Project #1: Appealing Children's Garden

The Ivan Racheff House and 3 and ½ acre Gardens were donated to the Tennessee Federation of Garden Clubs (TFCG) in 1970. The property is located in the City of Knoxville at Tennessee Avenue. Today it is the State Headquarters of the TFCG and is overseen by a Board of Governors as a non-profit. The Gardens are certified as Level II Arboretum and are open to the public daily. A small area at the back of the Gardens is featured as a Children’s Garden and outdoor classroom but at present is drab and not very appealing to children. We propose to: paint the fence and entrance a bright blue color; add colorful birdhouses; provide interactive learning boards about birds and pollinators; add a fairy garden; and obtain an oversize reading chair for story times centered around gardens, birds, and plants.

Project #2: Vestal Bicycle Shop

KickStand is opening a new bike shop in Vestal. This shop will provide bicycles to the Vestal neighborhood and be a resource for those needing bicycle repair. There are no bike shops in Vestal, so residents relying on bikes need to get to Baker Creek or Downtown for any services.

Project #3: Inspiring Connections Outdoors

Lonsdale Elementary School (LES) sits in the heart of historic Lonsdale neighborhood. A culturally and diverse community, students at LES hail from more than ten different countries and multiple continents. Approximately 80% of the student body identify as Hispanic or Latinx: 15% identify as black American or African; and 5% as white, Caucasian, or other or other. Fifth grade is a formative year in a young person's life. The lessons students learned at this age, the images they form of themselves, and the relationships they build are those they will carry into middle school and beyond. This environmental education project capitalizes on the critical importance of this pivotal year by challenging fifth graders at LES to think differently about themselves, their peers, their teachers, and the very world in which they reside. Students participating in this program will leave their classrooms, homes, and neighborhoods behind to spend 3 days and 2 nights at Tremont Environmental Institute in the Great Smoky Mountains. There these young people will find space to address anxieties and room to grow; to find strength in their differences; and to forge otherwise unlikely friendships with one another, and ultimately to become the change makers and conscientiously minded leaders of our shared tomorrow.

Project #4: Creating Access to Our Waterways

Catalyst Sports provides life changing, community based, adaptive adventure sports for people with physical disabilities and/or visual impairments in Knoxville and the surrounding communities. Knoxville provides a unique opportunity for its residents to engage in nature in a number of ways - hiking, climbing, biking, and kayaking are all common ways that our community comes together to immerse in our beautiful setting. Currently, the access to many of these beloved sites, especially our waterways, is inaccessible for people with physical disabilities. While there are a few accessible docks in our city, we would like to be able to hold community paddles at different sites. We are specifically fundraising for kayak carts to provide access to the water in/around Knoxville for our athletes.