Plant geeks unite during nature walk

Published 12:43 pm Monday, August 12, 2019

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Intern Jacob Grochowski hosted a successful plant walk Saturday throughout the Fitness Trail inside the park. Grochowski, a self-proclaimed plant geek, led the short nature walk for an American Conservation Experience.

“I showcased my favorite twenty native trees, shrubs and vines that I know delighted all as each has a special story and more importantly, a special niche in the environment,” Grochowski confessed. “I have a hit list of plants, which are non-native perpetrators and which we combat frequently at the park.”

He pointed out the non-native perpetrators and connected visitors to friendly native alternatives to common invasive species used in landscaping.

The walk began at Bartlett Park picnic shelter at 10 a.m. Grochowski led visitors through the low end of the Fitness Trail from the maintenance complex to the visitor center and returned through the same route. Round trip, the walk was 1.4 miles and visitors returned to the picnic shelter at noon.

“The slow paced walk was perfect for those wanting to achieve plant geek status,” Grochowski said.

For additional information on park programs you can call 606-246-1075 or visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/cuga.