Creating Educational Opportunities for the Dupree Nature Preserve

Dupree Sign photo

It is not every day one gets to be part of a project with the potential to impact generations. In collaboration with The Nature Conservancy of Lexington, Bluegrass Greensource was invited to create educational programming for the region’s newest nature preserve. The Dupree Nature Preserve in Garrard County opened to the public on October 5, 2013 and was a project years in the making. Named after the family of Thomas P. Dupree, Sr., the preserve will honor Mr. Dupree’s desire to conserve the land for future generations of children. Creating a space for children to learn about nature in a hands-on, experiential way is important to Mr. Dupree who credits his own love of nature with time he spent hiking and camping as a child in Harlan County, KY.

Three groups of school children from Garrard County had the chance to explore the preserve and work with Bluegrass Greensource educators during an Outdoor Day, sponsored by Toyota. The fourth-graders learned about watersheds and water quality, karst geology, topographical mapping, orienteering, and forestry. Many of the children were delighted to see Daniel Boone, who had once laid claim to the area, make an “appearance” complete in period costume to discuss the region’s history and guide them in raft-building. The next Outdoor Day of education is planned for October 18.

Dupree Daniel Boone photo

Bluegrass Greensource’s outreach specialist researched and provided written materials about the history of the land, Mr. Dupree Sr., and the preserve scavenger hunt; as well as contributed QR codes for the trail signs. Preserve Monitor Kenneth Brooks assisted in the writing of the land parcel’s history and shared key facts. For instance, in addition to Daniel Boone’s early claims to the land in 1767, the proximity to the river in what is now called Polly’s Bend made it a great site for a ferry. By 1790, a ferry was operational and vital in transporting produce, tobacco, bourbon, corn, pork, and hemp along the Kentucky River.

Dupree Kids learning photo

To visit the preserve, use the address: 2991 Polly’s Bend Road, Lancaster, KY, 40444 in order to map directions.

For additional coverage of the Dupree Nature Preserve, see the following:

The Nature Conservancy’s site:

Herald Leader article by Tom Eblen:

Tom Eblen’s other article from his blog:

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