Due to COVID-19, the KSU Environmental Education and Research Center is
closed to the public until further notice.
The environmental education center was originally created by the Kentucky School for the Blind to create a center where the environment could be accessible to students regardless of physical limitations. Kentucky State University has worked to keep this dream alive by working with various collaborators to make this learning facility disabled accessible by putting in paved trails with educational overlooks and a disabled accessible bird blind, pavilion, and two-tiered platform that overlooks a one acre pond. The site was originally a farm and is now reverting back to forest with oak- hickory forests covering 49% of the land base. These forests are dominated by bur, Shumard, and Chinkapin oaks, shellbark and bitternut hickory, black walnut, and Ohio buckeye. Red cedar transitional forests occur on 27% of the land base and these habitats are dominated by red cedar but have much Shumard and Chinkapin oak, shagbark and pignut hickories, white ash, slippery elm, and sugar maple coming up in the understory. The calcareous mesic forests are dominated by sugar maple, northern red oak, tulip tree and Chinkapin oak. Forests along six mile creek, which runs through the property, are dominated by sycamore, green ash, silver maple, box elder and American hornbeam. More than 245 plant species have been recorded from the property. There is a population of the state threatened green false hellebore state special concern nodding rattlesnake root and populations of several uncommon plants including limestone calamint, ginseng, and Missouri river willow. Since the center has opened, thousands of visitors ranging from school children to university graduate students. The center promotes active research projects and several include genetic analysis of native paw paw trees, how exotic or native plants affect leaf beetle diversity and how various trail surfaces affect disabled access with the National Center for Accessibility. The center cooperates with a variety of entities including the KY Readymix Association, Xerox, Home Depot, Shooting Star Nursery, and others to develop the site to meet their goal of making every reasonable effort to provide access to all members of the Commonwealth while focusing on providing educational experiences that accommodate different learning abilities.
KSU received the 2009 KHLCF Stewardship Award for their management efforts.
By appointment only.