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Contents:
Program 1411

1. Short’s goldenrod
2. muralist Carole Jackson-Powell
3. the Woodland Dog Paddle
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Robertson County

For more information:
Blue Licks State Resort Park, Hwy. 68, Mt. Olivet, KY 41064, (859) 289-5507
Blue Licks State Nature Preserve, Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission, 801 Schenkel Lane, Frankfort, KY 40601, (502) 573-2886

Producer, videographer, audio, editor: Brandon Wickey


The One That Almost Got Away

Short’s goldenrod

Charles Wilkins Short was a doctor and medical educator who built a distinguished career for himself during the first half of the 19th century, founding a medical journal at Transylvania University in Lexington and later serving as dean of the forerunner to the University of Louisville Medical School. But his real lifelong passion was botany. Wherever he lived, he spent endless hours tramping through fields and woods searching for unusual specimens. In 1840, he found the one that would immortalize his name: a previously unknown variety of goldenrod growing along rock ledges at the Falls of the Ohio. The good doctor wrote up his discovery, and the plant was named Short’s goldenrod in his honor.

But in the 1920s, construction of a new lock and dam system to tame the falls flooded the discovery site. Since no other population was known, Short’s goldenrod was presumed extinct. It wasn’t until 1939 that another dedicated botanist, E. Lucy Braun of Cincinnati, found some more specimens of the plant growing near the Revolutionary War battlefield of Blue Licks in Robertson County.

Human activity nearly did the species in again in the 1970s when much of the Blue Licks population was wiped out by campground construction at the state park commemorating the battlefield. Since then, though, Short’s goldenrod has been named a state and federal endangered species, and its protection has become the focus of intensive management efforts. The Blue Licks patch is protected as a state nature preserve within the park. In 2004, another preserve was dedicated just a couple of miles away in Fleming County to protect a population of Short’s goldenrod that had recently been found there. Those sites and one discovered in 2001 in Indiana are the only known homes of the species, making it one of the rarest plants in the world.

Short’s goldenrod grows to about two feet tall and sports brilliant yellow blossoms in the late summer and fall. But it apparently does not reproduce through wind dispersal of seeds, instead relying on insects for pollination. Since the Kentucky sites where it is now known are along ancient animal trails (the “licks” in Blue Licks is for salt licks), Braun suggested that buffalo might once have been an important factor in its spread as seeds and pollen hitched rides in their shaggy coats.

The plant also seems to be an early succession specialist—a colonizer of areas recently cleared by fire or large-animal activity. Later arrivals can crowd it out, though, so one key to helping it survive is frequent culling of fast-growing neighbors such as red cedar.

Kentucky Life’s look at the Short’s goldenrod includes a visit to the annual fall festival dedicated to it, held at the state park in September.

Watch This Story (8:02)




Bullitt County

For more information:
Dream Artworks, (502) 817-7504

Producer: Dave Shuffett


Wall-to-Wall Art

muralist Carole Jackson-Powell

Carole Jackson-Powell got interested in art at a very early age, and she knew by her teens that she wanted to create it on a pretty big scale. After studying at Kentucky Wesleyan College, the Louisville School of Art, Bellarmine University, and the Schrodt Studio, this Bullitt County resident started hiring herself out as a mural painter, creating custom scenes for home, business, restaurant, and church walls. Comfortable in a variety of styles, she’s good enough at it that she was able to make it her full-time livelihood in 2000.

Carole’s work ranges from decorative elements around entranceways to a 47-foot-long Italian street scene commissioned by a business. The subjects of her custom murals have included whimsical animals and sports-themed scenes for kids’ rooms, trompe l’oeil landscapes framed by painted “windows,” religious figures, and an expanse of blue sky and white clouds for the ceiling of an indoor walkway. She sometimes paints directly on wall surfaces, but other murals are done on canvas and then attached so that they can be portable in the event of a move.

In addition to the murals, Carole creates custom paintings and has reproduced some of her scenes as limited-edition prints.

Watch This Story (8:01)




Fayette County

For more information:
Friends of the Dog Park, P.O. Box 22834, Lexington, KY 40522

Producer, videographer: Valerie Trimble
Editor: Jim Piston


The Dogs Have Their Day

the Woodland Dog Paddle

As you have no doubt noticed by now, we’re very fond of dogs here at Kentucky Life. This edition introduces even more of them than usual as we visit the Woodland Dog Paddle, an annual event that combines lots of fun for canines and their humans with fund-raising for a good cause.

One day a year, on the weekend after it has closed to humans for the fall, the swimming pool at Lexington’s Woodland Park is opened one more time—just for dogs. We visited the 2007 event, the sixth, which drew a total of 837 dogs of all shapes, sizes, and breeds. Their owners pay a small entrance fee that goes toward the construction and maintenance of leash-free dog parks in Lexington.

The event was created by and benefits Friends of the Dog Park, a nonprofit organization founded in 2000 to promote the idea of such areas. After gathering thousands of signatures on a petition to the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, FDP was invited to submit a detailed proposal. That plan was accepted, and the organization is now hard at work putting it into action. The first Fayette County dog park was a three-acre fenced area within Jacobson Park, and several others are in various stages of development. FDP President Janet Cowen outlines the goals of the organization and the reasons behind the push for dog parks during our visit.

Watch This Story (6:33)




Hardin County

For more information:
Hardin County History Museum, 201 W. Dixie Ave., Elizabethtown, KY 42701, (270) 763-8339


On Location

Dave Shuffett hosts this edition from the Hardin County History Museum in Elizabethtown. Opened in 2003, the museum houses artifacts from the early Native American inhabitants of the region and pioneer settlements as well as permanent and rotating exhibits covering the centuries since then.



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