Creasey Mahan Featured in
Kentucky Monthly Magazine

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Mahan Manor was featured in the December 2014 issue of Kentucky Monthly Magazine. The Manor will be open to the public at the annual Nature of Christmas in Goshen. Although visitors can enjoy the antiques-filled rooms through the year, the house is gussied up for the holidays.

Each room sports its own themed Christmas tree. Last year, one room with a nature theme featured a tree decorated with small forest animals made from natural materials, straw, feathers and pinecones. A squirrel couple dressed for winter in woolen clothing, scarves and boots are perched atop the room’s piano. Mantels are filled with plenty of greenery, candles and assortment of nutcrackers, a large collection of Santa Clauses.

“The Mahans wanted everyone to be able to gather together, and so do we,” Executive Director Tavia Cathcart Brown says. “We do all we can to keep old-fashioned fun alive.”

Beargrass: The Creek in Your Backyard

Beargrass Creek Executive Director, Tavia Cathcart Brown, reports that the Beargrass Creek Alliance and the Kentucky Waterways Alliance are creating a documentary on Beargrass Creek that will engage, inspire and challenge our community to clean up Beargrass Creek and make it more accessible.   The Louisville Audubon Society and MSD have agreed to be initial sponsors and this spring I am working on recruiting additional sponsors from local organizations to support the project.  A Kickstarter campaign has been started to raise funds for this worthy project. To view the promotional trailer and to donate to this worthy cause, visit the Kickstarter site, and click here.

Morgan Atkinson will be the director and has developed a short promotional piece for the video, which you can watch at Beargrass Creek Video Trailer.    Morgan is a documentary videographer who has had over 15 of his movies aired on KET and PBS.  Over the past years, he has worked with Councilman Owen on his neighborhood videos; produced Wonder – the story of Harlan and Anna Hubbard, and most recently The Center for Interfaith Relations hosted a FILM PREMIERE of Morgan Atkinson’s “The Many Storeys & Last Days of Thomas Merton.”  If all goes according to plan, the documentary should be finished about the same time that the Army Corps plan for the restoration of Beargrass is complete.

We believe that this new documentary will build the support needed to restore the creek making Beargrass Creek a clean, healthy, safe and accessible ecological corridor between Cherokee Park and Waterfront Park.

CMNP: Certified Monarch Waystation

Monarch-waystation-signEach fall, hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies migrate from the United States and Canada to overwintering areas in Mexico and California where they wait out the winter until conditions favor a return flight in the spring. The monarch migration is truly one of the world’s greatest natural wonders, yet it is threatened by habitat loss in North America – at the overwintering sites and throughout the spring and summer breeding range as well.

Monarch Waystation Habitats
Monarch Waystations are places that provide resources necessary for monarchs to produce successive generations and sustain their migration. Without milkweeds throughout their spring and summer breeding areas in North America, monarchs would not be able to produce the successive generations that culminate in the migration each fall. Similarly, without nectar from flowers these fall migratory monarch butterflies would be unable to make their long journey to overwintering grounds in Mexico. The need for host plants for larvae and energy sources for adults applies to all monarch and butterfly populations around the world. Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve is now certified as a Monarch Waystation under this program, so watch for these signs around the Preserve.

Why We Are Concerned
Milkweeds and nectar sources are declining due to development and the widespread use of herbicides in croplands, pastures and roadsides. Because 90% of all milkweed/monarch habitats occur within the agricultural landscape, farm practices have the potential to strongly influence monarch populations.

Development. Development (subdivisions, factories, shopping centers, etc.) in the U.S. is consuming habitats for monarchs and other wildlife at a rate of 6,000 acres per day – that’s 2.2 million acres each year, the area of Delaware and Rhode Island combined!

Genetically Modified Crops. Widespread adoption of herbicide-resistant corn and soybeans has resulted in the loss of more than 80 million acres of monarch habitat in recent years. The planting of these crops genetically modified to resist the non-selective systemic herbicide glyphosate (Roundup®) allows growers to spray fields with this herbicide instead of tilling to control weeds. Milkweeds survive tilling but not the repeated use of glyphosate. This habitat loss is significant since these croplands represent more than 30% of the summer breeding area for monarchs.

Roadside Management. The use of herbicides and frequent mowing along roadsides has converted much of this habitat to grasslands – a habitat generally lacking in food and shelter for wildlife. Although some states have started to increase the diversity of plantings along roadsides, including milkweeds, these programs are small.

Unfortunately, the remaining milkweed habitats in pastures, hay fields, edges of forests, grasslands, native prairies, and urban areas are not sufficient to sustain the large monarch populations seen in the 1990s. Monarchs need our help, and you can help too!

Plant for the Planet Grant Awarded to Creasey Mahan

Plant for the Planet

Tavia Cathcart Brown, Executive Director, stated, “Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve is grateful to have been chosen by LG&E and KU Energy for the 2015 Plant for the Planet grant program. We will be planting over 20 specimen trees that have been selected for their spring flowers, fall foliage display, or their seed production. At least half will be native trees and many will be planted in our new Woodland Garden. As a public charity organization, the valuable support provided by this grant is very significant to Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve.”

LG&E and KU’s Plant for the Planet program is modeled after the United Nations Environment Program’s (UNEP) Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign. The purpose of UNEP’s tree-planting effort is to bring individuals, communities and businesses together to collectively plant over one billion trees worldwide each year. Similarly, LG&E and KU’s program is designed to encourage nonprofit organizations and local government agencies with a record of successful tree planting to continue their efforts.