Floracliff Nature Sanctuary

 

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FLORACLIFF NATURE SANCTUARY EXPANDS,

PROTECTING 59 ACRES ALONG THE KENTUCKY RIVER

LEXINGTON, KY. (March 16, 2017) — Floracliff Nature Sanctuary recently acquired an adjacent 59 acres in the Kentucky River Palisades region in southern Fayette County, bringing the total acreage of the sanctuary to 346 acres.

The addition, known as Trail’s End, is protected with a conservation easement provided by the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund (KHLCF). Trail’s End includes mature second-growth forests and frontage along Elk Lick Creek and the Kentucky River, and it provides critical habitat for migratory birds, bats, amphibians, and pollinators. “The KHLCF Board is excited to help Floracliff conserve additional Kentucky River forest,” says Zeb Weese, director of the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission. “Floracliff does fantastic education and conservation work. It is my kids’ favorite place to hike. This project is what the nature license plate program is all about.”

To some in the region, Trail’s End is known for its history as a girls’ camp in the early 1900s and a scout and youth group camp in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. A camp lodge on site was built in 1919 “among lofty oaks and fragrant cedars on a high bluff overlooking the Kentucky River.” It was converted to a residence in the 1980s and provides a variety of potential uses for Floracliff’s programs, including a retreat center for interested groups.

New trails on the property will feature spring wildflower displays, river access, and views of palisade cliffs. They will also enhance Floracliff’s programs and guided hikes on plants, wildlife, ecology, water quality, and more. Other plans for Trail’s End include an inventory of its plants and animals and management of invasive plants such as bush honeysuckle, garlic mustard, and wintercreeper.

The addition is the first land purchase for the sanctuary since the passing of its founder, Dr. Mary Wharton, a well-known botanist and author of regional field guides. Dr. Wharton established Floracliff to preserve the natural communities and geological features unique to the area and provide a place for people to connect to nature through education, inspiration, and research.

Trail’s End was purchased with the help of the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund (funded in part by the sale of “Nature’s Finest” license plates) and the Imperiled Bat Conservation Fund (a partnership of the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Kentucky Natural Lands Trust). The project received much additional support from Floracliff’s Board of Directors, The Sither Family, and over 200 donors and volunteers. “We are so grateful for the support we have received from our partners and countless individuals,” says Preserve Director Beverly James, “from the previous landowner and former campers who have loved Trail’s End for many years to those who were captivated by the land and its history on their first visit. This has truly been a community supported conservation project.”

4/16/17 - Press Release PDF document icon

 

Photos of Trail's End

 

Donate to the Trail's End Project

 

 

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FLORACLIFF NATURE SANCTUARY TO PROTECT MORE LAND ALONG THE KENTUCKY RIVER

LEXINGTON, KY. (July 19, 2016) — Floracliff Nature Sanctuary is excited to announce it is working to acquire an adjacent 60 acres in southern Fayette County to be protected with a conservation easement.

Partnering with the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund (funded in part by the sale of “Nature’s Finest” license plates) and the Imperiled Bat Conservation Fund (a partnership of the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Kentucky Natural Lands Trust), Floracliff has an opportunity to purchase and protect the mostly forested land known as Trail’s End. “This is an incredible opportunity for Floracliff and our community,” says Preserve Director, Beverly James. “This tract includes a beautiful, mature forest along Elk Lick Creek and the Kentucky River and we are in a position to protect it. We can also expand our trail system, address invasive species on the property, and incorporate the land into our educational programs.”

The project has received additional financial support from some private individuals, but more help is needed to reach the fundraising goal of $775,000. James said they still need to raise $265,000. 

Located in the Kentucky River Palisades region, the 60-acre tract was once part of Camp Trail’s End, a girls’ summer camp that operated from 1913 to 1935. Led by Mary Dewitt Snyder and Sarah Gibson Blanding, it was one of the first organized camps for girls in the south. During the late 1950s, 60s, and 70s, the land and facilities were used as a camp by local scout troops and Central Christian Church in Lexington. 

Purchasing Trail’s End will increase Floracliff’s land area by 20 percent and will be the first addition of land to the sanctuary since the passing of its founder, Dr. Mary E. Wharton, a well-known botanist and author. The addition will fully protect the last quarter mile of Elk Lick Creek, preserving habitat for migratory birds, bats, amphibians, and bobcats that depend on healthy forests and streams.

Floracliff has plans to incorporate the Trail’s End tract into their restoration, education, and research programs. Invasive species such as honeysuckle, wintercreeper, and garlic mustard have impacted the forest at Trail’s End, but those are all species Floracliff has had much experience managing over the last 16 years. Future trails will offer views of the Elk Lick ravine, the Kentucky River, and historical features of the camp and will enhance the sanctuary’s guided hikes on plants, wildlife, ecology, and more. 

7/19/2016 - Press Release

 

More information about the Trail's End Project

 

Donate to the Trail's End Project

 

 

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Spring 2016 PDF document icon

 

Summer/Fall 2015 PDF document icon- Results from the Bioblitz

Spring 2015 PDF document icon- Join us for a Bioblitz and Public Nature Day

Winter 2015 PDF document icon- A Glimpse Into Operating a Nature Preserve

 

Fall 2014 PDF document icon - Using iNaturalist to Promote and Share Floracliff's Biodiversity

Summer 2014 PDF document icon - Observing Metamorphosis with Caterpillars

Spring 2014 PDF document icon - New Programs for Spring

Winter 2014 PDF document icon - Floracliff Field Studies 2014

Fall 2013 PDF document icon - Venerable Trees Workshop

Summer 2013 PDF document icon - Nature Journaling Workshop

Spring 2013 PDF document icon - Mother Nature's Child Film Screening

Winter 2013 PDF document icon - Floracliff Field Studies 2013

Fall 2012 PDF document icon - Mary Wharton's 100th Birthday Celebration

Summer 2012 PDF document icon - Our Species List: An ongoing project

Spring 2012 PDF document icon - New Programs for 2012

Winter 2012 PDF document icon - Introducing the Floracliff Field Studies

Fall 2011 PDF document icon - Supporting Biodiversity: The gift that gives back

Summer 2011 PDF document icon - The Nature Center Open House

Spring 2011 PDF document icon - Open House of the Winifred W. Haggart Nature Center

Winter 2011 PDF document icon - The Geology of Floracliff

Fall 2010 PDF document icon - Kentucky's Oldest Documented Tree Turns 400

Summer 2010 PDF document icon - Floracliff's Future with a Nature Center

Spring 2010 PDF document icon - The Business of Floracliff
Winter 2010 PDF document icon - The Emerald Ash Borer Threatens Central Kentucky Trees

Fall 2009 PDF document icon - Meet Our New Staff
Summer 2009 PDF document icon - The Winifred Haggart Nature Center- A New Milestone

Spring 2009 PDF document icon - A message from our new president
Winter 2009
PDF document icon
- Floracliff’s Old Trees: Rays of hope for the Inner Bluegrass Region

Spring 2008 PDF document icon - Mary Wharton Scholars Program
Winter 2008 PDF document icon - Problematic garden plants

Fall 2007 PDF document icon - Purple martin housing
Summer 2007 PDF document icon - Bush honeysuckle research project
Spring 2007 PDF document icon - Floracliff selling rare prints


WTVQ Kentucky's Backroads
04.30.2009


Floracliff Will Have You Fawning Over Herpetofauna

Herald-Leader, 04.26.2013

Floracliff Celebration

Herald-Leader, 10.15.2012

3 Wild Ky. Places Featured in New Book
Herald-Leader, 11.15.2008

Spring on the South Side: Floracliff Preserves Mary Wharton's Lasting Legacy

Chevy Chaser Magazine, 04.2008

Happy Hunting: With Help of GPS, Geo-scavengers Find a Great Time Out in Woods
Herald-Leader, 02.17.2008

Nurturing Nature: Floracliff Helps Preserve Kentucky Palisades
Herald-Leader, 03.24.2007

 
Floracliff Nature Sanctuary • P.O. Box 21723 • Lexington, KY 40522 • (859) 296-0986 • info@floracliff.org
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