Covington Mayor Mike Cooper took time to sit down with landscape architects Priscilla Floca, John Mayronne, and myself, Thursday, to talk about the Blue Swamp Creek Nature Trail. When we were done, the Mayor had signed off on all of our conservation and restoration plans, complete with permission to use fire for managing the fine fuel areas. This is how it should be, folks. 🙂 Mayor Mike “Cooperative” Cooper!!!
John and Priscilla, and all of the other people who work as volunteers for the group, Keep Covington Beautiful, have done a masterful job developing the park with a very light hand and a very light budget. Its just natural areas with walking trails; an interpretive garden of about three or four acres.
We layed out our goals and talked to the Mayor about the progress that’s been made so far. He asked for more details and promised to back all of our efforts 100%. Yee-ha!!
The Nature Trail was established in what was left from the design and construction of the baseball fields on that land some years ago. The forest areas are made up of an existing early to mid-succession tree canopy with a surprisingly nice collection of late succession wildflowers and native grasses as an understory. Fire will certainly do some good here. There are some wooded areas that will be permanently managed as an unburned, forested landscape. In the tree cover, there are a couple of small openings where some bog species have had enough sunlight to hold on. They’ll benefit from fire as well.
Blue Swamp Creek, located just west of the intersection of highway 190 and highway 25, Covington, Louisiana
Philip Drive, off of 190, leads to the Recreation Park
a white-blocked-image shows the to-be-burned areas. We’ll do the controlled burn in the next few weeks, with the help of some volunteers and certified burn folks. It’ll be hot, hot with knee high, leaping flames! 🙂
The fire will bring out the best of the vegetation and we’ll see what we have in the way of species diversity and species richness this coming summer.
Eventually we’ll do some seeding and hopefully some transplanting, through organized plant rescues, in one area that had been dozed into a stormwater retention area.
a rendering of the existing forest trails in green and in yellow are the fire-generated pine prairie areas. (rendering by landscape architect Greg Trahan from last summer)