Open House at Fall Creek Falls Will Address Restoration Plans

Friday, May 03, 2024 | 01:10pm

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

Work to remove the fallen trees will begin this summer and continue into the fall. Park leadership wants to give information about the plan to attendees at the open house and answer any questions they may have before the work begins. Park staff along with project partners will be sharing information in an open house format from 5-7 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.”

Through a partnership with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry, the downed trees will be salvaged and the proceeds will be used to fund the 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 along with the planting of 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 wildlife viewing and showcase different kinds of 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 for any posted alerts.