The Swannanoa Community Council (SCC) has accepted a 2.35 acre donation of hardwood forest and old lake bed in the Grovemont Community from local real estate developer Brent Allen. While it may not look like much today, at one time this was the site of “Lake June,” a beautiful recreational lake built by E.W. Grove in the early 1920’s as part of his planned community, “Grovemont-On-Swannanoa.”
Early photographs and paintings show a path through a Japanese Tori gate opening onto a lovely pond surrounded by grassy hills and stone pillars, with an idyllic little pavilion perched on its northern shore. Over the years, neglect and time have turned this once carefully manicured space into an overgrown wilderness. But new life for this property may be on the horizon.
Now that the SCC owns the property, next steps are to gather local resources to eradicate invasive plants, clear access to the property and create safe and inviting public walking paths. This project, dubbed “Fox Creek,” will include habitat restoration and new plantings, so visitors may experience the amazing variety of native plant and animal species that make this area home.
The property already contains various habitats, dozens of plant species and a surprisingly lively animal population that has been thriving largely unnoticed by the growing community that surrounds it. There are the remains of decorative stone pillars and the old pavilion from the time of Lake June, as well as the foundation of an even earlier spring house that has remained hidden on the property for generations.
“Largely untouched by people, pesticides and plow, this space has been thriving beneath the surface of the neighborhood for nearly 100 years. Now, with the help of our neighbors, we have a chance to turn this neglected spot into something really special for everyone to enjoy,” said Allen Dye, SCC Board Chair.
A newly-launched website,FoxCreekPark.Org, outlines the project and provides an opportunity for anyone interested in being a part of this effort to join the team of volunteers. You can also view a video presentation showcasing some of the natural and historic beauty to be found within this unique parcel of land, and introducing you to some of the trees, plants and animals that are thriving in this little patch of wilderness.