Bernheim and Beam partner in effort to conserve water

By Amy Joseph Landon

Source: The Kentucky Standard
March 27, 2018

Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest and Jim Beam Distillery are teaming up to preserve limestone water in the Clermont area by creating a natural water sanctuary on Bernheim grounds.

The one-year agreement was announced Thursday, and the Natural Water Sanctuary Alliance “will protect water quality, restore wildlife habitats, and reintroduce native plants and trees,” according to a press release.

“Great bourbon starts with great water,” said eighth generation Beam distiller Freddie Noe. “In fact, the water in Clermont is one of the main reasons my family chose to settle here back in 1795. Jim Beam bourbon gets its distinct and wonderful taste, in part, from the local water, which is filtered naturally through limestone. We’re proud to team up with our neighbors at Bernheim to preserve this vital natural resource.”

According to the release, the alliance will concentrate on conservation activities across Bernheim, particularly within the Long-Lick and Wilson Creek watersheds. These areas feature large forest expanses, wetlands and the headwaters of three creeks and several small lakes that support wildlife, the surrounding communities, and the production of Jim Beam Bourbon.

In addition to helping protect the water source, the distillery will also support Bernheim’s work to protect the federally endangered Indiana Bat, and co-host an annual landowners’ workshop to educate the community and promote best practices in water conservation and forest stewardship.

“The importance of clean water cannot be overstated. It’s essential for wildlife. It’s essential for human life and it’s essential to our economy,” Bernheim Executive Director Mark Wourms said in the release. “We are grateful to have a corporate partner like Jim Beam that values protecting this vital natural resource.”

The alliance mirrors work that has been done by Suntory Holdings, the parent company of Beam. Suntory Holdings has established 20 natural water sanctuaries throughout Japan.

“We have long shared a common respect and love for the land here and we understand the critical role protecting our environment, especially our natural water, plays in our future — not only the future of our business but the future health and well-being of our families, friends and colleagues who call this area home,” Noe said. “We feel privileged to be able to give back to the community that has given us so much.”

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