150 Acres Along Floyd’s Fork Protected (KY)

JEFFERSON COUNTY: The 62-mile creek drains a watershed, including 284 square miles of land, approximately one-third of the County. Located across the creek from Floyds Fork Park, the site which to be conserved consists of open fields and woods coursed with streams. It will become part of a group of protected properties in Jefferson County adjacent to Floyds Fork.

“This purchase will provide another place along Floyds Fork where community residents can enjoy important cultural and natural resources,” said Rodger Krussman, TPL project manager. “For the past two years, TPL has partnered with Jefferson County, the State of Kentucky, and the Schooling family, the present owners, to ensure that this property is protected from development.”

The Schooling family can trace their roots back to Moses Tyler, one of the earliest settlers of the Louisville area. The family has cared for the land for more than a century. The present owners-brothers Rudy, Tyler and Henry Schooling-worked with TPL and the County to conserve their farmland and surrounding area as public space, forgoing possible development profits. The property is located in the eastern part of Jefferson County, which is under strong development pressure. Several subdivisions exist nearby the site. In 1995, with both the Schoolings and Jefferson County interested in the idea of conserving the area, conversations began about public ownership. The County soon turned to the Trust for Public Land, an organization they had worked with on two previous acquisitions, for assistance with the land transaction.

The transaction was predominately funded by the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund, which provides State funding to preserve natural areas. “Conservation of the Schooling property was funded to preserve the site for public use, prevent possible alteration to the Floyds Fork watershed, and provide valuable green space within this urban region,” said Dr. William H. Martin, chairman of the Fund Board, which is appointed by the Governor. The remainder of the funding was provided by Jefferson County, which will manage the property for passive recreation. “The Schooling farm site will be maintained as a natural area and could be used for bike trails, environmental education, picnic groves and possibly canoe launching along Floyd’s Fork,” explained Brigid Sullivan, Director of Metroparks. “Working with TPL to save the Schooling site is one more step toward protecting the Floyd’s Fork watershed and adding much-needed green space to the eastern part of the County,” said County Judge-Executive Rebecca Jackson. With the addition of the Schooling property, Jefferson County has acquired 280 acres along Floyd’s Fork in the last two and a half years for public and recreational use.

In July, the James Graham Brown Foundation allocated a $500,000 grant to the County to buy a portion of the Schoolings’ remaining 132 acres. TPL worked with the County on the request, which will enable the County to conserve additional land.

“The County has an ongoing commitment to preserving this site, and TPL is glad to be of assistance with the first phase of this project and to have helped get funds for the additional property,” said Krussman. TPL is a national nonprofit organization that conserves land for public use to improve the quality of life in communities and protect natural and historic resources for future generations. Founded in 1972, and headquartered in San Francisco, TPL specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiation, public finance, and law to complete land transactions. To date, TPL has protected more than 1.2 million acres of land nationwide valued at $1.8 billion. This year, TPL launched its “Greenprint for Growth” campaign to help sprawl?threatened communities protect land as a way to guide development and sustain a healthy economy and high quality of life.

Working with private landowners, communities, and government agencies, TPL has helped protect nearly 1,700 special places around the country. These include the 135-year-old Aydelott House historic farm site in Louisville purchased earlier this year, the Garvin Brown Preserve in eastern Jefferson County, and a 1,300-acre addition to Kentucky’s Daniel Boone National Forest.