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Program 1314

1. Dry Fork Gorge
2. Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen
3. Kittawa Sprangs Dippin’ Sauce
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Metcalfe County

For more information:

Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund, 375 Versailles Rd., Frankfort, KY 40601, (502) 573-3080

Producer: Brandon Wickey

Keeping It Wild

Preserving Dry Fork Gorge

Lawyer Chris Boling and his wife, Holly, owned a lovely piece of Metcalfe County forest that includes the headwaters of Dry Fork Creek, part of the Little Barren River watershed. The property boasts seven springs as well as four caves that may be important nurseries for rare bats, and the Bolings were determined to protect it from the clear-cutting they saw all around them. Then they learned that Chris has Parkinson’s disease and realized that they may not be able to keep and care for the land themselves.

So the Bolings turned to local and state government for help. In 2006, the Metcalfe County Fiscal Court purchased an 80-acre section of Dry Fork Gorge with funds from the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund. This state program, started in 1994, uses money from Kentucky’s unmined minerals tax, sales of special nature-themed license plates, and fines paid by violators of state environmental laws to purchase and protect special natural areas. Local governments, universities, and state agencies from Parks to Fish and Wildlife apply for grants from the fund to add acreage to existing preserves or parks or, as in this case, to create brand-new nature preserves.

The funds available to be distributed each year are limited by various economic factors and sometimes even changing tastes. For instance, sales of the special nature license plates soared when the “smiley face” plate became Kentucky’s standard, then fell off again when a new design was introduced. But in its first 11 years, the Heritage Land Conservation Fund awarded grants totaling more than $28 million to protect more than 25,000 acres throughout the state. Projects have ranged from a single acre in Owensboro’s Yellow Creek Park to a 3,600-acre forest tract in Boone County. Administered by various state and local agencies, many of the acquired areas are open to hunting or fishing, while access to others is restricted because they shelter rare plants or animals or fragile habitats.

On our visit, we learn just what makes Dry Fork Gorge worthy of protection with the help of Chris Boling and Richie Kessler, a naturalist with the Kentucky chapter of the Nature Conservancy who is also on the board that awards Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund grants.

Madison County

For more information:
Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen, 103 Parkway, Berea, KY 40403, (859) 986-3192

Producer: Tom Thurman
Videographer: Matt Grimm
Audio: Roger Tremaine
Editor: Dan Taulbee

Standards Bearers

The Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen

In September 1961, Gov. Bert Combs sent a special train off on its first journey. Though only two cars long, it had some ambitious purposes: to bring art to Kentucky communities that might not otherwise have access to it, and to help artists and craftsmen in isolated places start learning from and teaching one another.

The train was the first big project for the newly formed Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen, a membership organization that aimed to create and maintain high standards in arts and crafts production in the state, to enhance appreciation for visual art and fine crafts through exhibition and education, and to promote and market the products of Kentucky artisans. At the time, several other states had traveling art exhibitions—but no one else had a train. Under the direction of legendary Berea woodturner Rude Osolnik, two former L&N cars were converted into an exhibition space plus a workshop for demonstrations that also doubled as a home away from home for a curator/instructor.

Over the next seven years, the Guild Train criss-crossed the state, welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors, and was directly responsible for the establishment of several art and craft projects. But then a change in state administration brought changes in priorities, and the train was sidelined.

The guild itself, though, carried on—and continued to grow. Even as the train rolled along, the organization was working to establish an annual retail fair in Berea. More than 40 years later, that fall fair is still a highlight of the annual arts calendar. In between times, the KGAC sponsors other exhibits, workshops, demonstrations, and education and mentoring programs for both artists and the public and keeps its members informed about learning, funding, and exhibition opportunities.

To be an exhibiting member of the guild, an artist must submit samples of work to be juried by a standards committee. Individuals, businesses, and organizations may join as supporting members.

Hancock County

For more information:
Kittawa Sprangs Dippin Sauce, 135 Park Rd., Hawesville, KY 42348, (270) 927-6791

Producer: Barbara Deeb
Videographer: Philip Allgeier
Editor: Michael DePersio

Snacking for Charity

Kittawa Sprangs Dippin Sauce

Some time back, the Rev. Dan Smith was looking for a way to contribute to the children’s homes operated by the Kentucky United Methodist Church. At the time, he also had two teenage daughters of his own whom he wanted to get involved in some good work. The answer for both dilemmas turned out to be a family recipe for a tangy barbecue sauce. Dan, his wife, and the girls started turning out larger homemade batches of the condiment and selling it as Kittawa Sprangs Dippin’ Sauce, with the proceeds going to the charity.

The Kentucky United Methodist Homes for Children and Youth, with locations in Versailles and Owensboro, provides a variety of treatment services for kids coping with abuse, neglect, abandonment, or other family traumas. The first Methodist children’s home, founded in Louisville in 1871, was an orphanage and a home for unwed mothers. Though they can provide emergency shelter, today’s homes are no longer long-term residential facilities. Instead, they focus on helping troubled or at-risk children find hope and purpose. In Western Kentucky, an outreach program also provides services for prospective parents who want to adopt children from overseas.

Laurel County

For more information:
Levi Jackson State Park, 998 Levi Jackson Mill Rd., London, KY 40744, (606) 878-8000

On Location

Dave hosts this edition from Levi Jackson State Park outside London. The focus here is on history: The 800 acres include hiking trails whose routes were once part of the Wilderness Trail, a pioneer burial ground, and a Mountain Life Museum of frontier life.

SEASON 13 PROGRAMS: 1301130213031304130513061307/1326: The Lincoln Wedding130813091310

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