To promote shoreline habitat and stabilize the bank, a planting project will soon be underway. Shoreline areas along the Ross Barnett Reservoir, such as the Reservoir Overlook, were recently lined with rip rap rock to repair eroded slopes. Native plantings intermixed within and above the rocks on the bank will supplement this stabilization effort.
“Native vegetation is important for controlling erosion,” stated Natural Resource Specialist Deanna Boensch. “Roots of native grasses are longer than the root systems of lawn or turf grasses and do a better job of holding soil in place,” stated Boensch.The primary area where the plantings will occur is along the shoreline at the Reservoir Overlook and in select areas between milepost 105-114. Temporary protective fencing will be erected in these areas during October. Once the plants are established, the fencing will be removed. Recreational use of the shoreline should not be significantly impacted.
“Even though there will be plantings along the Reservoir Overlook, there are still plenty of open areas for people to access the water,” said Superintendent Mary Risser.
Visitors should take care to stay out of planted areas. Attempting to cross through tall grass and scale over rip rap rock to access the water may cause personal safety concerns and damage to the plants and animals in the shoreline areas.
For more information about the Natchez Trace Parkway, visit www.nps.gov/natr, or call 1-800-305-7417.