ORRA hosts Learn to Row class for visually impaired, blind

Oak Ridge Rowing Association Boathouse

The Oak Ridge Rowing Association boathouse at Melton Lake Park on the Clinch River.

The Oak Ridge Rowing Association will host a special Learn to Row class for the visually impaired and blind on Sunday, September 14.

ORRA is partnering with Visually Impaired/Blind Enhanced Services, or Club VIBES, to offer the class, which starts at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Club VIBES is a nonprofit organization with a mission to assist blind and visually impaired young people in the Knoxville area to live independent and productive lives by identifying their unique capacities and developing their individual strengths, a press release said. Club VIBES provides a free mentoring service for visually impaired or blind youth and their parents/guardians residing in or around the Knoxville area.

Twelve to 13 participants will launch on Sunday afternoon to engage in a new activity for those who have always wanted to try the sport but have not had the opportunity. [Read more...]


Oak Ridge has treasure hunt at outdoor pool on Sept. 20

The Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Department is having a treasure hunt at the outdoor pool on Saturday, September 20, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Hunters are invited to bring their metal detectors and search the grass areas for treasure, a press release said.

For this one-time event, the City of Oak Ridge will allow hunters to use small utensils to dig; however, no shovels will be allowed, and all removed turf must be replaced. Every hunter with a metal detector will be charged $5 to hunt.

For more information, call the Recreation and Parks Department at (865) 425-3450 or visit www.orrecparks.org.

Water Exercise class begins September 8

The city’s next water exercise session will start September 8 and run through October 17. These classes run in six-week sessions.

The class will meet Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, from 1-2 p.m. in the indoor pool at the Oak Ridge Civic Center. The fee is $42 per person and $37.50 for anyone 65 and older for the six-week session. The rate per class is $4.25 and $2.25 for 65 and older.

For more information call the Recreation and Parks Department at (865) 425-3450 or visit www.orrecparks.org.

Rock and Root 30K at Haw Ridge on Saturday

Haw Ridge Park Entrance

The parking lot entrance at Haw Ridge Park off Edgemoor Road is pictured above.

Proceeds from a Rock and Root 30K at Haw Ridge on Saturday will be donated to Friends of Haw Ridge, a press release said.

The 30K is the first big event for Peak Mountain Sports LLC. It’s the company’s premier trail race this year, the press release said.

“A 30K trail running race—the Rock and Root 30K is an epic adventure of trail running that recreational athletes, elite runners, and everyone in between will not want to miss,” the release said. “Using the technical and hilly terrain of Haw Ridge Park in Oak Ridge, runners will conquer a wild journey through single track trails of short steep climbs, and breathtaking lakeside views.”

The release said the course is a challenging two-lap loop course that will consist of meandering “rock and root” trails that traverse in and around the 780-acre park. [Read more...]

MMC Foundation hosts 2014 Acorn Classic golf tournament

Sponsorship, player opportunities available

Plans are under way for the Methodist Medical Center Foundation’s 2014 Acorn Classic. The annual golf tournament will take place on Monday, October 20, at the Oak Ridge Country Club with a 1 p.m. shotgun start.

Registration is now open for individual players and teams, and a variety of sponsorship opportunities are available. The Acorn Classic is a four-person scramble tournament open to 120 amateur players. The entry fee is $150 per player or $600 per team of four, and it includes green fees, cart, lunch, four contest holes, and a dinner awards banquet.

Proceeds will benefit the Hospitality Houses of Methodist Medical Center, which provide free lodging to cancer patients who must travel for treatment, as well as other outpatients and families as space allows. [Read more...]

Anderson County Commission approves deer hunting at former landfill site

CLINTON—Members of the Anderson County Commission, during their regular meeting on Aug. 18, approved a resolution that will allow citizens to hunt deer on the county-owned former Blockhouse Valley Landfill site.

Deer hunting will be limited to the former landfill site and restricted to permitted individuals, a press release said.

Citizens interested in obtaining permits for the hunt must submit their applications and requests by calling (865) 457-6201 by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 17.

A lottery drawing will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 18, in Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank’s office, located in Suite 208 at the Anderson County Courthouse at 100 North Main Street in Clinton.

Video: Oak Ridge Boys share water safety message

The Oak Ridge Boys and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Nashville have created a short video on water safety.

The public service announcement encourages people to be safe on the water this Labor Day weekend, including on Corps of Engineers lakes.

“The Oak Ridge Boys want their fans to know that life jackets are life savers,” the USACE said. “They have great advice for everyone headed out to Corps lakes! And be safe this Labor Day weekend!”

See the video here: [Read more...]

ORHS Basketball Boosters have Sept. 13 golf classic

The Oak Ridge High School Basketball Boosters have their 17th Annual Basketball Golf Classic on September 13.

All proceeds will benefit the ORHS boys’ basketball program.

The tournament is $75 per player (four-person scramble). It’s at Centennial Golf Course, and there is an 8 a.m. shotgun start. Lunch is provided, and there is a breakfast from 7:30-9 a.m. ($5 donation).

There are prizes, a free gift bag, and a hole-in-one prize.

There are sponsorship opportunities.

See this flyer for more information: 2014 Golf Tournament Flyer.

Aqua Power fall session starts Sept. 8

The Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Department aquatic exercise program, Aqua Power, will start its fall session September 8.

The instructor is Janice Greenwood, who holds numerous certifications in exercise programs, a press release said. This program is geared toward participants who wish to receive a workout in the water; individuals will be encouraged to work at their own pace and participants do not have to be able to swim or get their hair wet.

Classes will be held on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 7:30-8:30 p.m. The fee is $42 for a six-week session or $5 per class. [Read more...]

City Council hosts Aug. 25 public meeting on Clark Center Park

Clark Center Park Picnic Area

One of two large picnic areas at Clark Center Park. The park also includes a small playground, two ball fields, boat ramp, fishing trails, and beach.


The Oak Ridge City Council will have a public meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, August 25, to collect community input regarding the possible transfer of Clark Center Park from the U.S. Department of Energy to the city. The meeting will be held in the Municipal Building Courtroom, and it will be in lieu of the regularly scheduled monthly work session.

The DOE’s Oak Ridge Office is in the process of reviewing the agency’s land holdings across the Oak Ridge Reservation. The reservation is located within the city limits of Oak Ridge, and it includes Clark Center Park.

Clark Center Park (formerly known as Carbide Park) is an 80-acre parcel under consideration by DOE for possible transfer from federal ownership. The park area includes a swimming area along Melton Hill Lake, and incorporates two picnic areas, a playground, restrooms, a boat ramp, two ball fields, and also provides access to the Gallaher Bend Greenway. DOE spends about $300,000 per year to maintain the park.

In an August 4 letter to the city, DOE Oak Ridge Office Manager Larry Kelly said, “Given the park’s benefit to the citizens of Oak Ridge, the option we currently favor would be to transfer ownership to the city at no cost, provided that the property remains a recreational park asset for the public.” [Read more...]

ORCA wraps up summer swim season in style

Oak Ridge City Aquatic Swim Team

ORCA’s 11-12 Boy’s Medley Relay Team, which placed fifth overall with a time of 2:15.53 at the annual GKAISA City Meet Knoxville 2014. Pictured left to right are Harrison Whitson, Jake Cheney, Vidar Hondorf, and Ethan Chou. (Submitted photo)

By Erik Groscost

The Oak Ridge City Aquatic summer league swim team finished its 2014 campaign on July 27 with a two-win, two-loss dual meet record and many smiling faces at the conclusion of City Meet. Wins over Beaver Brook Country Club and University Swim Club balanced losses to a very strong Northside YMCA team and Cherokee Country Club over the course of the Greater Knoxville Area Intersquad Swim Association (GKAISA) summer league season, which runs annually from early June through the end of July.

Two thousand and three hundred swimmers representing 33 summer league teams converged on the Allan Jones Aquatic Center on campus at the University of Tennessee from July 25-27. By the end of Sunday’s Finals, close to 10,000 races had been entered into the books. It is one of the largest swim meets held annually in the United States.

Eighteen ORCA swimmers—along with coaches Lars Hondorf, Betsy Hondorf, Luke Johnson, and Kathleen O’Neal—competed in Sunday’s finals going stroke for stroke with some of the finest young athletes in the Knoxville area. Top ORCA point scorers included: [Read more...]

Collins, recreation and parks director, to retire Oct. 1

Melton Lake Greenway Ribbon Cutting

Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Director Josh Collins, right, who is retiring October 1, is pictured above at Solway Park East during a May 2012 ribbon-cutting for a 2.4-mile extension of the Melton Lake Greenway.


Josh Collins, Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Department director, will retire October 1, City Manager Mark Watson said Friday.

Collins has worked for the city for nearly 30 years. He started in 1985 and now manages a department with more than 80 full-time and seasonal personnel, a press release said. Collins oversees the city’s park system, greenways, recreational programs, the Senior Center, and activities ranging from summer camps, aquatics, and the Secret City Festival.

Collins also serves as the staff liaison to the city’s Recreation and Parks Advisory Board, which has been instrumental in completing projects such as the Pavilion on Melton Lake, the release said. [Read more...]