Baker Natural Area
The Logan County Conservation Districts, along with the Kentucky Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund and opened the Baker Natural Area on Tuesday, April 18, 2006.
The Baker Natural Area was developed for environmental preservation, education and recreation. The land was obtained with the support of the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund with a grant for $317,000. The area consists of 66 acres and is a combination of native prairie, woodland and exposed rock outcrops. It is located on the Sportsman Club Road, just off the Hwy. 68/80 Bypass in Russellville.
There is a weather station positioned which gathers a variety of information such as solar radiation, humidity and wind speed. The station will be tracking other data by the minute.
Dr. Edward W. Chester of the Department of Biology at Austin Peay State University documented over 400 species of plant and animal life in the preserve.
The Logan County Conservation Districts are extremely excited about the potential this property has for preservation and education. The landscape is quite diverse and contains open prairie, natural regeneration area, limestone barrens, forest land, and a small wetland area. The biodiversity located on the property provides a great opportunity to educate students about the important natural functions of different land formations.
Dr. Martin said Kentucky’s land is disappearing quickly and that it is important to preserve the natural state for future generations. He said the Baker Natural Area represents Kentucky’s history and it is a “unique piece of barren vegetation” that only exists in remnants and that the more of these that can be preserved the better.
To make this a reality, Avanell Baker Shoulders was contacted by the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund Board in regards to acquiring 30 acres of property for the preserve, which she and her late husband T. J. Baker purchased in 1951. Shoulders said she was more than happy to have the property preserved instead of it possibly being developed in the future. “I think it’s a great thing,” said Mrs. Shoulders. “I think it will be beneficial to a lot of people and it’s a nice place for people to go and see nature.” William Fuqua and two partners also sold property for the preserve.
The Baker Natural Area holds a bright future for citizens in this rural Kentucky region. Caution is being taken to preserve the unique plant communities while allowing people of all ages to experience the beauty of nature.
The preserve is open from sun up to sun down, seven days a week. For more information about the Baker Natural Area, please contact the Logan County Conservation Districts at 270-726-1371.
The Logan County Glade State Nature Preserve
If you’re looking for a little peace and quiet and a lot of tranquility then you won’t have to go far if you live in the Russellville City limits.
Most think that if you live in the city you have to swap the calmness of the country. This is not true. If you venture out behind the Logan County Health Department you will find yourself nestled in a park-like atmosphere surrounded by beautiful woods, plants, flowers and wildlife.
The 41 acre Glade was dedicated in 1990 and open to the public for recreation that same year. Located on the east side of Russellville near the intersection of US 100, 79 and old 68/80, this space is hidden behind the old hospital and the public health department on Franklin Street.
The access road to the Glade runs between each place and takes the visitor up to the parking lot and the entrance into the Glade. The trail can be a bit difficult if you are not in good condition. If you want an enjoyable afternoon and feel that you aren’t even within the city limits this is the place to go.
There are plants and animals all over if one visits at the right time of the year. Rare plants include the Carolina Larkspur and Flameflowers just to name a few.
When one enters the edge of the woods a trail takes you to the east for about 50-75 feet where you encounter a split in the trail. Take your pick. One can hit the slope immediately or one can travel a little upward for a few yards before you start the climb. Either way, take time to look around for the plants and animals that make up this area.
It is suggested having a bottle of water with you if it is hot weather. Oh yes, have on a good pair of shoes.