In 1910, Harry Ijams, an illustrator and ornithologist, and his wife, Alice Yoe Ijams, an avid gardener, purchased 20 acres of land along the Tennessee River to raise their four girls. Throughout their lives, the Ijams family celebrated nature. HP created a bird sanctuary on the homesite, while Alice grew flowers and sold them to a local florist. In 1966, wanting to protect the bird sanctuary and ensure the Ijams family legacy continued, the Knoxville Garden Club and Knox County Council of Garden Clubs applied for an open space grant and the City of Knoxville purchased the land. Ijams Nature Park was dedicated in 1968. The park became Ijams Nature Center, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, on Nov. 8, 1975. Over the years, Ijams Nature Center has grown in size and stature to become the region’s leading wildlife sanctuary and environmental learning center. In the early 2000s, the nature center took on the management of Mead’s and Ross Marble quarries, which in their heyday produced Tennessee marble used in local buildings and national monuments. Great strides have been made to restore this former industrial site to its natural state while continuing to honor the history of Knoxville's contributions to a once booming marble business. Participate in this special Knoxville landmark with this one-year family membership.
This item was generously donated by Ijams Nature Center.
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