The Parklands of Floyds Fork is 4,000 acres of undeveloped land in southeast Louisville. It’s one of the last undeveloped regions of Louisville, and it’s home to mammals, aquatic animals, and plants — some of which aren’t found anywhere else in the world.

It centers around a 62-mile long waterway called Floyds Fork.

A new subdivision is in the works for the area, and conservationists are worried that the additional runoff and wastewater from homes and apartments would cause the collapse of the stream’s ecosystem.

WFPL’s environment reporter Ryan Van Velzer joins us on today’s Recut to explain how the development could affect the stream. The developers and the conservationists each have their own positions; Ryan tells us what the data shows.

And the whole issue brings up a kind of cognitive dissonance: a place is beautiful, so we love it and want to live there, but in order to live there, we have to take away some of what makes it beautiful (or possibly even destroy it altogether).

Near the end of today’s show, things get a little far afield (pun intended) as Ryan takes us inside the mind of an environment reporter. “I knew car exhaust was bad for me,” he said. “But now I know the mechanism in which it’s bad for me.”

And after today’s show, we do, too (thanks a lot, Ryan).

Laura oversees WFPL's podcast strategy and produces Curious Louisville, where listeners submit questions and our reporters find out the answers.