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Kentucky

Pine Creek Barrens Preserve


Pine Creek Barrens contains a variety of communities and a critical habitat for extremely rare species. The tranquility of this preserve offers a respite from the fast-pace of nearby developments.

Location

Some 10 miles north of Bardstown in eastern Bullitt County. Pine Creek Barrens rests on Pine Creek Forest Road a mile from KY 480.

Size

more than 110 acres

Why the Conservancy Selected This Site

Pine Creek Barrens is considered one of the finest examples of limestone/dolomite barrens complex in the state. This open woodland with a prairie-like ground cover hosts a diversity of native glade flora. Other natural communities at Pine Creek Barrens include the dry upland woods which surround the glade. On the southwest boundary, scenic Pine Creek flows through a beautiful mesic ravine forest lined with small limestone cliffs.

At least eight rare and endangered plant species have been identified at this site, including the globally threatened glade cress (Leavenworthia exigua var. Laciniata), which is found only in select areas in Bullitt and Jefferson counties. This plant has adapted to grow in small depressions on the exposed bedrock. In springtime, Glade cress produces tiny white flowers.

The Conservancy also protects:

  • state endangered Great Plains ladies-tresses (Spiranthes magnicamporum)
  • western silky aster (Aster sericeus)
  • grooved yellow flax (Linum sulcatum)
  • Crawe's sedge (Carex crawei)
  • northern dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis)
  • Fimbristylis puberula
What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing

The Conservancy purchased this preserve in 1991. Pine Creek Barrens is undergoing a series of long-term investigations to determine the effects of fire on glade and barrens communities. This research will include monitoring plant diversity and populations, as well as prescribed burnings.

Other objectives include controlling the spread of invasive species and developing a volunteer base to assist with management of the barrens.

Plants Found at the Preserve

Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans) and little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) wave majestically in the wind. Colorful wildflowers sprinkle the landscape, including pale purple coneflower (Echinacea pallida), obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana), and various species of blazing star (Liatrus).

 

 

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