Let ‘Get Out and Play’ Be Your Guide to the Great Outdoors

In Editor's Notes by Coury Turczynleave a COMMENT

Inside this week’s issue (April 14) is the very first comprehensive guide to all the outdoor recreation opportunities in the Knoxville area and beyond: Get Out and Play.

The Knoxville Mercury is all about discovering Knoxville and the nearby region—its culture, history, issues, and personalities. And with Get Out and Play, we and the Legacy Parks Foundation invite you to (re)discover the natural wonders that abound in our area. Get Out and Play is an all-encompassing guidebook to the many parks, trails, greenways, and blueways available to Knoxvillians, Maryvillians, Oak Ridgers, and more. We live in a unique part of the country—and this is the guide that will show you how to enjoy it.

But more than that, Get Out and Play is also a community health initiative. The Knox County Health Department’s recent Community Health Assessment cited the lack of physical activity as a priority health issue: Nearly 60 percent of residents reported a low activity level and 25 percent reported no weekly activity at all. And the Community Health Council selected “access to parks and greenways” as one of the four issues in their health improvement plan. Abundant research links increased physical activity to improved health. Physical activity can reduce the risk of obesity, which is a leading cause of diabetes and heart disease. Get Out and Play can be a first step among many to introduce you and your family to a healthier lifestyle.

Beyond this edition of the Knoxville Mercury, Get Out and Play will be distributed in local schools, hospitals, doctors’ offices, hotels, and more—for a total of 125,000 copies. All the user-friendly information was gathered by Legacy Parks and illustrated with maps by Alex Zendel of the Knoxville-Knox County Metropolitan Planning Commission; art director Tricia Bateman created its delightful logo and overall design.

And all of it is brought to you—free of charge—by Get Out and Play’s sponsors: Blount Partnership, Covenant Health, the Great Smoky Mountains Regional Greenways Council, the Knox County Health Department, Maryville College’s Mountain Challenge, Navitat, Tennova, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and Visit Knoxville.

Grab your copy and let’s start a journey or two.

Editor Coury Turczyn guided Knoxville's alt weekly, Metro Pulse, through two eras, first as managing editor (and later executive editor) from 1992 to 2000, then as editor-in-chief from 2007 to 2014. He's also worked as a Web editor at CNET, the erstwhile G4 cable network, and HGTV.

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