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Two conservation groups helping to keep LOU green

From native plants to tree cover, Louisville is full of nature-focused organizations — let’s dive into some of these conservation efforts.

an aerial view of cherokee park in the autumn

Louisville’s parks help contribute to its tree cover.

Photo by Louisville Tourism

Between Earth Day on Monday, April 22 and Arbor Day on Friday, April 26, late April is all about the environment, and Louisville knows how to step up in the conservation department.

Beargrass Thunder

If you have planted or enjoyed a managed natural landscape (or “yarden”) around town, you can thank Beargrass Thunder. The native plant nursery and landscape company started as a YouTube channel for hobby gardening, but now offers plants + custom seed mixes, as well as installing native plant gardens.

In 2019, Beargrass Thunder owner Jody Dahmer and partner Mariah Corso began a campaign to overturn a 90-year-old weed ordinance that outlawed plants taller than 10 inches.

“If the Code Enforcement officer thought your flowers or edible food were actually ‘weeds,’ you could be legally fined for feeding your family,” said Dahmer. In March 2022, the new rules allowing managed natural landscapes went into effect.

Beargrass Thunder is now turning its focus to surrounding suburban communities + HOAs, especially near the Parklands of Floyds Fork. Dahmer also participates in seed swaps at the Louisville Tool Library and hosts cleanups and reforestation efforts along the South Fork of Beargrass Creek.

A young person climbs a rock wall, surrounded by trees.

Treefest is just one of TreesLouisville’s community outreach events.

Image via WHAS11


It’s hard to picture a Louisville without trees. From the dense forests of Iroquois and Cherokee Parks to the tree-lined side streets, the city is filled with greenery.

But in 2015, an Urban Tree Canopy Assessment found that Louisville was losing an average of 54,000 trees per year. TreesLouisville wasn’t going to stand for it.

TreesLouisville is singularly focused on improving Louisville by increasing its tree canopy cover. Last month, it unveiled the Louisville Tree Plan in cooperation with Metro Government to continue improving the city’s urban canopy.

The conservation group often gives away free trees at events around town, and will be participating in the plant sale at the Louisville Zoo this weekend.