of Tennessee to interested adults. Graduates join a critical corps of Tennessee Naturalist volunteers providing education, outreach and service dedicated to the appreciation, understanding and beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities.

The purpose of the TNP is to teach Tennesseans about our natural world, inspire the desire to learn more, instill an appreciation of responsible environmental stewardship and channel volunteer efforts toward education of the general public and conservation of Tennessee’s natural resources. To become a Tennessee Naturalist, a person must complete a minimum of 40 hours instruction through a TNP training course and perform a minimum of 40 hours volunteer service.

After training, Tennessee Naturalists may participate in many different types of volunteer activities, such as helping a nature outreach program at a park, museum, nature center or school, assisting the collection of scientific data for a bird census, water quality assessment or rare plant monitoring, and working with trail maintenance or habitat restoration projects.

Tennessee Naturalist Program Schedule
Fridays from 4 to 8 p.m.

  • August 16: So you want to be a naturalist
  • August 23: Feathered friends: the birds of Tennessee
  • August 30: The world of invertebrates: pollinators, predators, pests, and parasitoids
  • September 6: Tennessee’s living waters
  • September 13: Forbs, ferns, fungi, and more
  • September 20: Hooray for herps
  • September 27: Forests and trees of Tennessee
  • October 4: The geology of Tennessee
  • October 11: The furry creatures of Tennessee
  • October 18: The ecology of Tennessee
  • October 25: Nocturnal Naturalist

Attire and footwear should both be appropriate for hiking and outdoor activities. First two hours are held inside, while the last two hours are held outside weather depending. Registration will begin July 15. The cost is $250, which includes all classes and class material, hand lens and field notebook. You can register in person at the nature center or call the nature center at 423-229-9447 to register over the phone.

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Per a new state law that goes into effect on July 1, the City of Kingsport will not charge sales tax on water furnished exclusively for agriculture and farming purposes. Qualifying customers will need to notify the Customer Service Department and provide a copy of their State of Tennessee Agricultural Exemption Certificate.

The Customer Service Department is located at 225 W. Center Street and is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you have questions, please call 423-245-1019.

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Construction will begin on the expansion to the Kingsport Aquatic Center this Monday, June 24.

The expansion, which includes a new outdoor pool, shaded pavilion, additional restrooms and more, will be built by BurWil Construction Company and should be complete before the summer 2020 season.

The Kingsport Aquatic Center has worked closely with Burwil to ensure the safety and convenience of all guests as construction gets underway this summer. That said, the KAC asks its guests to please be safety conscious and wear shoes when walking from cars to the indoor or outdoor pools.

As a reminder, overflow parking is available at MeadowView if it’s needed. Construction will not affect handicap parking. Please visit swimkingsport.com and the KAC’s social media regularly to stay on top of any construction updates.

 

Previously released:

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 [then Community Services Business Manager, current City Recorder/CFO] 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.

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Are you a local artist with a passion for keeping the environment clean and healthy? Or are you a casual painter that loves animals? The City of Kingsport Stormwater Department, with the help of the Office of Cultural Arts and Engage Kingsport, is seeking local artists and creative minds to paint five storm drains in local neighborhoods to raise awareness about the importance of protecting our rivers, stream habitat, and aquatic wildlife.

To enter the contest:

  • Send a color sketch of your proposed artwork around a storm drain.
  • Artwork may include the street, sidewalk or both.
  • Text is encouraged to convey the educational stormwater message.
  • Be sure to include your name, phone and email.

The deadline to submit entries is August 1. The winners will be selected by August 16. The five winning artists will receive $100 and their chance to leave their artistic talents on the streets of local Kingsport neighborhoods.

Sponsors for this contest are all local businesses and include Bishop & Company, Bank of Tennessee, Kingsport Imaging, VIPSeen and Now or Never Tattoo Gallery.

The artists will each receive one quart of red, yellow, blue, white and black. Artists will start painting the first week of September. For complete rules and guidelines, please click here.

“The response we got last year from the downtown drain artwork was very positive,” said Amanda McMullen, stormwater quality control technician for Kingsport Public Works. “This year, we want to bring the art to the people by painting drains in various neighborhoods.”

What is Stormwater?

As Kingsport grew, the ground became covered with asphalt, concrete and buildings. Without realizing it, an important part of the water cycle was disturbed. Instead of rain naturally filtering into the ground, it flows over roofs, driveways and streets as stormwater. Stormwater can pick up pollutants and transport them into local waterways via the storm drain system. Pollutants include everyday items like pesticides or fertilizers in our yards, oil in our cars, and even soap. When introduced into the waterway, pollutants have a harmful effect on aquatic life and the health of our rivers.

For more information on the storm drain art contest and stormwater in Kingsport, please click here.

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The Kingsport Farmers Market is partnering with Visit Kingsport and the Downtown Kingsport Association on a brand new farmers market experience: the Evening at the Market series.

On the second Thursday of each month, June through September, visit the Kingsport Farmers Market at 308 Clinchfield Street for an exciting night. Shop from the farmers market vendors you know and love, visit food vendors for some dinner, then grab a craft beer before the live bluegrass concert outside.

“We are so excited to bring this new experience to downtown Kingsport,” said Kristie Leonard, the city’s Community Services Program Administrator and market manager. “Everyone in the region is welcome to come enjoy a laidback atmosphere and visit with your neighbors.”

Evening at the Market lasts from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The market is open for the entire evening, and the concert kicks off at 6. Carousel Park is right next door, and the Kingsport Carousel will be open for rides. Bring the family and stay a while at Evening at the Market!

For our June 13 kick-off night, come support Kingsport in the tie-breaking battle for the Best Long Island Ice Tea. After the concert, Visit Kingsport will show the live battle on the big screen as Kingsport’s local team takes on New York in National Harbor, Maryland. Come show your support for Kingsport’s Original Long Island Iced Tea!

Concert Schedule

June 13: Lonesome River

July 11: Hunter Patterson Band

August 8: Matlock & Company

September 12: ETSU Bluegrass Pride Band

Don’t forget—the Kingsport Farmers Market is open every Wednesday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. To learn more about the market, visit kingsportfarmersmarket.org.

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The Kingsport Area Transit Service (KATS) has been in the process of building a new comprehensive transit facility for the past five years. KATS is excited and proud to announce that Phase 1 of the new transit facility is now complete! This center will improve and support growth, accessibility and safety within the community as well as enhancing the eastside gateway appearance to the city. The opening of a new transit facility is a once in a lifetime event and we are excited to be a part of Kingsport’s growth and expansion.

“We have a come a long way to reach this major milestone,” said Assistant City Manager Chris McCartt. “When I came to the City in 1997, I remember attending meetings at Kingsport Tomorrow where we would strategize how to market this service. One of those strategies included neighborhood visits where we would literally go door-to-door delivering information regarding our service. During those early days, you wondered if the service would survive from one year to the next, look at us now. Individuals such as former Mayor Jeanette Blazier, Gary Taylor and Bill Albright are to be commended. Without their tireless dedication, we probably wouldn’t be where we are today.”

KATS is very pleased to invite you to their new transit facility at 900 East Main Street on Friday, June 14 for their grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony.

Help KATS celebrate with all day festivities including free bus rides, discount opportunities, giveaways, special prizes and a free lunch catered by The Hot Dog Hut.

Attendees can register their name in a drawing to win the grand prize of a yearly bus pass valued at $240.00!

Make sure you take advantage of this deal, and tell your friends and family members. You can learn more about KATS at www.kingsporttransit.org. Thank you for choosing KATS!

WHAT: KATS GRAND OPENING AND RIBBON CUTTING

WHERE: 900 East Main Street

WHEN: Friday, June 14, 2019 (Tours start at 10:00am, remarks at 10:30am, lunch at 11:00am)

For more information, please visit www.kingsporttransit.org.

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Kingsport Area Transit Service is very excited to announce that operations will begin from their new transit facility at 900 East Main Street on Monday, June 10.

All 6 routes have been improved, including the newest one, Route 6. Route 6 will now travel into Colonial Heights to serve additional riders and will stop at the Food City on Moreland Drive. Information about the new routes will be available online next week and new route books are currently available at the transit center.

Due to the “learning curve” for riders and drivers, KATS will offer free bus rides on all bus routes all day long from Monday, June 10 through Friday, June 28.

“We hope this encourages people to utilize Kingsport’s public transit service and learn the new routes at no cost to them,” said Chris Campbell, KATS public transportation manager.

KATS new transit facility grand opening and ribbon cutting will be Friday, June 14. Be watching for additional details to be released at the end of the week.

Make sure you take advantage of the free rides during June and tell your friends and family members. You can learn more about KATS at www.kingsporttransit.org. Thank you for choosing KATS!

WHAT:            KATS Begins Operations From New Transit Facility (Plus free bus rides the rest of the month!)

WHERE:         900 East Main Street

WHEN:           Monday June 10, 2019

For more information, please visit www.kingsporttransit.org.

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On June 18, sponsors Bays Mountain Park and Kingsport Idol bring you “An Evening with Dr. Bill Bass.” Experience an event like no other as you hear from one of the most interesting scientists working today.

“Dr. Bass is a forensic legend, and we are thrilled to host him at Bays Mountain Park,” said Mark Kilgore, program coordinator at Bays Mountain. “He is beloved in East Tennessee, and we are lucky to have him share his knowledge and experiences with our community.”

Dr. Bass is known for pioneering and advancing the study of human remains in order to assist law enforcement, as well as being the founder of “The Body Farm” at the University of Tennessee. Best known for his research on human osteology and human decomposition, Dr. Bass has been the front-runner in the field of forensics for quite some time.

Dr. Bass has worked throughout the United States and worldwide to help solve some of the world’s most famous crimes. The CSI television show has even based some of their storylines upon Dr. Bass’s research. Now retired, he continues to share his knowledge through speaking events.

As a co-author, Bass is famous for his collaboration with writer and documentary filmmaker Jon Jefferson. Beginning with a film for National Geographic about the Body Farm, the duo has written two nonfiction books and 12 bestselling fiction novels under the name Jefferson Bass. Dr. Bass’s books will be available for purchase after the event.

“An Evening with Dr. Bill Bass” will be held at Robinson Middle School at 6:30 p.m. on June 18. Tickets prior to the event are $25 and $30 the day of the event. Tickets are available through Eventbrite at http://bit.ly/2wvFKgo. For more information, please call Mark Kilgore at 423-230-6357.

Bays Final Logo Brown

Bays Mountain Park welcomes The Green Rumours for a concert at the Lily Pad Pavilion on Saturday June 15th, 2019 at 3 p.m.

The Green Rumours are a sultry indie folk duo comprised of Jason Wilson and Jen Fields. Founding members of the Appalachian Alternative band, Jackdaw’s 7, the two decided to begin an acoustic singer/songwriter project together, and The Green Rumours were born.

Vastly different in their musical backgrounds (Wilson has a punk rock background, and Fields is a musical theatre aficionado), the duo has a surprising connectivity both in songwriting and stage performance. They meet on a plane outside of their collective background to create a uniquely alluring sound, and their voices blend in an almost ethereal blues-tinged harmony. Both Wilson and Fields have a strong affinity for words, an affection that shines in the crafting of the lyrics of their original songs. They have the ability to make universal themes such as losing a loved one, or missing the innocence of childhood feel intensely personal.

Tickets are $7 and available now online at eventbrite.com by searching “Green Rumours.” You can also visit Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium’s Facebook page to easily find the ticket link.

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

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KATS will offer free rides on all bus routes all day long Tuesday, May 21st in order to encourage people to come out and vote during the Kingsport Municipal Elections. Take advantage of this free day in order to place your vote.

Make sure you take advantage of this deal, and tell your friends and family members. You can learn more about KATS at www.kingsporttransit.org. Thank you for choosing KATS!

WHAT:  Free bus rides on all routes

WHERE: Route buses

WHEN: Tuesday, May 21st