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7 Ways to Make 2018 Count with Help from City Services 
Don’t have the answer yet to that pesky—though important—question: What’s your New Year’s resolution? There are plenty of City services to help you make 2018 count for you, and for others.

Resolution Tips with City Services
Click the following links to view specific tips, or simply scroll down to read the whole article!

1. Get Fit

2. Go Green
3. Get Involved
4. Renovate
5. Expand How You Get Around
6. Tap Into Your Creative Side
7. Get Back to Nature


If the weather’s too much for you get outside in the City’s 93 parks or on 113 miles of trails and greenways, the Parks and Recreation Department has plenty of indoor options for you to get fit and burn off those Christmas calories.

Community Centers

The City has 11 community centers that open to the public in the winter with hours varying at each center.

Ca-L'a Fitness Class at Dr. E.V. Davidson Community Center
A Ca-l'a Fitness class at Dr. E.V. Davidson Community Center.

Some centers offer open gym time during lunch hour and/or evenings after "March Madness" ends for youth basketball, which accommodates 250+ youth basketball teams. Some of the larger community centers have weight rooms, which can even include cardio equipment. Programming such as Ca-l'a (Core, Arms, Legs, and Abs) aerobics classes, beginner yoga classes, classes for people with disabilities, and so much more are offered at various centers.

To view each center’s monthly calendars, click HERE.

Senior Centers

Senior Weight Lifting Class

There are three senior centers in the City of Knoxville. Most classes are either free or have nominal fees, and are offered at various times of the day. From senior aerobics classes, to Happy Hikers clubs, to free senior dances, to weight rooms complete with cardio equipment, there are plenty of ways to get in shape alongside senior peers!

For more information on the City’s senior programming, click HERE.


Aqua Aerobics at Adaptive Pool

Aqua aerobics at the Adaptive Center on Dandridge Avenue.

The City has two indoor swimming pools that are open to public and programmed by City Aquatics staff. Open swim is regularly available, as are programmed classes like aqua walk, water aerobics, aqua therapy, and more. The pools also welcome and recognize Silver Sneakers participants.

Click HERE for more information on the City’s aquatics opportunities.

Knoxville Arts and Fine Crafts Center

Yoga at the KAFCC

There are plenty of ways for adults to get toned at the Knoxville Arts and Fine Crafts Center. From adult ballet classes, to yoga, to beginner belly dancing, there’s something for everyone to have fun while working the core muscles.

Click HERE to view all classes offered at the KAFCC and click HERE to view the January-May newsletter. 

Ongoing Special Events

There are always opportunities to participate in fundraiser walking, biking, running, and paddling events. Be sure to check out the City’s Special Events Calendar to view ongoing events throughout the year!



Start out the year right by properly recycling your Christmas trees and lights. Click HERE for a guide on how to do it. Also, click HERE to learn how to manage your holiday waste.

If yours is not one of the 26,000 households already participating in the City’s FREE curbside recycling program, be sure to sign up today! It saves our local landfills from growing larger than necessary.

Recycling Center
City recycle drop off center.

There are also five recycling drop-off centers open 24 hours a day with Goodwill attendants at each center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Click HERE for sign up and guidelines on recycling in the City of Knoxville.

Proper Hazardous Waste Disposal

Whether we realize it or not, we’re all affected when hazardous waste materials are not properly disposed. It doesn’t matter how far away the material is from a waterway. If it’s exposed to any rainfall, it will eventually wash into our drinking water. So, be sure to do your part and take your hazardous materials to the City’s Solid Waste Facility located at 1033 Elm Street!

Hazardous Waste

While you’re at it, be sure to get your car’s oil leaks repaired. Those seemingly innocent little oil drips wind up getting washed by rainwater from our street, into storm water drains, and eventually into our drinking water.

Click HERE for household hazardous waste guidelines.

Save Money with Sustainable Living

The City’s Office of Sustainability makes everyday improvements to the City’s infrastructure to both reduce carbon emissions and to save on operation expenses at the same time. In fact, since 2005, City operations emissions have been reduced by 15% and community emissions are down by 8%.

Household Energy Upgrades

There’s still more to do, and some of the solutions lie within your own home. To find ways to save energy—and likely utilities expenses at the same time—click HERE to view a guide on sustainable savings in the house.



Have you always had a passion for helping youth? Consider volunteering as a coach in a City youth sports league. (Be aware you will have to pass a background check). The City partners with more than a dozen youth rec sports commissions who oversee the leagues. They're currently seeking volunteers for youth basketball leagues.

The City offers an Adopt-a-Park program where individuals or groups can help clean up a park and even make small improvements. The City’s Urban Forestry Division also hosts many tree planting events throughout the year that are often made possible thanks to the assistance of volunteers.

Arbor Day Tree Planting
Kid volunteers plant a tree on Arbor Day at Sequoyah Elementary.

Or, there's always an opportunity to volunteer at one of the City’s major events. The Special Events Department can always use volunteers at events like the Mardi Growl Dog Parade, the Festival on the Fourth, Christmas in the City, and so much more.

Call 311 if you’re interested in volunteering with any of these City services!


The Office of Neighborhoods offers an amazing amount of support for neighborhood groups.

Neighborhood Conference Workshop
Participants discuss ideas at a workshop at last year's Neighborhood Conference.

If you’re not sure how to get involved, you’re in luck! The Neighborhood Conference will be held March 24, 2018, at the Marriott Hotel. This conference includes booths, workshops, and a Neighborhood Awards and Networking Luncheon, all of which are free. This is a chance to quite literally get plugged into any service or community group that affects your neighborhood. Click HERE to view more information.

Local Politics

There has certainly been a recent surge of citizens engaging in politics. For example, during this year’s election held for five City Council seats, there was a record of 30 candidates!

The City launched a non-partisan initiative to encourage people to vote in local City elections this year. Historically, City Council elections that stand alone on a ballot (without elections for a mayor, state, or federal office), have been disturbingly low. Voter turnout for this fall’s election was the biggest in a non-mayoral election in the City of Knoxville since term limits took effect in 2001.

GO Vote! Knoxville logo

Visit www.GoVoteKnoxville.com for easy access to information about City Council elections (the at-large seats and 5th District seat will be voted on in 2019) and for links to important resources related to local politics. There’s even a link to register to vote, and this year is the first time you can register on line.

Let’s be honest—registering to vote would be one of the biggest things you could do for your year, if not your life!


Cleaning House

You’d be parking your car in the garage, except that it’s full of items you’ve been meaning to throw out or donate for years. Hauling stuff off is challenging, right? Well, the City can help you—at no additional expense!

The City’s Public Service Department provide free curbside dumpsters for a week at a time. Residents should call 311 about getting added to the waiting list for a courtesy dumpster.

Also, click HERE to review a guide on how to help reduce your holiday waste so that you don't wind up adding to that pile in the garage!

Home Additions and Renovations

Home improvement projects always seem so easy on television or when talking to a floor rep at the home improvement store, but can be quite daunting once you actually get started.


The City’s Plans Review and Inspections Department is here to help! There are ordinances and guidelines that help keep City houses safe and compliant with each neighborhood's appearance.

For fast facts on home improvement within the City limits, click HERE.

Community Development Grants and Loans

The City’s Community Development Department perhaps affords some of the best opportunities to make a fresh start to the year.

Facade Improvement

The City provides grants and loans for blighted property redevelopment, down payment assistance, owner-occupied rehabilitation, first time home buyers, rental rehabilitation, façade improvements, historic preservation, and accessibility improvements for residents who need assistance entering their home.

For more information on these grant and loan opportunities, click HERE.


There are all kinds of quick weight loss promotions out there. And we all work hard to schedule workouts into our routines, but the reality is that we are healthier when we incorporate walking and biking into everyday life. Knoxville has increasing opportunities to do just that!

Knoxville Area Transit

Any time you ride mass transit, you’re going to clock many more steps than when you drive in a car. Plus, since you don’t have to have your eyes on the road, you have spare time to read, prepare for the day, catch up with a friend, or simply gaze out the window.

Free Trolley Service

Knoxville is one of the few medium-sized cities in the country that can boast a free downtown trolley service. There are three trolley lines that operate Monday through Saturday.

The City’s bus system currently runs seven days of the week with adjusted weekend hours. There are 23 KAT bus routes. For an easy way to learn how to get to your destination using KAT, use the Google trip planner at www.katbus.com.

Plus, bicycles ride free on City trolleys and buses. Many greenway trailheads have an accompanying bus stop. That means your commuting route can have a partial bike run, and then a nice ride on one of the City’s state-of-the-art (and impressively clean) buses.

Sidewalks, Bike Lanes, Greenways and Trails

The City currently has 342 miles of sidewalks, 17.1 miles of bike lanes, and over 100 miles of greenways and trails. With new resources like a Greenways Service Crew, a Bicycle Facilities Plan, and a sidewalk study currently in the works, these numbers are growing everyday.

There's even a new, first-of-its-kind, app-based bike share program expected to launch in the spring that will disperse 30 bicycle kiosks from which one of 200 bicycles can be rented for $1 with a few keystrokes on an app. When finished, the bike can dropped off at the kiosk nearest to the rider's destination.

Walking and biking are therefore becoming more and more viable as transportation options for Knoxville everyday. As a society, we’ve gotten into the habit of driving everywhere we go, but it isn’t always necessary. If you can’t walk or bike to where you need to be, try parking and then walking from store to store as you shop. It’s surprising how much weight-loss this practice can bring!


Diving into the arts is a great way to start a new year. Whether you’re a novice or seasoned artist, there’s nothing quite like losing yourself in a piece of art and relishing in the sense of accomplishment that comes from the finished product.

Art Classes

The Knoxville Arts and Fine Crafts Center has quite the palette full of art classes offered to all ages and skill levels at very low costs. There’s an impressive list of classes available for adults, including painting, sculpting, photography, pottery, jewelry making, culinary art, and much more.

the Knoxville Arts and Fine Crafts Center

To view a full schedule of art classes, click HERE.

Public Art

Sometimes creativity doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the actual artist. The City Parks and Recreation Department offers an annual challenge grant through which non-profit groups can make small improvements to local parks, neighborhood entrances, or other public spaces.

Third Creek Greenway Mural
Mural on Third Creek Greenway

Through this grant opportunity, many outdoor public art pieces have popped up around town in the last several years. If this is something you or your non-profit group may be interested in, click HERE.


Study after study shows that we are healthiest when we spend time everyday outdoors, especially in nature. That doesn’t mean we have to drive to the Smokies for a hike (after all, we have plenty of trails in our own backyard at this point!). Nature is all around us, whether it be a community garden, a nest in a street tree, or simply in our backyard.

Urban Agriculture

The City recently made amendments to zoning ordinances that previously discouraged growing food on private property. Other than the therapy that gardening provides, doctors and nutritionists continue to point to fresh fruits and vegetables as some of the biggest contributors to a healthy diet.

So, how to get started if one has never grown their own food before? The City recently funded and helped build an Urban Agriculture Education Center at Beardsley Farm. There, people can visit for free to get hands-on experience and advice on gardening.

Beardsley Farm Agriculture Education Center
Beardsley Farm

The City also helped to fund a similar, larger event facility called the Center for Urban Agriculture at the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum. If you plan to take up gardening this year, be sure to check both of these impressive facilities out! 

Don’t have time to build your own garden? There are some 20 community gardens in town and eight farmers markets where you can buy locally grown fresh produce. To view an interactive map of community gardens and farmers markets, click HERE.

Exploring Nature

There are 93 parks and over 100 miles of greenways and trails that afford ideal and diverse adventures in nature. Experts at the Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center, located downtown on the Tennessee River, can help provide adventure plans based on abilities and needs. The center also has bike and paddling rentals.

Kayaker on the Tennessee River

Ijams Nature Center, located in the heart of the 1,100-acre Urban Wilderness, also offers bike and paddling rentals. There are two sites for paddling rentals at Ijams: 1) On the beautiful, calm waters of Mead's Quarry Lake, or 2) on the Tennessee River accessed by the new dock at Ijams River Landing, complete with ADA accessible entry. Additionally, the nature center is staffed by professional naturalists who lead guided hikes and nature classes.

Preserve Nature – even at your own home!

The City was just certified by the National Wildlife Federation as the first city-level Wildlife Habitat Community in Tennessee. This means that a combination of the City, the County, neighborhood groups, businesses, and private residents committed to making their property a certified Wildlife Habitat Community.

Community Wildlife Habitat Status
Mayor Madeline Rogero accepts the Wildlife Habitat Community certificate.

You, too, can experience the enjoyment of a wildlife habitat in your own yard. The City has compiled resources to get you started with native plants, trees, and information on becoming certified, if you want to make it official. It's something fun for the whole family! Click HERE to learn more.

Posted by On 29 December, 2017 at 12:26 PM