Raptors, majestic trees, and bushwhacking adventures lie ahead in 2019
Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest turns 90 years young this year!
To celebrate this momentous anniversary, Bernheim is hosting a number of special events throughout the year including a series entitled “Forest Tours” – three-hour forest immersion experiences into Bernheim’s Natural Areas.
The tours will include first-time-ever access to some of Bernheim’s newly-acquired lands on the Big Level, Cave Hollow, and the Cedar Grove Wildlife Corridor, and will take visitors on a search for winter raptors; to visit a magnificent collection of old trees; and on a trip to take in the cliffs, caves and seldom seen locations of this 25-plus mile square forest.
The first of these excursions, Winter Raptors, occurs on Friday, Jan. 11, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Participants will meet at the Visitor Center and travel by van to the territory of Harper the golden eagle. Along the way, learn about Bernheim’s golden eagle research and hopefully catch a glimpse of our magnificent winter raptors. The tour is limited to 10 participants, and all ages and abilities are welcome.
The second opportunity – Old Trees on the New Cedar Grove Wildlife Corridor – occurs on March 8 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Participants will meet at the Bernheim Visitor Center and travel by van to the new 494-acre Cedar Grove Wildlife Corridor to hike amongst a magnificent assemblage of large old trees. Learn about the newly acquired wildlife corridor, the importance of mature forests, and catch up on the first signs of spring. This trip includes strenuous hiking with rugged terrain and is recommended for serious off-trail and uphill hikers only. The event is limited to 15 participants.
On March 22 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., explore the wild side of the Big Level with Bernheim’s Big Level and Cave Hollow Bushwhack, taking in the cliffs, caves, and rarely seen natural areas. Participants will meet at the Bernheim Visitor Center and travel to the top of the Big Level, plunge off the east side of the Level into Cave Hollow, and bushwhack their way back to the top in what is sure to be an epic excursion. This trip allows participants to view more than 1,000 acres of Bernheim’s recent additions. Due to steep drop-offs and strenuous hiking on rugged terrain, this event is not for the timid and is recommended for serious off-trail and uphill hikers only. This excursion is limited to 10 hikers.
All Forest Tours are for ages 8 and up, and are led by Bernheim Forest Manager Andrew Berry, who oversees the environmental stewardship and land conservation efforts of Bernheim’s 16,000-acre natural area. Andrew specializes in working with researchers from across the country and around the world who seek out the biologically diverse healthy large forest block for their studies.
These Forest Tours are just one part of the yearlong celebration of the 90th anniversary of Bernheim’s founding. In 1929, Isaac Wolfe Bernheim purchased the original 13,300 acres and created the Isaac W. Bernheim Foundation to protect the land. It remains perhaps the single largest gift to conservation and environmental education in the history of Kentucky. The Forest Tours complement Bernheim’s mission of connecting people with nature as well as staying true to the guiding principles set forth by Mr. Bernheim: to protect and nurture the land while providing an accessible place to restore the bond between all people and nature.
Other related anniversary experiences include a Golden Eagle Project Lecture, Night of the Wolf Moon Eclipse, the 90th Anniversary Valentine Dinner, #MyBernheimStory, and a GIANT surprise coming this Spring. See the full calendar at www.bernheim.org