John James Audubon State Park in Henderson is a 725-acre paradise for nature fanatics.
The park has cottages for rent and a 9-hole golf course. There are lakes for paddleboating and fishing. There’s even a world-class museum right on site. But it’s the flora and fauna that make the park truly special.
“We have a number of species of birds here,” says Julie McDonald, Naturalist at John James Audubon State Park. “Since we have upland forest and bottomland forest we have quite a few [bird species] that are found in various areas. We have an amazing diversity of spring wildflowers that are found at all levels of our woods. The best wildflowers can be found along the trails that we have throughout the park.”
The flowers visitors see will vary depending on the time of year, with different types blossoming at different points in the season. McDonald emphasizes that despite their charming beauty, these wildflowers are no hothouse petunias.
“Spring wildflowers are warriors,” says McDonald. “They are here for a reason. They’re battle-tested to handle the rigors of torrential rainfall and freezing temperatures and animals that have nothing else to eat and want to eat them. These are hard-core survivors and they are not going to be ignored. They’re going to be out there, pulling pollinators from left and right, grasping at sunshine from wherever they possibly can. It’s important to realize that these are not the delicate flowers that we find in stores. These are survivors.”
This segment is part of Kentucky Life episode #2015. Watch the full episode.