The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky announces that it is opening the new Dupree Nature Preserve to the public on October 5, 2013.
Located 15 miles south of Lexington, in the state’s Kentucky River Palisades, the Dupree Nature Preserve represents a shift in the Conservancy’s approach to land protection – one which recognizes that nature sustains not only wildlife, but human beings as well.
“This thinking led us to seek out a place that will make nature more accessible to humans, who mostly reside in urban areas like Lexington,” says Terry Cook, the Conservancy’s Kentucky State Director.
According to Cook, the timing for establishing a nature preserve near a metropolitan area couldn’t be better since more and more research reveals a correlation between human health and well-being and time spent outside. In fact, a growing amount of data illustrates that cognitive processes such as planning, memorizing, paying attention and problem solving are impaired by limited outdoor recreation and exercise.
“The Dupree Nature Preserve will serve as a showcase for getting people outside in order to improve their health while deepening their understanding, appreciation and support for Kentucky’s lands and waters,” adds Cook.
With people in mind, the Conservancy has designed the Dupree Nature Preserve to engage rural and urban, young and old, individuals and groups through an infrastructure and activities that do not exist at any nature preserve in Kentucky. Educational programming and curriculum is also in development.
Prior to the public opening, The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky will hold a ribbon cutting event at the Dupree Nature Preserve on Thursday, October 3rd from 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. to thank supporters and give its most loyal members a sneak peak. Media is invited to attend but should notify Cadell Walker at (502)762-5666 in advance.
The Dupree Nature Preserve is named after Thomas P. Dupree, Sr. in honor of his legacy gift to The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky. Additional support for acquiring and developing the Dupree Nature Preserve came from James Graham Brown, Kentucky River Authority, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, KY, Inc., Ashland Foundation, Kentucky American Water, L.G. & E and KU Plant for the Planet, Warren Rosenthal, Garrard County Fiscal Court, Henry Hinkle Foundation, Kentucky Natural Lands Trust, Lexmark International, Sterling Ventures, ADEX International, Caldwell Stone, and numerous volunteers and private individuals.
“Throughout my life, the woods have provided me with solace – it’s where I go to think,” says Dupree. “During my ‘retreats,’ I studied my surroundings – plants, wildflowers, grasses – and came to know myself. I hope the new nature preserve will serve others in the same way.”
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the Conservancy’s President and CEO, Mark Tercek, will give a Keynote Speech. Other speakers include former TNC-KY Board Chair Jim Welch, Garrard County Judge John Wilson and former Conservancy State Director, Jim Aldrich.
“We’re so grateful to have had Tom’s thoughtful advice and wisdom over the years as a longtime member, past chairman of the Board and Emeritus Trustee at The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky,” adds Cook. “The Dupree Nature Preserve serves as a fitting legacy we hope Tom and his family will enjoy, with great pride, for many years to come.”
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky
(859) 259-9655 ext. 5017