Saturday, February 27, was a beautiful day to spend with friends old and new exploring the woodland pastures of Bourbon County. We had 23 guests who had lots of great questions and observations. Special thanks to Jim and Kellye Pikul for their hospitality and enthusiasm. A special thanks to Jim for helping with navigation and path clearing - it is useful to have a Marine along.
The main focus of this Field Course was on conservation and on what we need to do to ensure a future for Bourbon County woodland pastures. The woodlot that we explored showed that the woodland pasture species can regenerate themselves under the right condition. However, without good management the woodland pasture will quickly revert to forest as we saw.
In addition to learning about conservation of woodland pastures, we had an opportunity to explore many aspects of tree biology. Nancy Barnett starred in the role of the vascular cambium, we had a contest to see who could accurately guess the height of a tree (not as easy as it sounds), and we talked about the life-time of unitary and clonal trees. One of the highlights was the discovery of a substantial stand of very large sugarberry, Celtis laevigata.
We hope that the folks who attended the course will become the nucleus of a sustained effort to ensure a future for the woodland pastures of Bourbon County. We are beginning additional projects in Woodford and Jessamine Counties. Check our Events page to find out what is coming up.