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Contents:
Program 1010

1. Thompson Creek Glades State Nature Preserve
2. Hazeldell Meadow
3. Eastview Barrens State Nature Preserve
4. Flat Rock Glade State Nature Preserve
5. Raymond Athey Barrens State Nature Preserve
6. Log House Prairie
Season 10 Menu

Kentucky’s Last Great Places | Introduction | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

Larue County

For more information:
Thompson Creek Glades State Nature Preserve, c/o Lane Linnenkohl, Ogden Dean’s Office, Western Kentucky University, 1 Big Red Way, Bowling Green, KY 42101, (270) 745-7005


Thompson Creek Glades State Nature Preserve

Between the fertile hills of Kentucky’s east and west lies the state’s limestone-paved center, where flat rock outcroppings tend to be at or very near the surface. The shallower soils support hardy plants, many not found elsewhere in the state, and the presence or absence of surface water creates a wide variety of microhabitats. In the next two segments, Dave explores some of the wonders to be found above ground in the region best known as cave country.

The first stop is Thompson Creek Glades, a 64-acre state preserve in Larue County. Conditions here tend to be harsh and dry, but this limestone glade is still home to several rare and showy flowers, including the ladies’ tresses orchid (right).

Access to Thompson Creek Glades is by written permission only.




Pulaski County

For more information:
Hazeldell Meadow, c/o The Nature Conservancy, 642 W. Main Street, Lexington, KY 40508, (859) 259-9655


Hazeldell Meadow

Over in Pulaski County, Hazeldell Meadow shows what a difference a little water can make. In fact, this 32-acre pocket is Kentucky’s only example of a highland rim wet barrens—“wet prairie,” in Thomas Barnes’ words. Somewhere between grassland and wetland, Hazeldell hosts several varieties of orchids as well as St. John’s and St. Peter’s worts, beard-grass, hairy water primrose, narrow-leaved sundrops, long-leaved fall-panic grass, and Southern big clubmoss. Skinks, salamanders, frogs, several varieties of snakes, and a colorful array of birds can also be found here.

The star attraction, though, is a plant with the innocent-sounding name of sundew—Kentucky’s only carnivorous plant species.

Hazeldell Meadow is owned and managed by the Kentucky Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, and visitors must be accompanied by a Conservancy guide.




Hardin County

For more information:
Eastview Barrens State Nature Preserve, c/o Lane Linnenkohl, Ogden Dean’s Office, Western Kentucky University, 1 Big Red Way, Bowling Green, KY 42101, (270) 745-7005


Eastview Barrens State Nature Preserve

The Conservancy and the Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission jointly manage Eastview Barrens in Hardin County. Its 120 acres are a mix of grassland and open woodland, with the grassland dependent on periodic fires to keep invasive species at bay. Eastview protects several plants that are rare not just in Kentucky but globally, such as prairie gentian, barrens silky aster, frostweed, long-haired hawkweed, and spikemoss.

Eastview is accessible only through guided tours. Dave’s guide is old friend and Kentucky Life veteran Joyce Bender of the Nature Preserves Commission.




Simpson County

For more information:
Flat Rock Glade State Nature Preserve, c/o Lane Linnenkohl, Ogden Dean’s Office, Western Kentucky University, 1 Big Red Way, Bowling Green, KY 42101, (270) 745-7005


Flat Rock Glade State Nature Preserve

Named for the large expanses of limestone outcroppings that create openings in its oak-hickory woods, Flat Rock is an example of another type of glade community, where fast-growing red cedar predominates. The shallow soil of this Simpson County preserve saturates easily after spring rains but then dries out for the summer, when direct sunlight bakes the limestone. The mix of conditions also creates a diverse floral community, where prickly-pear cactus and wetland plants like Butler’s quillwort can be neighbors.

One of the rare species found here is the limestone fameflower, also known as the flower-of-an-hour for its dependable habit of opening its tiny but striking purple flowers at 3:00 and closing them again at 6:00.

Fameflower is one of seven rare plants found at Flat Rock, so access to the preserve is by written permission only.




Logan County

For more information:
Raymond Athey Barrens State Nature Preserve, c/o Lane Linnenkohl, Ogden Dean’s Office, Western Kentucky University, 1 Big Red Way, Bowling Green, KY 42101, (270) 745-7005


Raymond Athey Barrens State Nature Preserve

Next, Lane Linnenkohl of the Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission shows Dave around a prairie remnant in Logan County. The Raymond Athey Barrens is named for one of the heroes of nature conservation efforts in Kentucky: Raymond Athey, a self-taught botanist who spent countless hours seeking out and cataloging the state’s plant species. His one-man efforts, which preceded several more “official” inventorying projects, helped make the scientific community and Kentucky nature lovers aware of the state’s botanical wealth, and specimens from his extensive personal collections are preserved and studied at both Murray State University and Eastern Kentucky University.

During his travels, Athey came across the barrens now named for him and, recognizing its biological significance, began advocating its protection. Today’s visitors can observe several different plant communities with high species diversity, from oak-dominated woodlands to grasslands punctuated by the vibrant blue flowers of the prairie gentian. But if you would like to see them for yourself, please write ahead—the preserve is not normally open to the public.




Logan County

For more information: Log House Bed and Breakfast, 2139 Franklin Rd., Russellville, KY 42276-9410, (270) 726-8483


Log House Prairie

Even the most dedicated outdoors lover appreciates a comfy bed once in a while, so our next stop is an inn in Russellville.

Built from hand-hewn logs salvaged from demolished barns and cabins around Logan County and furnished with antiques and folk art, the Log House Bed and Breakfast is a fine example of cozy out-of-the-ordinary accommodations. But what really sets it apart—and makes it appropriate for this trip—is the on-site prairie remnant. Dave talks with co-owner Mike Hossom about how he learned about the biological significance of his land and why he decided to work with the state to protect it through a conservation easement.

The Log House prairie supports one of the largest concentrations of blazing stars in Kentucky. One particularly memorable time to visit is in August, when their blooms attract flotillas of butterflies.

Log House B&B is also the home of the Hollow Tree Fiber Studios. Mike and his wife, “Sam,” have won several prizes for their textiles at the Indiana State Fair, where they lived before moving to Kentucky, and conduct demonstrations of hand spinning and weaving at the Shaker community at South Union.



Kentucky’s Last Great Places | Introduction | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

SEASON 10 PROGRAMS: 1001100210031004100510061007
100810091010: Kentucky’s Last Great Places1011101210131014
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