Kentucky Horse Park Stream Project to Improve Water Quality

The Bluegrass Partnership for a Green Community has been working to make the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games as "green" as possible. One of the project's focal points has been to protect and improve water quality in and around the Kentucky Horse Park. The streams that flow through the park are part of the Cane Run watershed, which contributes to the drinking water of Georgetown. The water in these streams can be protected by adding vegetation to stream banks.

With the assistance of landscape architects at M2D Design Group, the UK Cooperative Extension Service-KY Division of Conservation has developed a landscaping plan for the streams at the Kentucky Horse Park. Installation of streamside vegetation presents wonderful legacy opportunities at the Kentucky Horse Park. This project will establish trees, shrubs, and wildflowers that are Kentucky native, with plantings beginning in April and May 2010. The Cane Run watershed will see tremendous benefit from these features, such as reduced erosion on streambanks, pollution prevention from parking lot runoff, and enhanced stream habitat.

This Best Management Practice (BMP) in the Cane Run watershed will have high visibility, community participation, and a large educational audience. This BMP will be installed almost entirely by volunteers. Through the installation process, volunteers will learn more about watershed stewardship and riparian buffers as they help plant Kentucky native grasses and wildflowers. It will also demonstrate a practice relevant to equine operators as well as agricultural, business, municipal, and residential property owners. A recreation trail will be built along the planting and interpretative signs and educational material will be posted along the route.

This work was funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act through the Kentucky Division of Water to the University of Kentucky.

Contributed by Amanda Abnee Gumbert, MS, Extension Water Quality Liaison, UK Cooperative Extension Service-KY Division of Conservation

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