Executive Director Paul James announces resignation from Ijams Nature Center


Ijams Nature Center Executive Director Paul James today announced his resignation from the organization after 16 years.

“I have been proud to be the director of Ijams as it has grown significantly over the past decade into what it is today,” James said. “What I am most proud of has been the development of genuine and long-lasting relationships with many Ijams’ donors and community members. Their support and friendship have nurtured the growth and spirit of Ijams and ensure its continued upward trajectory.”

Ijams Nature Center Board Chair Kim Bumpas thanked James for all of his efforts.

“Paul has been a great advocate for Ijams over the past 16 years, and we thank Paul for his service,” Bumpas said. “As the Board of Directors looks toward the future and the ever-evolving role that Ijams Nature Center plays in our community, we anticipate many new endeavors for this historic nonprofit.”

Ijams Nature Center is an award-winning 300-acre urban greenspace in South Knoxville. The nonprofit organization ensures the preservation and maintenance of the wildlife habitat, natural areas and facilities, as well as oversees and expands educational and recreational programming.

During James’ 12-year tenure as executive director – he previously served Ijams as development director – the nature center has added more than 160 acres of protected space, increased educational programming and expanded its role with the City of Knoxville and Knox County with additional contracts for river conservation and air quality education.

In 2015, Ijams entered into a multi-year regional partnership with Asheville, North Carolina-based Navitat, a tree-based canopy zip line adventure. This partnership elevates Ijams as a regional outdoor attraction and complements the outdoor adventure offerings in Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness.

Ijams Nature Center Board of Directors will immediately begin the search for a new executive director and an interim director will be announced shortly. Interested individuals can send resumes to Board Chair Kim Bumpas at [email protected]