Starting back in 2017, Gardner Monaco Design (GMD) began working on bringing the River Trail area of the Park back to life. The vision for the Lakeshore Park River Trail Woodland Marsh Enhancement Project is to transform the “densely vegetated area … into a special landscape experience that highlights our native plant communities.” When the project first began, there was a large amount of invasive species in the area that needed to be removed in order for the unique native species that were also found in the space to be able to grow and for new natives to be brought in.
How far along are they in the project?
Gardner Monaco is now “entering the first phase of intentional planting.” This planting is focused on beautifying the entrance of the boardwalk as well as establishing a visual screening along the woodland edge. Doing this will help create a more secluded experience throughout the Trail and preserve sight-lines, while helping streamline management with a new mowing path.
Thus far, the team has expanded and reshaped the existing woodland edge. On November 2, they put in an informal path made of chipped wood palettes and a thick layer of recycled leaves “generated during the City of Knoxville’s annual leaf pick-up service.”
As GMD continues to eliminate the invasive species within the Trail area, the public will see additional ground layer plantings to help increase species diversity. In addition, the public will see an educational component to the marsh experience with the addition of interpretive signs. They will also be hosting guided walks and workdays for those interested in learning more about the project.