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Background & Education

The unique qualities of the water that flows through the limestone of the Glenns Creek Watershed support some of Kentucky's most emblematic, signature industries. It's home to world-class horse farms and the highest concentration of distilleries along any stream in the world. The Local Businesses in Versailles, Millville, and Frankfort thrive from tourists drawn to the picturesque beauty of the Land. The goal of the Glenns Creek watershed Planning Project is to better understand the water resources of this unique area and their role in local communities. This information will be used to inform conversations about how to best protect and improve the condition of natural waterways in the area.

Project Background

Glenns Creek has been one of the most actively monitored watersheds in the Kentucky River basin, with sites being sampled by volunteer community members since 1999.  Volunteers have regularly found high results for bacteria and nutrients at multiple locations, both of which can be problematic.  

 

formal assessment by the Kentucky Division of Water for the recreational use of Glenns Creek had never been performed, and only a portion had been assessed for aquatic life support.

 

Further, a tragic lightning strike in 2019 caused a bourbon spill and subsequent fish kill on Glenns Creek and the Kentucky River, requiring subsequent clean-up.  Based on these findings and events, Kentucky River Watershed WatchKentucky Water Resources Research InstituteKentucky Division of Water, and Beam-Suntory partnered together to monitor Glenns Creek and its tributaries throughout the entire watershed in 2021 and 2022 to assess its overall condition better.

Along with support for assessing the health of the waterways, the interest of community stakeholders has grown.  The City of Versailles completed construction on a new wastewater treatment plant in 2020 to reduce sewage overflows, initiated the development of a stormwater management program, and is seeking to revitalize Big Springs Park in the headwaters of Glenns Creek.  The Kentucky Distillers Association has continued to advance environmental sustainability efforts and looks to implement local watershed stewardship principles and practices in conjunction with the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable.  Agricultural partners expressed interest in developing Glenns Creek as a future Conservation Focus Area to encourage targeted funding for conservation practices.

With the groundswell of expressed community support for improving the watershed and subsequent input, the development of a Glenns Creek Watershed Plan will help to determine a science-based, community-informed pathway to achieving healthy waterways and increased access to local, state, and federal funding to achieve its goals.

If you would like to learn more about the watershed planning process, you will find a variety of resources here.

Explore the Watershed

EDUCATION EVENTS AND MEETINGS

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Woodford County Farm Tour - July 2022

The Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute and the Cooperative Extension Service gave presentations with interactive water educational displays and informational brochures as part of the Woodford County Farm Tour held on Monday, July 25, 2022 at Millville Community Park. Over 200 people were present for this unique experience and introduction to the watershed planning project.

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