Ijams Nature Center announced it has added 22 new acres in South Knoxville. That includes a wooded ridge top near Ross Marble Quarry.
That brings Ijams' total acreage to 300 acres and will allow the nature center to continue to expand its growing network of trails.
Organizers say the land preservation not only protects the area's natural beauty, but also gives people a chance to connect with the outdoors, right within the city.
"The Ijams quarries on Island Home Avenue really are the gateway to the south loop of Knoxville's urban wilderness. You can get on trails here either on bike or foot and explore over 35 miles of trails, and this is just like two or three miles from Downtown Knoxville. This is really one of the unique experiences and assets that Knoxville has," said Paul James, Ijams' executive director.
The nature center also celebrated three miles of new multi-use trails built by the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club.
For more information on Knoxville's urban wilderness or Ijams Nature Center, visit their website.