Oak Ridge building bathrooms, changing rooms at Melton Lake Park

Oak Ridge Marina Bathrooms

Workers build a block wall, patch and texture the ceiling, and hang drywall for new bathrooms and changing rooms in part of the former New China Palace restaurant at Melton Lake Park.

One section of a former Chinese restaurant at Melton Lake Park has already been converted into a rental shop for kayaks and bikes.

Now, another part of the city-owned building at the Oak Ridge Marina is being converted into public restrooms and changing rooms for big events. The bathrooms, which will be open to the public, could open next month.

It’s one of the steps in implementing a waterfront development plan approved by Oak Ridge City Council in December 2009. That plan included such features as a new picnic pavilion, walking trails, new playground, permanent restrooms, enhanced lighting and landscaping, outdoor casual dining, and recreational equipment rental.

The bathrooms will include multiple stalls, and the city will open the changing rooms for large events, such as regattas (rowing races). That will double the restroom capacities, said Pat Fallon, operations and maintenance manager for the Oak Ridge Public Works Department. [Read more...]

Adventures Outdoors rents kayaks, bikes at Oak Ridge Marina

Kayaks under Melton Lake Drive

Above, kayaks from Adventures Outdoors are taken through a tunnel under Melton Lake Drive. (Photos courtesy Karen Lloyd)

Adventures Outdoors is open again, renting kayaks, bicycles, and stand up paddle boards at the Oak Ridge Marina.

The company has a new, larger, remodeled home inside part of the former New China Palace restaurant on the waterfront and a new five-year lease with the city, said Karen Lloyd, Adventures Outdoors owner.

Adventures Outdoors has 20 kayaks, including boats for one and two people, a new kayak launching dock, and five-person pedal boats. The rentals includes bikes for adults and children, as well as Trikkes, which are three-wheeled “carving vehicles.”

Lloyd said Adventures Outdoors opened for the season on April 1 and will remain open through Oct. 31. [Read more...]

Kerry Trammell Memorial 5k Run/Walk at Oak Ridge Marina on May 4

Kerry Trammell Memorial 5K Logo

The Kerry Trammell Memorial 5k Run and Walk will start at 8 a.m. May 4 at the Oak Ridge Marina.

Proceeds of this year’s race will go toward the purchase and installation of emergency mile markers on the Melton Lake Greenway. The mile markers will be placed every .10 miles and coordinated with 911, and Trammell’s name will be placed on each.

The course starts on the Oak Ridge Marina peninsula and runs on Melton Lake Drive and along the water on the Melton Lake Greenway. [Read more...]

Oak Ridge’s Rotary clubs to host dragon boat races May 31

Penny Behling Dragon Boat Steerer

The three Rotary clubs of Oak Ridge are combining forces to launch the inaugural Oak Ridge Dragon Boat Festival, to be held Saturday, May 31, at the Oak Ridge Marina and Pavilion in Melton Lake Park.

“The purpose of the festival is to provide a venue for dragon boat races, offer food and musical entertainment and raise funds for nonprofit service organizations in the community,” said Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson, president of the Rotary Club of Oak Ridge.

The boat-racing event will celebrate Oak Ridge’s waterfront and signature rowing venue. The other two clubs are the Oak Ridge Breakfast Rotary and Oak Ridge Sunset Rotary clubs.

A dragon boat is a long, low boat adorned with a snarling dragonhead at the boat’s front end, as in the Chinese tradition. Dragon boat races have become popular events in many U.S. cities, ranging in size from Philadelphia to Knoxville.

This all-day Dragon Boat Festival race will be an entertaining competition among teams of 20 persons each—18 paddlers, a caller, and a steerer. The teams will come from community employers and organizations, some of which are signing up to become corporate sponsors of the event. [Read more...]

Oak Ridge Research Park spring nature walks begin Sunday

Four nature walks hosted by the Oak Ridge Research Park are scheduled this spring in various areas of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Reservation.

The public is invited to join these walks, which showcase the rich flora and fauna diversity, as well as the sustainable management and conservation practices of the area.

The schedule for the spring nature walks is as follows: [Read more...]

Martial Arts forum at RSCC Oak Ridge campus on Wednesday

Representatives from Progressive Martial Arts of Oak Ridge will demonstrate martial arts skills and discuss the development of Filkenjutsu, the field of martial arts practiced at PMA, during a forum at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday (today).

The forum will be held in the City Room at Roane State’s Oak Ridge campus. The forum is free, and the public is invited. It’s presented by Roane State’s Social Science, Business, and Education Division.

Bruce Corrigan and his sons, Nick and David, will lead the demonstration. Bruce Corrigan has more than 30 years’ experience in martial arts and is certified to teach a variety of disciplines. He founded Progressive Martial Arts and taught Nick and David. [Read more...]

Butterflies for Hope for lupus research at Hot Bagel on Saturday

Butterflies for Hope at Hot Bagel 2012

Riders in Butterflies for Hope at Hot Bagel in April 2012.

Butterflies for Hope, a benefit for lupus research, starts Saturday morning at Hot Bagel in Oak Ridge.

Registration for the bike rides begin at 8:30 a.m. with bagels and coffee. The 50- and 62-mile bike rides start at 10 a.m., and the 20-mile ride begins at 10:15 a.m.

Kent Bostick, who has won many national titles, will lead the race with his wife Rhonda, a press release said.

There will be free food and drinks after the ride beginning at 1:30 p.m.

Butterflies for Hope is for research on lupus, an auto-immune disease that affects joints and organs. More than 35,000 Tennesseans are battling this disease and hoping that a cure can be found, the press release said.

MMC April classes: Prepare for baby, exercise, find support group

Methodist Medical Center

Methodist Medical Center

Spring is here, and Methodist Medical Center has lots of classes to support your growing family or help your healthy habits take root. Whether you want to get in shape, prepare for the birth of a baby or find support from others going through a similar experience, Methodist has a class for you!

Classes will be held at the hospital, located at 990 Oak Ridge Turnpike in Oak Ridge, unless otherwise noted. For more information and registration, call (865) 835-4662 or 1-800-468-6767.

[Read more...]

Big Ed’s Memorial Golf Tournament this month helps youth, families

Community Mediation Services Big Ed's Golf Tournament

The 13th Annual Big Ed’s Memorial Golf Tournament on Friday, April 25, continues a long tradition that combines a great day of golf with active commitment to youth and families. The tournament supports Community Mediation Services’ work with youths and families, and it honors the community spirit and caring of “Big Ed” Neusel, founder of Big Ed’s Pizza, and David Neusel, and their belief in giving to others while seeking recognition from no one, a press release said.

The Oak Ridge Country Club provides a beautiful and challenging venue for the Big Ed’s Memorial Tournament. Early registration is Wednesday, April 16. Registration forms are available by calling (865) 483-6888 or e-mailing [email protected]. Registration online is also available through the website at www.peacefulresolution.org. [Read more...]

Dragon Boat racers prepare for inaugural festival in May

Penny Behling Emerald Youth Dragon Boat Racing

Penny Behling teaches youth and mentors of Emerald Youth’s Just Lead program the fundamentals of dragon boat racing on Monday at Melton Lake Park. (Photos by Sara Wise)

On Monday, Dynamic Dragon Boats came to Oak Ridge to prepare locals for the city’s Inaugural Dragon Boat Race scheduled for May 31.

Monday’s event served as a beginner’s guide to the city’s first event, but also hosted young adults in Emerald Youth Foundation’s JustLead group.

Penny Behling and her husband, Chris, own the Dragon Boat company, a Knoxville firm that participates in dragon boat events around the country. The pair said the sport is really gaining interest in the Knoxville area, with inaugural events in Oak Ridge and Blount County scheduled this spring and summer, as well as Knoxville’s Dragon Boat race June 21.

Dragon boats are long canoe-like boats adorned with the faces of Chinese dragons. They hold teams of 20 with participants arranged by size.

Behling said dragon boat festivals are gaining steam in the area simply because dragon boating is easy to do. This year, she has five scheduled events in Tennessee, and more nationwide.

“It’s very popular,” she said. “People realize they can do it and that it doesn’t take a super fit human being. This is something anybody can do.” [Read more...]

Annual Sportsman’s Showcase to feature call-maker Preston Pittman

May 3 event in Oneida to serve as fundraiser for CASA of the Tennessee Heartland

ONEIDA—Hunters and anglers are invited to the Boys and Girls Club of Scott County for good food, good fellowship, and support of a great cause as CASA of the Tennessee Heartland hosts its second annual Scott Sportsman Showcase on May 3.

The event, slated to begin at 5 p.m., will be highlighted by Preston Pittman as the featured speaker.

The 60-year-old Pittman is called by many the world’s best turkey caller, and he has the trophies to back it up. Winning his first turkey calling championship at the age of 16, Pittman has gone on to become a seven-time national champion turkey caller, a nine-time National Champ of Champs, and has been crowned the U.S. Gobbling Champion, Grand National Gobbling Champion, and Grand National Champ of Champs. He is the only person to hold five different world titles. [Read more...]

Enjoy city parks as weather warms this spring

The Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Department is working hard to prepare our award-winning parks and greenways for spring, officials said.

“After many days of cold weather and snow, sunshine and warmer temperatures will be drawing folks outside very soon,” a press release said. “This means more people will be utilizing our parks and greenway trails. To assure the safety of all of our visitors, it is especially important that everyone follow the posted rules.”

Please keep these rules in mind as you are out on our greenways and trails: [Read more...]