The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky purchased the 745.8-acre Griffith Woods property from the Hamilton family utilizing funding from a generous donor and money borrowed from the Conservancy’s internal Land Protection Fund (LPF).
The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky helped the University of Kentucky (UK) secure funding from the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund to purchase 391 acres of the Griffith Woods property from the Conservancy. This allowed the Conservancy to pay off the LPF loan.
With help from a professional facilitator and project partners, the Conservancy led the development of a detailed management plan utilizing its Conservation by Design - Conservation Action Planning framework.
The Conservancy, working with a committee comprised of diverse partners, pursued 52 documented conservation projects (19 research, 12 management, 8 inventory, 7 restoration, and 6 education), 10 graduate student projects, and 2 peer-reviewed publications at Griffith Woods, including:
- Treating exotic species, primarily bush honeysuckle,
- Conducting songbird counts,
- Conducting deer surveys
- Participating in “Friends of Griffith Woods” monthly work days
- Planting cane and native warm season grasses using funding from the USDA-NRCS WHIP program, and
- Utilizing contractual farming as a method to keep the property in prime condition for future restoration goals.
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) utilized Federal Program income money that is restricted for land acquisition to acquire The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky’s portion of Griffith Woods. UK transferred ownership of their portion of Griffith Woods to KDFWR. The Conservancy also donated several adjoining tracts of land that ensured they would remain intact.
KDFWR officially dedicated the area as a Wildlife Management Area on May 31, 2012.
Conservancy staff have met with KDFWR staff to prioritize collaborative management projects to be initiated and worked on during the coming fiscal year.