Bella Fontaine Park
We went on our first hike for the 30/30 challenge.
The first park on the list was Bella Fontaine Park.
I printed off some information from a couple different websites that give the history of the park and the community it is in.
The park was originally named Lander Lane Park but got a name change in 1962 to Bella Fontaine (French for Beautiful Spring).
As you read the history of Bellefontaine Neighbors, you can see that many of the main land owners were in the army (Fort Bellefontaine is not far from). Also, you find out where streets and subdivisions got their names. It’s crazy to think that when this area was first settled it took farmers almost all day to get to St. Louis whereas the trip nowadays would take about 20 minutes!
Simone and Eddie were in charge of the map…
Although we veered off the trail quite frequently to investigate the trees and WILD areas.
Truly the BEST part was SWINGING on WILD GRAPE VINES!
(And yes- wild grapes are edible! We are going to try them this summer!!)
So, I think we were successful in identifying a few trees 🙂
- has fuzzy buds – one of the first trees to bloom in spring!
- easy to climb – short and squat
Young Sugar Maple
I saw this tree and wondered out loud if it was a beech tree because it’s bark is so smooth.
Eddie got excited because he recognized it from the video. The man says that many times a young sugar maple will look like a beech tree because of its bark’s smoothness. Eddie also checked the branches to see if the were growing alternatingly or opposite of each other.
- Unfortunately we knew this was an Ash Tree because of all the little holes in the bark – proof of the emerald ash beetle 😦
- Also, as you can see in the picture, the tree has opposite branching.
River Birch Tree
- Grows well near a pond
- Bark is paper thin and peels
- The bark looks like Legos!
- Here’s a link to an article about how to “hunt” persimmon fruit
At the end of the trail… or perhaps the beginning (depending on where you start), there is the map puncher! We all punched our cards!!
Only 29 more hikes left!