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Every Day is Earth Day in Kentucky

Since its founding in 1975, The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky has worked to conserve and protect Kentucky's lands and waters.  As Earth Day 2012 approaches, we thought it appropriate to look back on our successes over the years.

Many Milestones and Successes

Kentucky has had many milestones in the development of our work in Kentucky.  The following list touches on some of the high points in our efforts to conserve the Commonwealth.

1966 - Murphy's Pond, the Conservancy's first conservation project, attracts national attention, leading the Conservancy to pursue the acquisition of 313 acres onsite.  Learn more about Murphy's Pond

1967 - The Nature Conservancy enters into its first cooperative project with the Daniel Boone National Forest to acquire Thunderstruck Shoals.  Since then, this partnership has resulted in the protection of thousands of acres, mostly in the Rockcastle River watershed.

1975 - The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky opens its doors.  Founding officers - Dr. Bruce Poundstone (chairman), Dr. William Bryant (vice chair), Mrs. Richard Wilson (secretary) and Dr. Hunter Hancock (treasurer) presided over 20 trustees and a membership of less than 100.

1978 - The Conservancy receives its first donated property in Kentucky - the Kirwan property in Woodford County.

1988 - The Conservancy completes its first acquisition in Mantle Rock.

1993 - Engagement in a community-based landscape-scale project at Horse Lick Creek in the Rockcastle River watershed becomes the genesis for several subsequent landscape-scale, community based projects at places like the Green River, Buck Creek and the Kentucky River Palisades.

1994 - The General Assembly passes into law legislation to establish the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund. 

1998 - The Conservancy hires a program director to focus on conservation efforts in the Green River, including a partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and land acquisitions like the Timberlake Tract.

 2000 -  A new Buck Creek Watershed Coordinator begins working with the local Conservation District – as well as with local groups, landowners, state agencies and federal agencies – to protect land, implement conservation strategies on the ground and raise environmental awareness. 

 2008 - The Conservancy launches a Stream and Wetland Mitigation Program, which restored nearly 3 miles of streams flowing into Buck Creek during the program’s first four years.  

2009 - The Conservancy works with partners to launch Kentucky’s Prescribed Fire Council and a new Instream Flow Network to better address ecological processes affecting multiple conservation areas.

 2009 - A new team comprised of staff located in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky and Tennessee convene to identify a network of places within the Central Appalachian Landscape that represent the region’s biological diversity still functioning in the face of intense energy development pressures. 

2009 - A new, multi-year partnership with Ingram Barge Company, the nation’s leading inland waterway transportation company, makes it possible to advance work with partner organizations and local landowners in the Obion Creek and Bayou du Chien watersheds to protect, restore and reconnect more than 5,000 acres of bottomland hardwood forests and wetlands to the Mississippi River. 

2010 - The Conservancy establishes a new, five-year strategic plan for its work in Kentucky.

 2011 - The Conservancy works with local, state, and federal partners to help acquire Phase I of the Big Rivers Corridor Project.

What's Ahead

Kentucky continues to celebrate many successes in conservation as we go along.  Our continued focus on the objectives of our five-year strategic plan guide our on-the-ground conservation initiatives throughout the state. 

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