Ijams Au Naturale Center opens (lazy Monday posting, originally from April 20, 2003)

Ijams Au Naturale Center opens.

After years of struggling financially, Ijams Nature Center has decided that it could never reach financial stability and has taken dramatic steps to protect its assets for future generations. The new plan outlined by Ijams directors has been hyped as a way to turn a profit, bring tourist dollars to Knoxville, and reach out to our Muslim friends.

The land recently preserved by Ijams Nature Center has been turned over to a new nonprofit organization by the name of Ijams Au Naturale Center, a Muslim nudist park.

Ijams now incorporates more than 150 acres of woodlands and meadows, five miles of nature trails, a city greenway and a boardwalk on the Tennessee River. In order to assist with mass pilgrimages, the greenway and trails system will soon be expanded to reach Arab countries and other non-Arab regions with significant Muslim populations. Just in time for Muslim Awareness Week 2004 a 1/423rd scale reproduction of Mecca will be created on-site allowing for better aim while bowing.

The center will be fully funded through grants and donations from the City of Knoxville, Knox County, local organizations, Iraq, North Korea, corporations, foundations, and individuals as well as special events and program fees.