Earth

Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest

  • Time Length
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    2+ hours

  • Mess Level
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    A Little Messy

  • Cost

    Materials or Fees

  • Difficulty
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    intermediate

Travel Information

Opening to the public July 27, 2020 – reservations required. Click the link below for more information and to plan your visit.

  • https://bernheim.org/
  • Travel Time: 30 minutes from downtown Louisville
  • How to get there: Travel on I-65 S to Exit 112. Turn left on KY-245/Clermont Road. In one mile, the entrance to Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest is on the right. Follow signs to the Visitor Center to begin your adventure.

What to expect?

  • Bernheim includes nearly 16,000 acres of preserved woodlands, wetlands, and grasslands, as well as Kentucky’s official arboretum – a 600-acre landscape of tree collections and themed gardens.
  • Families can hike (trails range from flat, paved surfaces to forest terrain), observe wildlife, visit the Children’s Play Garden, picnic, fish at Lake Nevin, participate in different programs and events, and more.
  • Bernheim offers a Visitor Center, with information, a gift shop and Isaac’s Café, as well as an Education Center with information, interactive exhibits, Wildlife Viewing Room and I Spy Trail.
  • Bernheim is open daily (except Thanksgiving, December 25, and January 1) from 7 a.m. until sunset. The Visitor Center and Education Center are open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Isaac’s Café is open from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. (Winter hours subject to change; check website for details.)
  • Visitors should dress for the weather and wear comfortable clothes for outdoor exploration, including sturdy shoes. A water bottle is recommended, as well as sunscreen and bug spray during spring, summer and fall.

Question and Wonder:

  • Bernheim was founded in 1929 by Isaac Wolfe Bernheim, as a gift to the people of Kentucky. When he purchased the land, it was bare and overused. How has it changed?
  • Sustainability now influences everything at Bernheim, because what we do today impacts the people, plants and animals of the future. What examples of sustainable thinking and actions can you find?

Discussion and Conversations:

  • How is the arboretum different from the forest? Which area has been changed by humans and which has been left in its natural state?
  • How many different plants can you observe (trees, shrubs, grasses, flowers, vines)? Habitats (forest, pond, creek, prairie)? Animals (birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals)? How might these observations change during the year?

Did you Know?

Humans have significantly changed Kentucky’s landscape over time. See how at http://kwalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/KY_ThenAndNow.pdf.

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