Blackacre Conservancy – Towne Post Network
The nature reserve and historic farm have something for everyone
Screenwriter / Gavin LaPaille
As Executive Director of Blackacre Conservancy, Dennis Craig wears many hats. Some nights you can find him in the field unloading hay. On other nights, he might be watching the crowd at one of the many Blackacre events. Perhaps Craig could be seen at your local hardware store, shopping for supplies for the latest Kentucky project.‘s first nature reserve is undertaken. With nearly 300 acres of land, farm animals and a farmhouse over 200 years old, there is always something to do in Blackacre.
Located off Blankenbaker Parkway near Jeffersontown, it‘s open to visitors from sunrise to sunset seven days a week. Hiking, sightseeing, excursions, educational workshops and gardening are some of the activities the community can enjoy. Craig hopes to find new ways to involve the community.
“We say we have something for everyone,” says Craig. “This‘a stress-free environment.
A staff of about six people, most of them part-time, maintains the day-to-day running of the historic farm, but there‘It’s those who donate their time and money that make Blackacre an ideal destination in Louisville. Of all ages and backgrounds, Craig estimates that volunteers spend hundreds of hours every month to keep Blackacre running. Volunteers perform roles such as cleaning historic structures, performing maintenance, providing farm animal care, leading classes, helping out at summer camp, or sharing Blackacre’s history with visitors.
Blackacre recently added a volunteer coordinator to connect people with the various service opportunities.
“Volunteers are at the heart of what keeps Blackacre going,” says Susan Speece, Blackacre‘s director of programs and events. “Having volunteers donate their services goes a long way. Companies offered their services for special projects, including electricians, heating and air companies, and technologies.
Craig does‘You can’t assign volunteers to random tasks, though. He wants everyone to feel part of Blackacre, while using his skills and giving him the opportunity to do what he loves.
“One of the things we try to do when we meet people is find out more about them,” says Craig. “When they volunteer here, I want them to do something they want to do. I do not have any‘I don’t wanna put them in a position they don’t have‘I want to make sure their interests match what we have to offer.
Craig also wants Blackacre to give back to the community by providing a safe and fun atmosphere for visitors. Blackacre has opened the property for more events, including the Sunday Sunset Music Series, a summer concert experience featuring different styles of music. Country Christmas is their most popular event of the year, when families come for wagon rides, meet Santa, tour the holiday-decorated historic home and more.
“Volunteers are a big part of the success of these events,” says Craig. “The more people we have for the events, the easier it is for everyone. This‘It’s not like making concessions at big, crazy, hectic events. Here it’s so much more fun because you‘re interacting with people and enjoying the atmosphere. Blackacre is a hidden gem in Louisville. When people discover us, they immediately fall in love with the farm animals, the farm‘s history and beautiful trails.”
Blackacre Nature Reserve contains one of the most complete 18th century agricultural complexes in the county – the farm of Moses Tyler. It includes a stone cottage, a two-story limestone spring, and a double-cradle Appalachian-style log barn, all built from the ground.‘s natural resources. The 230 year old barn has stood the test of time and kids love exploring the structure.
The farm is like an open-air museum where people can walk through history. Visitors can experience a working farm and feed the goats, horses, sheep and cattle along the fence.
The 1844 Presley Tyler Farm is open on select dates throughout the year. Guides dressed in period clothing talk about the farm‘its early days, including its ties to the Revolutionary War and the operation of the whiskey distillery.
Several repairs have been made to historic structures and the education center, improving the property and making it more attractive to visitors.
“We want Blackacre to look neat and presentable,” says Craig. ” We give‘I don’t want things to look shabby. People recognize it. »
Blackacre offers several trails, perfect for those looking to get outdoors. Many trails wind through fields and forests, and past streams and ponds. Blackacre offers refuge from the often hectic pace of life and breathes serenity into the lives of all who come to visit. Visitors can choose to hike alone or join one of the guided nature hikes held throughout the year.
Blackacre is home to Jefferson County‘s largest community garden, with over 400 plots of land available for rent. The garden has grown in popularity and has nearly 300 gardeners.
“Beyond growing vegetables, people cultivate friendships,” explains Susan Ballerstedt, director of the community garden.
Education is an important part of the Blackacre mission, including field trips, after-school programs, summer camps, and pre-K activities. Blackacre has partnered with LEAP Outside and Outside the Box Therapy to provide nature-based learning and playtime for preschool and neurodivergent children. Storytime with Miss Prim is a huge hit with children aged 2 to 7. It encourages movement, literacy and music in a park-like setting.
“The long-term success of Blackacre depends on the support of community volunteers and donors,” says Craig. “It takes a lot of resources and manpower to maintain Blackacre. In 2022, we will focus on improving our reserve‘s biodiversity and create a more balanced ecosystem. With an increase in neighborhood and industry development, green spaces are vital to our community.‘s the overall health and protection of our wildlife‘s habitats. Volunteer support and funding is needed.
To learn more about Blackacre and how you can connect, visit visitblackacre.org and follow them on social media.