Forest Hill Drive and Guerilla Hollow are closed on Sunday, May 25 due to high winds.

My Bernheim Story #4: Cele Beckner

By Bernheim

Cele Beckner at Old Mill Elementary teaching students about how animals prepare for winter.

And it Begins Again

John and I moved to Bullitt County in 1998.  We attended the Bourbon Festival in Bardstown.  Bernheim had a booth and was getting volunteers to help at Colorfest.  To my surprise John quickly said yes he could help and chose to show visitors where to park their vehicles.  I decided to paint faces.  After I retired I was able to do more than assist Colorfest so I volunteered in the research part of the forest moving river cane back to where it was before being pushed over to the edge for crops by the previous owners.  Then I helped cleared invasive plants in the research forest and the arboretum.  That led to pulling weeds and collecting seeds in the nursery.   By September, 2003 I decided maybe I should attend a volunteer orientation at Bernheim.  There I learned there was more than staying out of the dirt at Bernheim besides Colorfest.  Curiosity got me to attend Wren Smith’s (the Interpretation Manager for Bernheim) Interp 101 class just by chance being held that very day.  Fast forward to today, under Wren Smith excellent guidance on interpreting nature, I now lead fourth graders (and a few other grades) on field trip

Priceless paychecks in the form of letters from Cele’s enthusiastic students.

~Cele Beckner, Shepherdsville, KY

Click here to read part 1 of Cele’s story.

Click here to read part 2 of Cele’s story.

Click here to read part 3 of Cele’s Story.


In honor of Bernheim’s 90th anniversary in 2019, we are making a conscious effort to collect stories and memories of Bernheim. In addition to your stories, both old and new, we are seeking any photographs, video footage and historical information you may have about Bernheim from the past 90 years.  Please let us know if you or someone you know has a great Bernheim story to share by contacting us at

Please note: Any information provided to grants Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest the permission to reuse this information in print and/or digital formats, as well as other public display for the promotion of its 90th anniversary in 2019 and beyond, to further the efforts of our mission in connecting people with nature.

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