October 3, 2020 @ 9:30 am – 12:00 pm
Southwestern end of Renovare Blvd
Jimmy Groton
Horizon Center Natural Areas Interpretive Hike @ Southwestern end of Renovare Blvd

Back in August DOE issued a Public Notice announcing the availability of an Environmental Assessment Addendum for Horizon Center. The EA-Addendum proposes to remove site protections from approximately 58 acres of the Horizon Center Exclusion Areas so they can be developed for a proposed motor speedway at Horizon Center. The affected areas have been protected as natural areas since 1996 when DOE first proposed leasing, and then transferring the Horizon Center property to CROET. The three exclusion areas include approximately 11 acres of Beech-Maple Forest (the only forest of its type on the Oak Ridge Reservation), approximately 23 acres between development areas 5 and 6, and approximately 24 acres between development areas 6 and 7. The comment period for public comments on the proposed land use changes ends on October 21.

To help members of the public better understand the importance of these three parts of the Horizon Center natural area, TCWP will host a hike to explore and get familiar with these three areas. The trip leaders include people thoroughly familiar with these areas and their ecological significance. The hike will cover approximately 3 miles of moderately difficult terrain. Part of the hike will include a portion of the East Fork Road section of the North Boundary Greenway but much of it will require walking cross country in somewhat overgrown vegetation. Participants should wear long pants, sturdy footwear, and bring tick repellant and plenty of water and snacks or lunch.

We will meet at 9 AM at the parking lot in front of Gold’s Gym and caravan to the starting point at the southwestern end of Renovare Boulevard at Horizon Center. The hike will begin at 9:30 AM and end around noon.  Depending on the number of people who participate we will break up into groups of 10 or less and practice safe-distancing and other measures for COVID-a9 protection. All participants are required to wear masks to prevent exposure to others. For more information please contact trip coordinator Jimmy Groton at 865-805-9908 or groton87@comcast.net.

This event is co-sponsored by Advocates for the Oak Ridge Reservation and OR4RD.