GREENBRIER — One of the best kept secrets in town is the new Wilson Family Nature Park that was just completed.
When Fred Wilson donated land to the City of Greenbrier about 12 years ago, he specified there should be a part of the land set aside for nature. A place where families can come to enjoy the woods, watch for deer, raccoons, bugs, snakes, and wildflowers was the perfect idea for a nature trail.
The park gives school children a place to learn about the trees and leaves and conduct various studies. It lies between Babbling Brook on the east and is north of Wilson Farm Road.
Mayor Melton Cotton was pleased his street superintendent, Lynn Tubbs, and Luke Jones from the department for job they did in completing the nature park. The two men worked during the heat of summer, sometimes in 103 degree days, to get the 1,310 foot trail completed for fall.
They cleared all the top soil and underbrush, laid down salt to impede weeds and hauled in two huge trailer loads of wood chip mulch. They plan to spray occasionally to keep the trail free of being overgrown by nature as it wants to sprout trees and bushes along the trail.
Tubbs said, “It was the Mayor’s idea to use wood chip mulch on the trail instead of rock to keep it nature-like. The mulch was fluffy when first put down; but with trampling of trail feet and weather, it will pack down to quite a nice and easy walking surface.”
Last winter, the two men walked the woods to lay out the 6-foot-wide path, trying not to disturb any more trees than necessary. As a result, they did not cut down any trees and the path is very winding. There are three rustic wooden bridges that arc over low places where water would run and four rustic resting benches — all built from rough treated lumber in keeping with the nature theme.
Cotton said, “It’s probably about a 15-minute walk if you walk briskly. If you stop along the way to observe and smell the flowers, it could be more. We really want a family environment.”
The school district donated sets of jungle bars and playground equipment that should be placed soon.
The trail starts at the end of Business Park Road, just east of Highway 65.