Mead’s Quarry Lake Closure Extended for Safety

Mead’s Quarry Lake remains closed for safety enhancements after a landslide.

Mead’s Quarry Lake at Ijams Nature Center will remain closed this weekend as staff complete the installation of safety signage and equipment around the back wall of the lake. This decision follows a landslide on Saturday, May 25, 2024, when part of the back wall collapsed into the lake, creating a wave that affected swimmers across the lake.

“We were very fortunate that there were no serious injuries from this landslide,” commented Amber Parker, CEO of Ijams Nature Center. “Despite the signage warning people away from the rock walls, we often have paddleboarders hanging out in that space. Luckily, no one was there that day.”

Ijams Nature Center has collaborated with a geologist from the Tennessee Geological Survey to assess the affected area. The geologist concluded that while the area will always be unstable, expanding the safety zone is the best course of action.

“The rock walls of any quarry are unstable places,” Parker explained. “During the quarrying operations, they were blasted by dynamite for decades, which created cracks and fissures throughout their surface, allowing rain to enter. Natural freeze/thaw cycles then work on those areas until the rock is weakened enough to fall.

“Rocks fall from those walls every day, which is why it’s so important to respect safety signage and designated ‘no-go’ zones,” she continued. “Acts of nature will happen. Ijams wants to create safer swimming and paddling in Mead’s Quarry Lake. Everyone can help with that by staying away from marked areas.”

Ijams Nature Center plans to install new regulatory buoys to replace those damaged by the landslide and floating rope lines to clearly define the boundaries of safe zones. The “no-go” area will be enlarged to ensure that people are well outside the rock-fall zone. Parker anticipates this work will continue until June 5 or 6 and asks for everyone’s patience. Updates on the Quarry Lake reopening will be available on Ijams’ social media.

“I know everyone wants to swim, and we’re all ready for a fun summer at Mead’s Quarry, but safety comes first. Please give Ijams time to do the necessary work to create a safe summer for all patrons. While we understand the eagerness to enjoy Mead’s Quarry, safety remains our top priority,” Parker stated. “We kindly urge visitors to respect the designated boundaries for their own well-being and the safety of others. Any violations will result in immediate removal from the premises.”

Learn more about Ijams Nature Center

Ijams Nature Center, a 318-acre nonprofit educational center in Knoxville, offers a variety of activities and educational programs for visitors of all ages. Its mission is to encourage stewardship of the natural world by providing urban greenspace for people to learn about and enjoy the outdoors. The center features 14 miles of hiking and mixed-use trails, a public access river dock, swimming, boating, biking, and numerous educational programs and events annually. The grounds and trails are open daily from 8:00 AM until dusk. For more information, visit or call 865-577-4717.

Source: Read Original Release

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