A popular spot on Lookout Mountain will soon start charging a fee to visit. To help conserve the eight miles of hiking trails around Lula Lake, there will be small fee to enter the grounds starting in June. The money will go towards preserving native grasses.

Conservation, Education, and minimal recreation: that's what the Lula Lake Land Trust had in mind for Lula Lake. Directors say an online search for hiking trails leads visitors to the area, but many do not realize Lula Lake is not a state park. In fact, it's private property.

Lula Lake Land Trust designed a plan for a parking lot more than 10 years ago. That project is finally moving forward in an effort to protect the grass.

"It stated for this, and we're acting upon it. It's been in the plan for years, and now it seems to be a good time with so many visitors and us hitting over capacity," said Matthew Hubbard, Director of Development.

Michael Pollock has been part of the land trust for 20 years. He says just five years ago, he remembers the staff spending time having picnics, playing guitar, and reading books. Now, they spend their time directing traffic.

"Five years ago, I would say that we were looking at about 50 to 100 people on a really good day," said Executive Director, Michael Pollock.

The only place to park is on the grass. They've blocked off areas where the grass is being destroyed and planted seeds to help bring the native grass back. Pollock says it's costly. That's why beginning June 30, each vehicle will have to pay $10 to enter. The money will go towards maintenance and conservation.

"On average maybe three people per car. You're going to feel like you have Lula Lake to yourself, and that's exactly the way we intend it to be. That's the way it should be," added Pollock.

Approximately 100 parking spaces will be available for vehicles beginning June 30. They are hoping that the thousand people that have been showing up, dwindles to around 400. The gates to Lula Lake are open the first and last weekend of the month.

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