Nature area to expand

By CHARLES PEARL State Journal Staff Writers Published:

A new one-mile hiking trail at the Game Farm is scheduled to open March 2, and before 2004 ends another four-mile trail should be open to the public.

The additional four miles of trail, yet to be built, are coming thanks to about 105 acres of land donated by Dr. O.M. Patrick and Rodney Ratliff to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources' Game Farm.

"We're thrilled to have a trail about to open, and to get to plan and build another longer trail," said Laurie Davison, education administrator at the Salato Wildlife Education Center, Tuesday afternoon while walking the one-mile trail and hiking over part of the additional land recently donated.

Not long after seeing three wild turkeys, she stopped briefly at a beautiful marsh, covered with a thin layer of ice, and talked about what a wonderful gift the land is.

"It was fall the first time I saw the marsh and (the sloping landing around it)," Davison said. "All of this is just beautiful with fall foliage. We have oak, hickory, maple and beech in the forest, which is really a nice mix. Some of it is nice, old trees and that's good for wildlife, especially for deer and turkey because they eat acorns and hard mast. This is the kind of thing you want to see if you want people to see wildlife."

She said Patrick and Ratliff were offered a substantial amount of money for the property, "but they turned it down because they want the land to go to wildlife. They wanted to make a gift that would last, and would be used by the public to learn more about nature.

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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