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Metro Parks Newsroom

Metro Parks Celebrates National Trails Day

Thursday May 28, 2009

LOUISVILLE (May 28, 2009) – A new 1.5-mile hiking trail being developed at Jefferson Memorial Forest will, for the first time, connect more than 35 miles of existing hiking trails, but Metro Parks needs your help.To celebrate National Trails Day, Metro Parks is hosting a volunteer trail-building event on June 6 at Jefferson Memorial Forest, behind the Welcome Center at 11311 Mitchell Hill Road.

The trail-building session takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Volunteers should register in advance by contacting Jefferson Memorial Forest’s volunteer coordinator, Sherry Wright, at 380-1753 or

Volunteers need to be age 16 or above, and comfortable using basic hand tools. Metro Parks staff will provide instruction on trail-building techniques, and volunteers will receive free bottled water and Nature Valley Granola Bars.

Additional volunteer work dates will be scheduled over the next year; Metro Parks officials plan to have the trail complete in time for next year’s National Trails Day, on June 5, 2010. The volunteer trail-building effort is funded in part by a $5,000 grant from Nature Valley and the American Hiking Society’s Save the Trails initiative.

“We received this $5,000 grant because local park enthusiasts voted online for this project in large numbers,” said Mike Heitz, director of Metro Parks. “Now, we’re hoping the same number of people will work alongside us to build a new trail that will connect current trails in three distinct sections of the Forest – Horine, Paul Yost and Tom Wallace.”

Since 1993, National Trails Day has inspired thousands of people in all 50 states to enjoy trails on the same day nationwide, taking part in hikes, bike and horse rides, trail maintenance, paddle trips and other activities. Event hosts include local hiking clubs, federal agencies, municipal parks, retailers, land trusts and many other businesses and organizations. The annual event is organized by the American Hiking Society.

Information on other volunteer opportunities at Jefferson Memorial Forest can be found online at

About the Jefferson Memorial Forest:
Jefferson Memorial Forest, the nation’s largest municipal urban forest at 6,191 acres, is a woodland tribute to those Kentucky veterans who have served our nation during times of war. Outdoor environmental education programs are offered at the forest, providing learning opportunities for thousands of students and teachers each year. The forest offers a full range of recreational amenities, including weekend education and adventure programs, hiking trails, camping, fishing, horseback riding trails and picnic areas. For more information or to volunteer, go to