From the Natural Areas Division
This summer, the Natural Areas Division continued its invaluable partnership with Youthbuild Louisville’s E-corps program.
With the support of E-corps, a small crew of young adults was given the opportunity to gain job skills while helping improve the Forest and other natural areas. This past summer, their focus was largely on removing invasive plants and trail work.
In particular, visitors to the Tom Wallace will notice a significant improvement as we seek to eradicate invasive plants like autumn olive and Japanese honeysuckle from the area.
Efforts to date have removed competition pressure from these invasive plants and are allowing the understory of oak, hickories and other native tree species to assume dominance
over time in the canopy. This is a long-term project and we will continue these efforts as necessary in the immediate vicinity of Tom Wallace Lake before moving to other areas.
In addition, the crew helped with much-needed improvements to the existing “trail” around Tom Wallace Lake. The existing path from the fishing pier to the dam around the lake was created by 60-plus years of park users. Unsustainable from the start, this trail has eroded for years and the impact to shoreline trees has become severe.
The new trail is designed at a very easy grade of 5% or less and allows improved access to park users around the lake to the dam. This winter, the project continues to extend the sustainable path around the remainder of the lake.
These improvements are largely in-house projects designed to provide users with an improved visitor experience in the short-term until more capital intensive improvements to Tom Wallace are made as part of implementation of the Forest Master Plan.
- This article appeared in the Fall Jefferson Memorial Forest newsletter. To read the newsletter, please click here.