Time to Go Cruisin’
TIMBER CRUISIN’ THAT IS!
A timber cruise is a biological inventory. The 305 acres that make up the
EEC were divided into 79 different plots. At each plot, a prism was used to
determine a radius in which to measure the trees. Once the radius was determined, a
Biltmore stick was used to measure the diameter of the trees at breast height (DBH).
The trees heights were measured in logs. One log is 16 feet. An assessment of
regeneration, signs of animal life, and any exotic plant species were also taken at each
There are three different forest types that make up the EEC. The largest is an
oak-hickory forest, which consists of a variety of different oak and hickory species,
and also elm, ash, sugar maple, and black walnut. The second largest is an eastern
red cedar forest, which consists primarily of cedar trees, but also includes other tree
species such as honey locust, osage orange, black walnut, and sugar maple. The
smallest forest type at the EEC is the mixed mesophytic forest. This type of forest
has more moisture and rich soil. A wide variety of trees thrive in this type of forest.
Such trees include basswood, beech, sugar maple, and yellow-popular.
Unique findings throughout the timber cruise
Carvings on this tree
were more than likely made in
the early 1900 s. These
carvings show initials inside a
heart with an arrow going
through it. This tree, and
another with similar carvings,
was discovered during the
This is an osage orange
patch. With the exception of
a redbud tree here and there,
the osage orange trees
dominate this area. A few of
these patches were found
during the timber cruise.
This patch of trees is
included in the eastern red
cedar forest type that makes
up part of the EEC.
The data from the timber cruise was compared to that of an earlier one completed by
the Kentucky Division of Forestry. A comparison of the two data sets illustrates that
the forests at the EEC are healthy and growing at a normal rate.
The majority of the summer was devoted to finishing the timber cruise and writing
the Final Resource Management Plan. Many discoveries and intriguing natural
features were discovered throughout this property. The staff at the EEC received a
well deserved pat on the back for completing the timber cruise in just over five
Summer Time Heat a Challenge for Forest Creatures
This summer was pretty brutal, especially for the animals at the EEC. With
temperatures reaching almost 100 degrees F, high humidity, and a drought, the
animals’ food and water supply suffered.
With water levels low, raccoons and other animals were able to reach fish,
mussels, and crayfish that would have normally been protected by the depths of the
water. Many different plants and grasses dried up, and the deer were caught eating
from the butterfly garden different types of flowers, which are normally not in their
diet,. The high temperatures also forced a variety of different reptiles to seek out cool
areas instead of sunbathing.
A male eastern box turtle
(Terrapene carolina) is shown the
cool creek. During the timber
cruise, at least 10 different turtles
were spotted in the water, under
roots, and large rocks.
Throughout the timber
cruise, many snakes were
discovered including: corn
snakes (Elaphe guttata),
garter snakes (Thamnophis
sirtalis), and in this picture
(right), a 3.5 ft. rat snake
(Elaphe obsoleta), was
found stretched out in the
gravel in a cool, shady area.
Visitors to the EEC Make Discoveries
Some Henry County teachers
and a few of their students shared a
few summer days at the EEC. Their
mission was to obtain as many
blackberries as they could.
The group learned how to
differentiate between blackberry and
raspberry bushes, how blackberry
seeds are easily spread by animals,
and the curse of the blackberry bush.
In return, the group made some very
tasty jam that they so graciously
shared with the EEC staff!
During the month of September, students from Second Street School of the
Frankfort Independent school system visited the EEC. The students seined a pond for
salamanders, visited Six Mile Creek for a water quality class, learned about the
different ecosystems in an aquatic environment, and did some fishing.
Students (left) show the salamanders
they caught in the pond with small scoop
nets and a seine. The students were eager
to compare the life found in the vernal pond
to the life of Six Mile Creek.
Students (right) examine a rock they
found by the creek for fossils. One of
the girls in the picture was visually
impaired. Through help of the staff of
the EEC and her fellow classmates, she
was able to take part in all of the
learning opportunities available to any
New Building to Provide Shelter
The Environmental Education
Center now has a place for
groups to get out of the rain. In
August, the folks from Tradon
Buildings erected a (30’ x 30’)
building. That is to provide
cover during outdoor classroom
instruction at the EEC.
Different groups, such as girl
scouts, boy scouts, teacher
laboratories, and a variety of
different field trips, will all
benefit from this new building.
Significant Changes Taking Place at the EEC
This fall, the EEC will be going through some changes. The parking area at
the top of the property, and the road down to the pond will be paved. Paved trails are
also going to be put in to make travel more accessible to people with disabilities.
These trails will lead to the old homestead and out to the teaching platforms. The
new building that was erected over the summer will also be getting a concrete floor.
There will be two new teaching platforms put in around the vernal ponds.
With these platforms in place, instructors and students can get a closer look at the
ponds without disturbing the delicate habitat. A wooden ramp will be constructed,
attaching the teaching platform by the
large pond to a handicapped-accessible
trail coming off the paved road.
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER… RULES!!!
has rules and
protect areas for
the enjoyment of
as well as for the
safety of visitors.
To ensure your visit
is pleasant and
NATURAL SCENERY - PLANT AND ANIMAL LIFE - are the principle
attractions of this refuge. They are integral parts of the ecosystem and natural
community. Disturbance or destruction of these resources is strictly forbidden.
FIREARMS are not permitted on the premises.
ALL VEHICLE TRAVEL - including all-terrain vehicles - must be confined to the
parking area (with the exception of University-authorized vehicles).
OVERNIGHT CAMPING must be approved two weeks in advance.
REFUSE of any type shall be placed only in designated receptacles and preferably
removed when leaving.
PLEASE clean up after yourself so that others may enjoy the natural beauty of this
No open fires except under the supervision of University personnel.
For emergencies dial 911. You are at 1371 Little Dixie Road.
Educational programming contact number (502) 597-5089.
To report a problem contact University Police (502) 597-6878.
TAKE ONLY MEMORIES - LEAVE ONLY FOOTPRINTS
Thousands Enjoy Kentucky Folklife Festival
The Kentucky Folklife Festival, in downtown Frankfort, had a lot of visitors.
Many of an estimated 30,000 visitors made their way down to the KSU-EEC mobile
The mobile classroom shared information about how Kentucky’s forests are
being depleted, and the impact that this has on the wildlife that inhabit those forests.
Classes on the eastern box turtle were also taught from the mobile classroom.
Trial by fire
Vanderpool gives a
class about the
eastern box turtle.
The young intern
gave this same
breaks for five
Wes Stilwell explains
to students how to
determine an eastern
box turtle’s age by
counting the lines
within each scale.
Animal Tracks Class December 15, 2007
Because of the turnout last season, we will again offer our animal tracks
class. Children of all ages are invited to the EEC Saturday afternoon,
December 15, 2007, from 2:00 to 5:00. All who attend will have an
adventure of mythic proportions! Students will make plaster moulds of
an animal track of their choosing. While the molds are drying, students
will go on an educational adventure through the EEC, investigating
different habitats and searching for animal signs and tracks.
Volunteers and visitors are always welcomed.
To schedule an appointment please contact Wes at
(502) 597-8106, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund Board purchased land
for the EEC and continues to support it. Please assist this organization by
purchasing Kentucky Nature License Plates. A portion of the proceeds is
used to support this project and many other conservation efforts
throughout the state.
Available January 1 2008 the new license plates
Photo Credit: Patrick Tidwell
This newsletter was written
and edited by Natasha