Around the country, The Nature Conservancy is taking a fresh look at nature as a place to be enjoyed and appreciated by people, not isolated from people. However, ensuring that nature remains accessible while fulfilling its role as water and air filter, food producer and wildlife habitat requires engaging those who seek it for solace, recreation and a livelihood.
In Kentucky, these are reasons why the Conservancy is in the thick of a master planning process for one of the state’s most unique landscapes: the Kentucky River Palisades. The Master Plan, on track for completion by the end of 2013, will provide a blueprint for the broader Kentucky River Palisades as well as for a handful of nature preserves where the Conservancy works: the Sally Brown/Crutcher/Wallace nature preserves, the Jim Beam Nature Preserve, the Jessamine Gorge State Nature Preserve and eventually, the Thomas Dupree Nature Preserve.
The Master Plan moves forward based on the premise that a deeply engaged base of supporters will translate into increased action taken on behalf of the environment, more revenue to further this work and greater influence to shape policy and practices in both the public and private sectors. The Master Planning Process consists of the following steps:
- Step 1 Collecting scientific data, maps, demographic statistics and other information required to inform the process.
- Step 2 – Assembling a small group into a formal planning charette aimed at crafting detailed plans for the Kentucky River Palisades landscape and four specific nature preserves.
- Step 3 – Summarizing the Master Plan, and dividing it into specific long- and short-term tasks, timelines and responsibilities.
- Step 4 – Sharing the draft Master Plan with partners, stakeholders and others for review and reaction through individual meetings as well as with larger audiences in order to build support, commitment and maybe even financial support.
- Step 5 – Seeking final adoption of the Master Plan by the Conservancy’s Kentucky Board of Trustees in order to guide conservation work for the next 20-25 years.