EKU, Floracliff Partner to Offer BioBlitz, Public Nature Days

Eastern Kentucky University and the Floracliff State Nature Preserve are collaborating to host a “BioBlitz” and Public Nature Days June 20-21.

The weekend event, designed to share the wonders of Kentucky’s biodiversity, will be split between Floracliff, in southern Fayette County, and EKU’s Maywoods Environmental and Educational Laboratory that straddles Garrard and Rockcastle counties.

According to the Floracliff web site, biologists, educators, students, and volunteers team up in a BioBlitz to identify as many species of plants, animals, and fungi in a given amount of time. “This can be very useful in creating an inventory for a natural area, adding new species, and educating the public about the region’s biodiversity. For both days, we will have six teams of biologists surveying and documenting plants, aquatic invertebrates and fish, terrestrial invertebrates, small mammals, birds, and amphibians and reptiles.”

Floracliff will welcome guests on Saturday, June 20, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The day includes guided hikes with naturalists, a Raptor Rehab program, a herbarium specimen demo, an opportunity to assist surveying teams and interactive stations along the meadow loop trail.

Pre-registration is required for the surveying activity and guided hikes: e-mail info@florcaliff.org. Floracliff is located at 8000 Elk Lick Falls Road, accessible from Exit 99 of I-75. North of Exit 99, Elk Lick Falls Road (KY 2898) runs parallel to I-75 on its west side. For more information about the site, visit www.floracliff.org.

Maywoods will welcome visitors on Sunday, June 21, also from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Planned activities include “Adventures with Woodland Creatures” (with Second Chances Rehabilitation), lunch concessions, nature crafts, nature photography, fish investigations, and a herbarium specimen demo.

Pre-registration is required for the surveying activity, “Adventures with Woodland Creatures,” nature photography, fish investigations and herbarium activities at Maywoods, and will open June 1 at www.naturalareas.eku.edu. Maywoods is located approximately 22 miles southwest of Richmond and the EKU campus. For detailed directions visit naturalareas.eku.edu/sites/naturalareas.eku.edu/files/meel_directions_0.pdf, e-mail karen.pratt@eku.edu or call 859-622-1476. (Note: if using GPS to arrive at Maywoods, use its full address: 447 Maywoods Road, Crab Orchard, Ky.).

Floracliff Nature Sanctuary is a 287-acre nature preserve located in the palisades region of the Kentucky River in southern Fayette County. The preserve is comprised of steep slopes, mixed hardwood forests, Kentucky River bottomlands, swiftly running tributary streams and limestone palisades. Of geological significance is a 61-foot surface deposit of travertine known as Elk Lick Falls.

Elk Lick Creek, a tributary of the Kentucky River, flows through the middle of the preserve. Rich in aquatic life, the stream is home to many different kinds of animals such as snakes, salamanders, frogs, turtles, fish, and aquatic insects. Along the ravines of Elk Lick Creek are perhaps some of the richest sites in central Kentucky for wildflowers. Bloodroot, shooting star, celandine poppy, and Virginia bluebells are just a handful of species that are a common sight in early spring.

A 1,700-acre natural area and wildlife refuge nestled in the Knobs Region of Kentucky, Maywoods provides research opportunities for EKU students and faculty, as well as environmental educational opportunities for the University community, surrounding county schools and community groups.

Published on May 22, 2015

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