MOUNT OLIVET — Quiet gatherings in the name of conservation may not get much recognition, but to those who are dedicated, they are efforts to preserve nature for posterity.
A brief ceremony was held near the entrance of Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park Friday morning to dedicate the addition of 14 acres of land to Nicholas County resident and conservationalist Dr. Wendell Kingsolver, who owned the land, and his family. According to Zeb Weese, chairman of the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund board, several organizations came together along with Kingsolver to intigrate the new land into the state park.
“State Parks, the Office of Nature Preserves and the Heritage Fund Board and the Imperiled Bat Conservation Fund all worked together to add this acreage to Blue Licks State Park,” Weese said.
Located along U.S. 68, Old U.S. 68 and backed up by the Licking River, Weese said the additional 14 acres will provide a habitat for endangered species, provide a buffer between the park at large and the Licking River and will potentially have trails and kayaking opportunities in the future.
“It’s in a key location, of course, because it’s directly accross the park entrance and the (Blue Licks Monument),” Weese said. “It took a long time to get it done, but we were very happy to accomplish it.”
According to Weese, Kingsolver is a renowned conservationalist in the state, having been a member of the Kentucky Ornithological Society. Kinsolver had a particular interest in Short’s Goldenrod, which is designated as critically endangered by the Federal Register of Endangered Species. Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park is one of only two other locations where the Short’s Goldenrod can be found.
Ron Vanover, director of Recreational Parks and Historic Sites, said through the collective efforts of the previously mentioned organizations as well as sales of exclusive license plates from the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund, the 14 acres was able to be purchased.
“These are not general fund dollars,” Vanover said, “these are monies that are come about through the nature plates, as well as the environmental fines that go to the board; but also of equal importance is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife side, which is called the Imperiled Bat Conservation Fund. Those were the two funding sources for this property.”
Having a great love for nature, Kingsolver said one of the reasons he moved to Nicholas County to practice medicine was because of the amount of natural land still left in the area.
“I guess I’ve always had an interest in the outdoors, I didn’t know it was conservation until I got older,” Kingsolver said.
From his medical point of view, Kingsolver believes nature and the outdoors have a positive effect on an individual’s health and their outlook on life, which is why he thinks conservation is so utterly important.
“If our young people get outside and exercise and see the wonderful world that God has made, instead of gluing their eyes to the television and the computer games, they’ll be better people, and they’ll live a better life,” Kingsolver said.