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Metro Parks Newsroom

Metro Parks taking part in National Public Lands Day with Volunteer Cleanup Sept. 26

Monday September 14, 2009

To commemorate National Public Lands Day, the Natural Areas division of Metro Parks, Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana and Metro Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh are hosting a volunteer event at the Beargrass Creek Greenway at Irish Hill on Saturday, September 26, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Volunteers should gather that day at the entry point to the 38-acre park, located at Lexington Road and Grinstead Drive. The cleanup will include portions of the Greenway behind the Girl Scouts’ local headquarters, less than a quarter-mile away.

“The Girl Scouts are setting a good example for the rest of us by helping clean the Beargrass Creek Greenway, which is literally in their backyard,” said Ward-Pugh. “We are hoping that neighbors and area businesses pitch in, grab a pair of gloves and lend a hand.”

The effort will largely involve the removal of trash, debris and invasive plants. Heine Brothers and Councilwoman Ward-Pugh will be providing coffee and snacks. Metro Parks will provide the necessary tools for volunteers to use. Girls who are participants in the Girl Scouts will have several opportunities to earn badges and team leaders will be able to incorporate the event into their troop’s environmental programming.

Registration for the cleanup can take place either in advance or on site. To register, please call e-mail Sherry Wright at Volunteers should park in the parking lot for Jim Porter’s Goodtime Emporium

The volunteer event is also an opportunity to continue the work the Natural Areas staff began in 2004, when they embarked on a long-term project to improve habitat on both sides of Beargrass Creek by replacing exotic invasive plants through the replanting of native vegetation. Staff has also worked to engage the community by promoting awareness of the creek, including a partnership with Male High School’s AP Environmental Science class in which students were introduced to environmental science concepts by using the Greenway as an outdoor classroom. Recently, Metro Parks partnered with MSD to construct an infiltration basin/wetland at the corner of Lexington Road and Grinstead Drive designed to remove pollutants from storm water before it reaches Beargrass Creek.

About the Beargrass Creek Greenway at Irish Hill:

The 38-acre Beargrass Creek Greenway at Irish Hill and its associated 1.5 mile bike path extend from the corner of Lexington Road and Grinstead Drive. Located on land initially acquired by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the BCG is protected as an area dedicated to passive recreation under the Keep America Beautiful program.

About the Natural Areas Program:

In 2004, Metro Parks established the Natural Areas program to protect and properly manage sites within the system that contain sensitive habitat and natural features. The program is based out of the 6,191-acre Jefferson Memorial Forest, the nation’s largest urban, municipally-owned forest, and includes eight other natural areas across Louisville. The program seeks to integrate resource management and environmental education activities so residents of all ages can benefit and these areas can remain protected.

More about National Public Lands Day:

More than 120,000 volunteers across the nation will join those in Louisville in beautification efforts at more than 1,500 sites nationwide. Cleanups, fix-ups, and other volunteer events will take place in parks, forests, rivers, lakes, wetlands, cultural and other historic sites and other public lands.

On the Web:

· National Public Lands Day,

· Metro Parks,