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Knoxville's First Creek

See larger Grocery carts laden with debris punctuate a channelized part of the creek that flows under Interstate 40.

photo by Holly Haworth

Grocery carts laden with debris punctuate a channelized part of the creek that flows under Interstate 40.

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  • DEEP IN THE MUCK: Reporter Holly Haworth trudges through the hidden urban wilderness of First Creek.
  • A tire swing hangs empty under a bridge behind the First Creek Greenway.
  • A car bumper stuck between tree trunks gives evidence of recent heavy rains.
  • Grocery carts laden with debris punctuate a channelized part of the creek that flows under Interstate 40.
  • First Creek kayaker Bobby Braly counted 18 grocery carts between Grainger Avenue and the Tennessee River.
  • Behind Caswell Park, First Creek flows under the long-abandoned Standard Knitting Mill.
  • Kudzu creeps in to cover gray concrete walls that rise above the creek just behind Caswell Park.
  • Inside a tunnel, someone has scrawled a heartfelt message and drawn a vision of refuge.
  • The Standard Knitting Mill, with trees of heaven growing from it, rises above the creek at the edge of Parkridge.
  • UT professor John Nolt emerges from the half-mile underground portion of First Creek and faces the Tennessee River.

Journalist Holly Haworth explores the length of First Creek.

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