Eastview Barrens consists of sandstone and limestone barrens intermixed with a dry oak (Quercus spp.) forest. The preserve is an outstanding remnant of the original "Big Barrens," large prairie-like expanses of grassland that covered much of midwestern Kentucky. These areas were rapidly converted to farmland, except for the more rocky sites and those with sandy soils such as Eastview.
Due to the sensitivity of the site, the preserve is open to the public only through Conservancy guided hikes.
The preserve harbors rare and endangered plant species indicative of high quality grasslands. Eastview is also home to many insects, including rare species, which are dependent upon the prairie plants.
Historically, the Barrens was a fire maintained system. Today, The Nature Conservancy and the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission (KSNPC) use fire as a management tool to protect this unique site. Performed by specially trained crews, prescribed ecological burns help maintain the open nature of the grassland and keep the woody species from encroaching and shading out the native plant species.
The preserve was dedicated into the state nature preserve system in September 1997 and is jointly owned by the Conservancy and KSNPC. Stewardship objectives include maintaining and monitoring the size and vigor of the populations of rare species and maintaining the assemblage of other naturally occurring prairie/barrens species.
Plants Found in the Preserve
Some rare plants present include: