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Information, good conversation top agenda at Neighborhood Conference 2019 
The Neighborhood Conference, which had its seventh convening on May 18 at the Knoxville Convention Center, is a brain-busting whirlwind of data exchange that had this attendee asking herself, “Is there such a thing as too much information?” 

Not when it spurs so many engaged, passionate and thoughtful discussions among neighbors. 

Neighbors engaged in conversation

While one ballroom hosted morning and afternoon speakers, an awards' ceremony and lunch, the energetic hub of the Neighborhood Conference was the ballroom with 80-plus booths staffed by knowledgeable and passionate experts. 

There’s so much to know about City, County and community services available, even lifelong residents couldn’t be expected to know it all. Here are just a few topics and programs this Knoxville native learned about at the most recent Neighborhood Conference:


It’s easy to see when Knoxville Fire Department inspectors are on site for fire safety checks: their fleet vehicles are bright red Jeep Renegades, compact SUVs whose style is a blend of Tonka-truck ruggedness and Pixar-level adorableness. The vehicles have been a hit with staff,  KFD’s Capt. Brian Buchanan explained to a visitor who recently observed the KFD Jeeps on site at the Rhythm N' Blooms Music Festival: the candy-apple red coordinates with the other KFD vehicles; they fit easily into urban parking settings where larger SUVs might not; and they get better gas mileage than previous and alternative models. Like all City fleet vehicles, the Jeep Renegades will be put up for public auction after they’ve reached their lifespan as a department vehicle. 

Urban Wilderness

Urban Wilderness Coordinator Rebekah Jane Montgomery encouraged visitors to lean in to the maps that outline the existing and planned connections between City parks, County schools, paved streets, dirt trails, retail districts, swimming holes, bike paths and eateries known as Knoxville's Urban Wilderness. Ultimately, these connections will find a hub in the future Urban Wilderness Gateway Park. Learn more about how you can experience parts of the Urban Wilderness today by liking its Facebook page

Trees Knoxville booth

Trees Knoxville contains a wealth of information about the care and feeding of all things arboreal in our community, and their Neighborhood Conference table followed suit, including many on-display and take-away materials, including a Tree Owners’ Manual booklet. This basic information and advanced education is covered in their twice-yearly Volunteer Forester Training Program. Trees Knoxville, a non-profit organization, gets assistance from head of the City’s Urban Forestry Department, Kasey Krouse, as well as University of Tennessee staff, to teach participants how to plant and take care of the trees in their yards and neighborhoods. 

The Knox County Trustee’s Office provides assistance to senior, low-income homeowners who qualify for tax relief or a tax freeze. Knox County residents ages 65 or older, who have disabilities that qualify them for Social Security or are military veterans with disabilities should contact the Trustee’s office (865-215-2305) to find out if they qualify to receive a reimbursement of their property tax payments or freeze property tax amounts. 

Knox County Medical Reserve Corps offers residents the opportunity to volunteer to be on call to help their neighbors during community-wide emergencies. This function of the Knox County Health Department maintains a list and network of volunteers who would be called upon to mobilize during community emergencies. Once activated and given their assignments and destinations, volunteers will receive "just-in-time" training for specific tasks, like dispersing medication. Staff in the Knox County Health Department’s Emergency Preparedness Division can be reached at 865-215-5093 or via health@knoxcounty.org.

Posted by tmcdonell On 28 May, 2019 at 5:10 PM