By Renee Hutchison

Bernheim horticulturists take care of not only everyday duties within the arboretum grounds, but also seek to strengthen relationships with the surrounding greater ecological community.

Bernheim is a member of several local horticultural organizations to include the Kentucky Nursery and Landscape Association (KNLA), the Kentucky Arborist Association (KAA), and the City of Bardstown’s Tree Board.  Bernheim is also a member of various other national horticultural organizations to include the American Public Gardens Association (APGA).

Our horticultural staff is involved in several partnerships to provide opportunities, share experiences, inspire great ideas, and connect people with nature. These outreach programs and partnerships include:

Working with LG&E to promote awareness of Bernheim Select™ Utility Trees, Bernheim has produced an educational brochure to provide information to homeowners as to the proper selection and placement of trees in relation to power lines.  Bernheim partnered with a group of children from an area school as well as with volunteers from the surrounding community to plant approximately sixty trees, all of which are listed in the brochure, at the Garden Pavilion.

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With funding through a grant from LG&E, Bernheim is working to promote storytelling and education. Bernheim partnered with volunteers to plant a great number of trees in and around the Children’s Play Garden. Bernheim is using this opportunity to tell some of the interesting stories that are behind the trees we have planted.

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Bernheim has been fortunate to partner with LG&E and all the trees that we have planted through the two grants that we have received have been part of a larger cause that LG&E is taking part in which is Plant for the Planet.

Plant for the Planet! is a Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) public education campaign to promote everyday actions that home gardening enthusiasts can take to help save plants.

Established in 1987, it links more than 800 botanic gardens in 115 countries.

The organization also raises awareness of the importance of plants as one of the earth’s greatest natural resources and the dependence of life on plant diversity.

Berneheim has a history of exploring the ecology of Living roofs. Beginning with a living roof on its award winning LEED® Platinum Visitor Center in 2004, Bernheim expanded its ecological research, with Brown Forman’s help in 2008, to investigate Kentucky native plants and other appropriate plants for living roofs.

In 2009 Bernheim teamed with Nana Lampton, Chairman and CEO of American Life and Accident Insurance Company, to install three separate beds, that feature Kentucky Cedar Glade plants, Rock Garden plants, and Grasses, on the roof of the American Life Building situated on Main Street in Louisville Kentucky.

Bernheim made use of knowledge gathered from the research done on twelve study plots funded by Brown Forman. This valuable ongoing partnership, which includes monthly maintenance services, promises to add valuable insights into the Biology of living roofs in urban environments. Bernheim has installed beds on other roofs in the city and is currently in consultation to install another.

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A contest was held throughout the county to determine which trees would become Bullitt County Signature Trees. These trees would represent and be planted around Bullitt County. According to a poll in the Pioneer news the red bud Cercis canadensis and the black gum Nyssa sylvatica were chosen. Bernheim has planted several of these trees, the first round being at the Bullitt County Courthouse in Shepherdsville and the second being along Highway 245 outside of the main entrance to our park. Bernheim plans to plant more of these trees throughout the community.

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Bernheim Horticulturists host Smart Garden and Landscape Classes periodically throughout the year. These classes are given on a wide array of topics that include everything from composting to garden planning to demonstrations from renowned local chefs on how to prepare delicious meals from your garden harvest.

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