The Central Kentucky Wildlife Refuge will host a spring birding hike at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 23. Some early migrating birds are already showing up in western Kentucky, so this is a good time to find out what may have arrived in the knobs before the leaves begin to block the view in the trees.
Dress for the weather, wear good walking shoes, and bring binoculars, if you have them. If not, “loaners” will be available. Meet in the refuge parking lot.
In addition, the Cheek Nature Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Nature Center houses samples of and information about plants, animals and geology that may be seen at the refuge, including examples of bird feathers and nests, rocks, an insect display, educational materials for teachers, posters and maps.
Jane and J.P. Brantley, education directors, will be on hand to answer questions about the refuge. Teachers, homeschoolers and other group leaders considering field trips to the refuge are encouraged to preview the educational materials and the trails prior to scheduling their visits. Travel grants of up to $150 are available for school groups that come to the refuge.
Mary Ashby Cheek was a distinguished educator and long-time resident of Danville and an early supporter of the creation of the Central Kentucky Wildlife Refuge in the middle 1960s. The Education Center was made possible by a generous gift from Annette Cheek and dedicated in 1999.
The Central Kentucky Wildlife Refuge is a 500-acre preserve, located 13 miles from Danville on Carpenter Creek Road just off Kentucky 37 in the Parksville knob land and bordering a stretch of the North Rolling Fork. It includes 10 trails, ranging in length from less than ½ mile to 2.2 miles and in difficulty from easy to strenuous, four ponds, a bird blind, an education center/pavilion and an observation gazebo.
The refuge, founded in 1965, is a non-profit organization and relies on donations and volunteers for upkeep. More information about the refuge can be found at www.ckwr.org.