While the city commission ponders how best to use Leslie Morris Park, here is another option: Restore the site to its original state, a pre-settlement, old growth forest. This would involve removing numerous invasive species and reestablishing a diversity of trees native to this upland area of the Bluegrass.
The park would have two historical timescapes: a pre-1750s, Native American landscape that existed before the Europeans arrived with their axes and saws, and an 1860s Civil War era landscape comprising Fort Hill and its structures.
No one reading this today will be alive to witness the fully restored, old growth forest. It will take years of nurture and vigilance to maintain this living history landscape — a sylvan oasis in the heart of Frankfort, our legacy for generations to come.
Master tree farmer and former member of Frankfort’s Forestry Advisory Board