Bernheim Forest receives sustainability award

By Bernheim

Source: The News-Enterprise
June 25, 2018

Staff in front of the Visitor Center with the APGA Operational Sustainability Award, June 2018.

Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest received the 2018 Ameri­can Public Gar­dens As­sociation’s Opera­tional Sustainability Award.

The award was formed to recognize “outstanding dedication and achievements in promoting sustainability through programs, operation, facilities and/or research,” according to a news release.

“Bernheim’s work in sustainability is truly remarkable,” Harry Jongerden, executive director of the Toronto Botanical Garden and chairman of the 2018 Awards Committee said in the release. “They exemplify the very best practices that we can all emulate.”

Bernheim’s conservation and land protection work in the 15,625-acre forest were cited in the award. Bernheim, which is the third receipent of the honor, also was honored for its longstanding commitment to help people develop a deeper connection with and an appreciation for nature.

Established by Isaac W. Bernheim, a German immigrant who made his fortune in Kentucky bourbon, the property in Bullitt County was established as a public preserve in 1950.

“We could not be prouder of this distinction,” Bernheim’s Ex­ecu­tive Director Mark Wourms said in the release. “This award is a testament to our expert staff’s commitment to Mr. Bernheim’s legacy of environmental stewardship.”

Sustainability efforts include sustainable gardening workshops, maintaining green roofs in Louisville and promoting free-play in nature, Wourms said.

The awards committee also cited the visitor center’s LEED Plati­num building and edible garden. The sustainability practices not only help Bernheim, but also those outside the forest, Wourms said.

“With more than 3 million trees and the headwaters of 13 streams, we cannot forget that Bernheim provides clean air and clean water for the 1.6 million people who call North Central Kentucky home,” he said.

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