The Wildlife Society will host the grand opening of the Parker Hill Nature Trail Saturday at noon.
Located across Judge Ely Boulevard from University Park, the trail features native plants, each tagged with the plant’s scientific and common name. Guests can scan QR codes on the tags to learn more about the plants, said Eric Dolezalik, president of the Wildlife Society.
“We wanted an educational feature that we could come to,” said Dolezalik, senior environmental science major.
The trail started when an Abilene-area Boy Scout, Ethan Lewis, offered to pick up debris from the area for his Eagle Scout project. James Parker, former off-campus groundskeeper, maintained the area and used it as a prayer space for devotionals with other facilities managers, said Scott Warren, director of landscape and grounds. During the summer, the Wildlife Society decided to build the nature trail on the hill.
The trail is accessible by the tunnel under Judge Ely near Faubus Fountain Lake and features a prayer garden and a horseshoe shape of wildflowers, including bluebonnets. The Wildlife Society hosted a birdhouse-building contest this week so students could build a birdhouse in the Maker Lab which would be hung in the trees at the trail.
Along with birds, bees and plants and other animals have been spotted on the trail including foxes, skunks, turkeys, bobcats and sometimes deer, Warren said.
The trail will be maintained by the Wildlife Society and landscape and grounds management. Warren said it may not safe at night as there will be no lighting on the trail.