ONK Park weeding and cleanup September 8!

Old North Knoxville Park with sign in foreground

Please come to ONK Park to help with weeding and cleanup—badly needed after the hot rainy summer. For this cleanup, we’ll try working in the evening and hope that more people will be able to help out. 

When: Wednesday September 8, 6–8 pm. Rain date is Thursday, September 9. Come for the whole time or as much as you can—any help is greatly appreciated!

Where: Old North Knoxville Park, East Oklahoma Avenue

We’ll provide water and snacks, gloves, trash bags, trash grabbers, rakes and some gardening tools, and hand sanitizer. Please bring your own gardening tools and gloves if you have them. We will follow CDC guidelines. Please wear a face mask if you want. Children are welcome if accompanied by an adult. Feel free to bring your dinner for a picnic break!

Save the date: Fall First Creek cleanup, Saturday, September 25, 9am–noon!

First Creek Greenway Cleanup May 8!

Let’s celebrate spring by keeping our beautiful greenway clean from trash! And let’s celebrate that we can safely do so again.

When: Saturday, May 8, from 9 am to noon, rain or shine. Come for all or part of the time. Any help is greatly appreciated!

Where: The intersection of Hoitt and Luttrell, by the greenway.

We will provide water and snacks, gloves, trash bags, rakes, grappling hooks, and ropes. And hand sanitizer! We will follow CDC guidelines. Children are welcome if accompanied by a guardian.

When we are done we will order pizza as a reward for our hard work (we may need a few dollars from everyone to cover the cost in these lean times).

For more info, contact Margareth Olsson.

March board meeting: Hail and farewell

At the March Old North Knoxville board meeting, Pete Creel was elected to serve as president for 2021. Joy Guilford will continue to serve as treasurer and Donna Spencer as secretary. The vice president slot remains open.

The board thanks outgoing officers Susie Laise Smith, president, and Jessica Larsen-Varney, vice president, who both served for two years.

Also leaving the board with thanks are Beth Booker, Beth Bostrum, and longtime Historic Zoning Commission liaison James Pierce.

Newly elected board members are Veronica Cordell, Maegan Martin, and Sean Bolen, who will serve as HZC liaison.

Board meetings take place the first Monday of every month and are currently being conducted over Zoom. If you’d like to attend, email Donna Spencer, donnspen@gmail.com.

ONK neighbors: Sign up to vote in 2021 board elections

We’ll be electing new board members in a Zoom meeting Monday, February 8, 6:30pm.

All ONK neighbors are invited to join online or by phone. Email Donna Spencer, donnspen@gmail.com, for login information.

Monthly potluck meetings will resume as soon as it’s safe to gather—meanwhile, keep in touch online here and at facebook.com/groups/OldNorthKnoxville (registration required).

ONK Part of City’s Holiday Trails Starting November 30

With so many area festivities canceled this year (including our own Holiday Home Tour), the city is sponsoring a Knoxville Neighborhood Holiday Trails events beginning November 30, encouraging people to celebrate safely by driving and walking through neighborhoods to view lights and decorations.

The official ONK route follows East Scott from Central to Kenyon, then proceeds along Kenyon to Armstrong, West Glenwood, and back down Oklohama to Central. View a map of the route.

For more information and a list of all participating neighborhoods, see the City of Knoxville’s Holiday Trails page.

Home Tour Canceled

From the ONK Home Tour page:

We regret to announce that Old North Knoxville has canceled the Victorian Holiday Home Tour for 2020.

After 31 consecutive years hosting one of Knoxville’s favorite holiday traditions, we are certainly disappointed to reach this difficult decision. However, we know that the health and safety of our guests and homeowners must always be our most important consideration.

We plan to be back stronger and better than ever next year in 2021, so mark your calendars now for Saturday, December 4th and Sunday, December 5th in 2021!

Mobile Meals is one of the largest beneficiaries of the funds raised by our home tour event each year, and they could use our support now more than ever. If you wish to donate to Mobile Meals directly, you can do so online in any amount at secure.donationpay.org/knoxseniors.

Learn more about plans for the 2021 Home Tour at victorianholidayhometour.com.

ONK Board: Suspension of In-Person Meetings Extended

The ONK board met by teleconference on Saturday, May 23, and approved two measures:

The board will continue to meet by teleconference until we’re able to resume meeting in person. To ensure transparency, board actions will be posted here and copied to the ONK Facebook page. Neighbors with questions or concerns that they’d like to bring to the board—officially or unofficially—can post them to the Facebook page or email onkhomes@gmail.com.

Neighborhood Mutual Aid

To borrow Mr. Rogers’s well-known phrase, it’s easy to “look for the helpers” in Old North. Kelly Arsenault—chair of the Kindness Committee—and Cat Shteynberg have put together an assistance program for ONK folks to help one another with errands, grocery delivery, meal preparation, and other services through the difficulties of the pandemic. Signup and details are available through a Google spreadsheet available on the ONK Facebook page (not posted here because it contains private information). If you need help connecting or have questions, email Kelly, kellyarsenault24@gmail.com, or call 865-280-2172.

The program even made local news reports. Thanks, Kelly & Cat!

April and May events canceled

In keeping with public health recommendations, the board has voted to cancel or postpone all ONK events and activities in April and May. This includes the monthly potlucks, the park and greenway cleanups, the Easter egg hunt and brunch, and the ice cream social at Guy B. Love Towers. We’ll work to reschedule when possible and hope to put together some extra events for summer and fall. Meanwhile, watch this space for new ways to connect with neighbors and look out for one another.

March 9 potluck meeting with VMC guest speaker

For our March 9 potluck meeting, we’ll be welcoming Vanessa Hensley, director of resource center services with Volunteer Ministry Center. She’ll be talking with us about VMC’s services, including the low-barrier shelter that opened last year. We’ll also be electing new board members and looking ahead to spring and summer events. Join us beginning at 6:30pm at St. James Episcopal Church—use the back entrance off Folsom Avenue. See you there!