KET’s Kentucky Life has received the 2011 Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission’s (KSNPC) Biological Diversity Protection Award. The award recognizes the series for providing “the highest form of environmental education to the citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”
“By showcasing the natural heritage of our state in its many forms, Kentucky Life has proven itself to be a benchmark program,” says KSNPC director Donald S. Dott, Jr.
The award specifically recognizes Kentucky Life host and producer Dave Shuffett and series producer Brandon Wickey for their work.
“Dave and I are really honored to be a part of this award for KET and Kentucky Life,” Wickey says. “Many other staff members at KET were a vital part of the work on Kentucky Life and in receiving this award, including segment producers, production crews, editors, writers, educational producers, web content producers, photographers and more.”
Kentucky Life has featured the state’s biodiversity and amazing natural areas since its inception in 1994: from Harlan County’s Blanton Forest (the largest old-growth forest in the state) to Ballard County’s Swan Lake (Kentucky’s largest natural lake and haven for migratory birds and native species of fish). Many of these segments feature the work of KSNPC, in addition to other agencies and non-profits.
A significant Kentucky Life program highlighting the Commonwealth’s biodiversity is Kentucky's Last Great Places: A Kentucky Life Special, a 2004 program based on the book by Thomas G. Barnes. The program features Kentucky’s unique and increasingly rare natural ecosystems, plants and animals.
“This program resonated with Kentucky Life viewers, introducing many of them to the natural wonders in their own backyards,” Wickey says. “The program definitely filled an environmental education and awareness need in the state.
While Kentucky Life has focused on biodiversity since its inception, more recently it has become less place-oriented and more species- and awareness-oriented, focusing a series of segments specifically on threats to biodiversity in the state.
“We’ve seen species of colorful fishes that would rival the beauty of those found in coral reefs; we’ve seen the threat that invasive species of plants have on ecosystems and wildlife across the state; and we’ve discovered why Kentucky has the amazing diversity it does and why it must be protected,” Wickey says.
Kentucky Life's long commitment to broadcasting Kentucky’s wildlife and wild areas will continue: more biodiversity segments will be airing later this season, and planning has already begun on additional segments for Season 18.
“Some of the places featured on Kentucky Life over the years are not open to the public,” Wickey says. “The only way many viewers will ever experience them is through KET and Kentucky Life.”
Kentucky Life is a KET production, produced by Brandon Wickey. More information about Kentucky Life, including streaming video, is available at ket.org/kentuckylife.