Wilderness Louisville Forest Adventure Set for October 21
Families can enjoy fall color and a variety of outdoor activities at Jefferson Memorial Forest during the Wilderness Louisville Forest Adventure on Saturday, October 21 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. The Wilderness Louisville Forest Adventure is presented by Quest Outdoors, and is free to the public.
Participants can listen to live music, take a hay ride, and spend time in nature at the peak of the Fall season.. Children can spend time in a nature play area, climb a “rock” wall, decorate pumpkins with their families, and participate in archery and fishing. The Forest’s volunteer trail team and staff will lead hikes at various skill levels and volunteer naturalists will introduce visitors to the native plant gardens, bird blind and animal exhibits. The event is free to the public.
The event will also feature the Wilderness Louisville 5K trail run through the forested knobs starting at 9 a.m.
Theresa Zawacki, Chair of Wilderness Louisville, the non-profit foundation supporting Jefferson Memorial Forest, stressed the importance of Louisville’s community forest and the general role natural areas contribute to the city’s quality of life.
“All of us, young and old, benefit from being outdoors,” Zawacki said. “Being in nature helps us manage stress, gives us space to be both active and reflective, creates opportunities for families to bond, makes us more appreciative of the world around us,and of course, is just plain fun."
Additionally, Mayor Greg Fischer and other local officials will be present when, at 11 a.m., the “ECHO Mobile,” the newest addition to Jefferson Memorial Forest and the Louisville Parks and Recreation’s Natural Areas Division’s “Louisville is Engaging Children in Outdoors” (“ECHO”) Program is unveiled. Louisville ECHO provides youth education and out-of-school-time activities at Jefferson Memorial Forest and other community spaces.
Funded through a $30,000 Meet Me at the Park grant from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and The Walt Disney Company, the “ECHO Mobile” is a mobile outdoor recreation and nature play unit to bring a bit of the outdoors to relatively nature-poor urban parks. The ECHO Mobile will bring activities such as biking, archery and fishing, anda variety of natural materials and nature play opportunities to youth throughout the community. .
“We’re excited to be unveiling the “ECHO Mobile” at the Wilderness Louisville Forest Adventure, but we’re also ready to hit the road and take it into the community starting in earnest next spring,” said Bennett Knox, Park Administrator. “It’s one more ECHO component that we can use to improve equitable access to nature for Louisville youth and families.”
About Wilderness Louisville:
Wilderness Louisville is the non-profit champion for Louisville’s natural areas, from the nation’s largest urban forest, Jefferson Memorial Forest, to the ones in your neighborhood.
Wilderness Louisville raises funds to: implement the Forest’s master plan which calls for $55 million of capital investment; acquire property to improve habitat connectivity at the Forest; and sustain the Louisville ECHO initiative.
Incorporated in 2013, it is one of the five non-profit foundations that support improvements to the wonderful system of public parks and open space managed by Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation. More information can be found at www.wildernesslouisville.org.
About Jefferson Memorial Forest:
The 6,600-acre Jefferson Memorial Forest, a woodland tribute to those Kentucky veterans who have served our nation during times of war, is Jefferson County’s largest nature preserve and the largest municipal urban forest in the nation. The Forest is the flagship of Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation’s Natural Areas Division which is entrusted with providing stewardship, nature-based educational programming, and outdoor recreation within nearly 7,000 acres of forest, meadow, and riparian habitat across Louisville Metro.
Jefferson Memorial Forest offers a full range of recreational amenities, including weekend education and adventure programs, hiking trails, camping, fishing, horseback riding trails and picnic areas. It is also home to one of Louisville’s most exciting new attractions, the Go Ape treetop adventure course. The Jefferson Memorial Forest Welcome Center is located at 11311 Mitchell Hill Road. For more information: 502-368-5404, or visit www.memorialforest.com.