The Friends of Jenny Wiley will host its first meeting of 2020 next week, and members are planning numerous activities to improve Jenny Wiley State Resort Park this year.
The nonprofit, all-volunteer organization works to improve the park through donation and support from residents and businesses. It meets monthly at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park and it hosts one trail work day a month. The group is open to any person interested in volunteering.
Jim Stewart, one of the original founders of the group, said volunteers gain a lot while serving with this group.
“You’re helping something bigger than yourself, which is good,” he said. “You get to know about nature. Trinity Shepherd, the park naturalist, he’s with us with some of our projects, so we can learn stuff about nature, learn stuff about the park. It’s good camaraderie. We enjoy each other. We have fun horsing around. Even though working, we have fun doing it. We laugh and have a good time, doing stuff like that. It’s a good thing to do that ... There’s just a lot of stuff to be gained by it.”
Stewart, who lives inside the park, said it’s been part of his life since he was in college, when he worked as a lifeguard there.
He said the group has numerous park improvement ideas on its to-do list for 2020.
“Some of the goals we want to do we want to work on invasive species around the lake. There’s plants that aren’t supposed to be there, like mimosa trees. Those aren’t native plants of Kentucky, so we’re going to deal with that,” Stewart said. “We’re going to, obviously, work on the trails. We want to work on and improve the trails. That’ll be part of what we do. We’re going to continue to pick up garbage off of the lake itself, stuff that’s floating out on the lake itself. We go out on pontoon boats and pick that kind of stuff up.”
He said the group is also planning to create better steps or a trail from the lodge to the boat dock in 2020.
“It’s got some old steps on it that are not very good, so we’re going to try to figure out a way of building a trail or doing something to fix that to make it safer for people to walk from the lodge down to the boat dock,” he said.
The Friends of Jenny Wiley also participates in park-related events like the annual Clean Sweep litter abatement program and its own fundraiser, Talk Derby to Me. The group will meet at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 22, at the May Lodge, and any person interested in volunteering may attend.
For more information, visit Friends of Jenny Wiley on Facebook or call, (606) 889-1790.