This September, while you enjoy the Run for the Roses, we must also insist on a run for the wildflowers! The Seaton Valley meadow in Turkey Run Park is BURSTING with color as acres of late summer blooms hit their peak. It won’t last long, so get out and visit as fast as you can!
A sea of gold awaits as you enter the park’s northern end at Seatonville Road. This meadow—once a farm, then a golf course, then a horse ranch—is now part of a habitat restoration plan to improve and expand meadows, wetlands and forests throughout The Parklands of Floyds Fork, showing off the rich biodiversity of our region. Internally known as the 100 Year Vision, this plan focuses on the often overlooked, but equally important natural areas arm of our master plan.
“Our goal is to create, preserve, and sustain, a mosaic of successional habitats within the park boundaries, maximizing biodiversity, and creating a wide range of landscapes for our visitors to experience, and species for them to encounter.” – Dan Jones, Founder and Board Chair, The Parklands of Floyds Fork
The 80+ parcels acquired to make up what is now The Parklands, were mostly, at one point, used for agricultural purposes. With some help from The Parklands natural areas and horticulture staff, as well as with support from area vendors, the parcels that were once overrun with weeds are now transitioning into established meadows. Those who frequent the trails in Seaton Valley are likely familiar with what has become an almost constant presence of wildflowers taking turns blooming from early spring through fall.
The transformation of the Seaton Valley meadow did not happen overnight. It’s the result of four years of planting native grasses and wildflowers, weeding, and editing so the area isn’t overtaken by deciduous forest. Each year the meadow is maintained, more species will come to settle or return to the area knowing they can count on a consistent habitat nurtured by our dedicated staff and partners.
Left – June 2016 Seaton Valley meadow installation; Right – Seaton Valley meadow today
This meadow installation in Seaton Valley was made possible thanks to the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. Our partner, Roundstone Native Seed helped plant and manage the meadow, which they have described as the best native meadow restoration in all of Kentucky.
There are a few ways to enjoy the meadow in its glory. Take a scenic drive along Turkey Run Parkway before heading through the rolling hills of Turkey Run and Broad Run Parks. Grab your bike for a ride on the paved and fully-accessible Louisville Loop trail or the neighboring Seaton Valley Trail—a dirt pathway with views of the meadow on one side and Floyds Fork creek on the other. These two trails intersect allowing visitors to form a loop back to the trailhead without having to double-back.
To make sure you don’t miss a thing, including the many creatures, big and small, opt for a stroll on the Louisville Loop. This route cuts through the center of the meadow, so bright, yellow Tickseed Sunflowers and purple Ironweed will surround you on either side. Be sure to return regularly to catch each seasonal showcase.
The Parklands does not receive tax dollars for annual operations, so the meadows, forests, trails, and other amenities you know and love are maintained thanks to donations from Parklands Members, foundations and businesses. Donate to become a Parklands Member at www.theparklands.org/Member.
Photos by Ted Wathen