Community invited on Herpetology hike at Dry Fork Gorge Nature Conservancy

By Jennifer Moonsong

Central Division, General Manager

Jobe Publishing, Inc.

 

On June the 22, the community is invited to Edmonton’s picturesque Dry Fork Gorge on a herpetology hike, hosted by Mikayla Groce.

Groce, a Green County Native and avid promoter of all things Kentucky is an Americorps Environmental Education Leadership Corps member, who works with Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund.

“With my position, I develop and lead environmental education programs and promote Heritage Land Fund sites at schools, libraries, and nature preserves in the upper Green River Region,” she said.

Groce’s first visit to the gorge left an impression, because of the natural beauty and diverse cross-section of wildlife there.

“After my first visit at Dry Fork Gorge, I knew I wanted to lead a program there. It is a beautiful area with a lot of great features. The underground springs and creeks on the property make it a great area for salamanders and frog so I thought it would be fun to lead a herpetology hike! There are things that live right under your feet that you may never know about and I hope that we can uncover some of those things during this hike,” Groce said.

Amazingly, many who live in Metcalfe and surrounding areas have never visited Dry Fork Gorge to take in its natural wonder.

Dry Fork Gorge is an 80-acre nature preserve that is open to the public and has 2.5 miles of foot trails. The land was purchased with the help of the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund to protect the rich forest habitat of the area. “The gorge includes caves, underground springs, creeks, a waterfall, over 400 plant species, and many species of animals like bats, fish, and salamanders,” Groce added.

“I love to lead programs that are hands-on and interesting to all age groups and I think that this hike will be just that.”

All aged are invited in the hike, but anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Those who wish to attend are also asked to wear appropriate shoes for hiking.

“There are 3 creek crossings where water could be up to the ankles, folks need to wear supportive footwear that also can get wet, hiking boots or hiking/sport shoes or sandals are ideal, flip flops or crocks clogs, will not cut it,” said Lynn Blankenship of the Extension office.

“There are steep aspects to the hike, I would consider about 25% of it to be strenuous.”

Blankenship and Groce also ask that people be aware that ticks, turkey mites and the like are in full swing and to plan accordingly.

This event is FREE, however, participants do need to register.

Potential participants should call the Metcalfe County Extension office, M – F before Thursday, June 20, between 8 -4 at ‪270-432-3561.

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