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Jefferson Memorial Forest finalist in Save the Trails competition

Thursday October 9, 2008

The Louisville Metro Parks Foundation and the Jefferson Memorial Forest have been named finalists in a competition for Save the Trails funding that will be determined by online voting during October.

Save the Trails, in cooperation with the National Trails Fund, will award $5,000 trail revitalization grants to the 10 communities that receive the most online votes. Nineteen other communities were selected along with Louisville as finalists out of a competitive pool of 160 non-profit organizations located throughout the nation. A link to the voting site is available at www.memorialforest.com.

“Jefferson Memorial Forest is a jewel that we are always seeking to improve as a part of our City of Parks initiative, and winning this competition would allow us to extend our world-class trail system there,” said Mayor Jerry Abramson. “We’re excited to give Louisville residents even more opportunities to enjoy the outdoors -- just minutes from where they live.”

With the National Trails funding, Metro Parks officials plan to build approximately 2.5 miles of new trails at the Forest. The Forest’s trails will ultimately connect to the Louisville Loop, a 100-mile paved path being developed through the Mayor’s City of Parks initiative.

The contest is part of an important month for the Forest. On October 18, the annual Mayor’s Hike will take place, beginning near the Horine Conference Center at 10 a.m. And, on October 22, the Forest’s new master plan will be unveiled at a public meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. at Fairdale High School.

Bennett Knox, the forest’s administrator, noted that he’s hopeful the attention given to the Forest during the month of October will draw more residents out to enjoy its natural wonders.

“It is great to be able to offer residents the chance to explore a dense forest habitat only a few miles away from home,” Knox said. “This time of year, particularly, the canopy at the forest is beautiful, so we hope we’ll have a lot of visitors for the Mayor’s Hike, and of course, a lot of voters in the Save the Trails Competition as well. With just a few clicks of their mouse, people can participate in making a lasting improvement to trails at the forest.”

Jefferson Memorial Forest 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, go to www.memorialforest.com.