SVEConnect

Open House at Fall Creek Falls Will Address Restoration Plans

Fall Creek Falls State Park will host an open house on Thursday, May 9, to share information with the community about a project at the park’s scenic loop. Last year, thousands of trees were downed by storms, creating hazards within the park and the gorge.

Work to remove the fallen trees will begin this summer and continue into the fall. Park leadership wants to inform attendees about the plan at the open house and answer any questions they may have before the work begins. Park staff and project partners will share information in an open house format from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Lodge at Fall Creek Falls.

“We are eager to engage everyone who loves Fall Creek Falls State Park to let them know the plans for this restoration,” said Greer Tidwell, deputy commissioner at the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. “This is an opportunity to restore the area to an oak meadow.”

The downed trees will be salvaged through a partnership with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry, and the proceeds will be used to fund habitat restoration. The work may mean temporary road closures. Once the trees are removed, the park will use several land management techniques to restore the area.

The land management work will include mechanical removal, pesticides, and routine prescribed burns to revitalize the land and plant a mixture of seeds to attract pollinators. Controlled burning is a well-planned conservation tool. Workers receive extensive training to ensure they know how to protect surrounding communities, themselves, and the land they are working to restore.

Bringing back the native habitat will provide new opportunities for viewing wildlife and showcase different landscapes for visitors. Most importantly, the steps will protect the rare old-growth forest inside the park.

All citizens are invited to attend the open house, and anyone can visit tnstateparks.com for any posted alerts.