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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor

For Immediate Release
Bernier is City's New Greenway Ranger
September 21, 2011 - The City of Knoxville's newest Greenway Ranger got her year-long job off to a good start last week leading a cleanup of Morningside Park that netted nearly 120 pounds of trash and a truckload of brush from the park and its trails.

Katie Bernier worked with a group of Johnson University students on the effort. The students were taking part in a day of service and Bernier, who recently arrived in Knoxville, had been contacted by Keep Knoxville Beautiful about possible projects for them.

"They asked me if I had any ideas and I said, 'Actually, I do,'" Bernier said.

The City's third Greenway Ranger - is a joint program between the city's public service and parks and recreation departments and the Knoxville-Knox County CAC's AmeriCorps program - has plenty of ideas and wants to turn them into realities.

"I'm excited to be here and I hope to accomplish a lot of good things during the coming year," Bernier, a recent Florida State University graduate said last week. "I want cleaner greenways and I want to encourage people to recycle more in the parks. I want to organize some more activities like the one at Morningside and I hope to do some beautification work along the greenways."

Bernier said those efforts could include planting in some cases and removing invasive species in others.

"I'm still working on the specific projects but those are some of the areas I'd like to focus on during the coming year," she said.

John Homa, the City's Solid Waste Project Manager who oversees the program for the public service department said Bernier will also be working on the City's computer recycling and unwanted medications collection programs and, other projects such as EarthFest the City's Earth Day event and America Recycles Day.

The Greenway Ranger program started in 2009 as a pilot partially funded by the Legacy Parks Foundation. It allowed the city to have someone focusing on its greenways - particularly the heavily used series of greenways and parks between Morningside in East Knoxville and Bearden Elementary on the west side of town, in addition to developing programs to improve the city's parks.

The City and CAC AmeriCorps adopted it the following year.

"It's been great," Homa said. "The first ranger helped develop the Adopt-a-Greenway program and our second one followed through on that project and did a lot of work with the recycling program in the parks. It's provided a lot of benefits to the City."

"We're glad to have Katie with us and we know she's going to do some wonderful things too," he added.
For Immediate Release
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