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Program 1120

1. Clifty Falls
2. Raymond Athey State Nature Preserve
3. the University of Kentucky Arboretum
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Season 11 Menu

Trimble County

For more information:
Clifty Falls State Park, 1501 Green Road, Madison, IN 47250, (812) 273-8885

Producer, editor: Joy Flynn
Videographer: Brandon Wickey

Stepping Out

Clifty Falls

This edition begins with a detour of sorts, as host Dave Shuffett follows his love for scenic places and interesting geology all the way out of the state to Southern Indiana’s Clifty Falls State Park.

The centerpiece of this 1,400-acre park is Clifty Creek Canyon, a three-mile-long gorge in which Clifty Creek descends more than 300 feet—70 of them in the park’s namesake waterfall—to end up at the Ohio River. Along the way, you can see Indiana’s oldest exposed rocks, a collection of limestones and shales that in places date back 425 million years.

Clifty Falls State Park also offers three more good-sized waterfalls, plus sheer rock walls and rugged topography resulting from ancient glacial scouring refined by millions of years of erosion. You’ll also find some evidence of human engineering: Some trails follow the grades of a never-completed railroad line, started in the 1850s but abandoned when the money ran out.

The park is located just northwest of Madison, IN (which is across the Ohio River from Milton in Trimble County), with entrances off Indiana routes 56 and 62. Facilities include an inn, electric and primitive campsites, tennis courts and a swimming pool, and a nature center. Our tour is led by naturalist Dick Davis.

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

Producer, videographer, editor: Brandon Wickey

Burn, Baby, Burn

Managed fire at Raymond Athey State Nature Preserve

We have visited and admired Raymond Athey Barrens State Nature Preserve before, in the Kentucky’s Last Great Places special. On this return visit, we watch part of it go up in smoke—on purpose.

Managers of wildlands used to think of fire as the enemy. And it still is, sometimes. Uncontrolled wildfires that threaten human lives and communities or certain fragile habitats must still be suppressed. But over the years, naturalists have learned that many other habitats actually require periodic fires to spur new growth and maintain their ecological balance. And suppressing small fires can allow highly flammable underbrush to build up, creating the potential that the next fire will be even more disastrous.

So these days, fire is often used as a management tool. At Raymond Athey, periodic controlled burns help preserve the open “barrens” area amid a surrounding forest. To see how it works, we follow Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission naturalists as they prepare for a burn, then split into two teams to carry it out. Then we revisit the site several times to see how the rare native species of grasses and wildflowers found here are responding. Preserve manager Lane Linnenkohl and the KSNPC’s Joyce Bender are the guides.

Fayette County

For more information:
University of Kentucky Arboretum, 500 Alumni Drive, Lexington, KY 40503, (859) 257-6955

Producer, editor: Jim Piston
Videographer: Michael Follmer

Green Space

University of Kentucky Arboretum

This edition of Kentucky Life ends up very close to home. The lovely scenes that round out the program are from the University of Kentucky Arboretum, a 100-acre green space located less than a mile from KET’s headquarters in Lexington. In addition to various specialty gardens, the arboretum offers two miles of paved walking path and even a small wooded area.

SEASON 11 PROGRAMS: 1101110211031104110511061107
110811091110: Wild and Scenic Kentucky11111112

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