Clark County Fiscal Court recently acquired a new tract of land from Tom and Angela Rice to add to the Lower Howard's Creek Nature and Heritage Preserve. The purchase was funded by a Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund Board grant.
This new parcel of land contains 77 acres of crucial buffer zones for the Preserve, as well as the streams they harbor. It is on this tract of land that the “palisades” of Lower Howard’s Creek begin, with a large cliff comprising the southwestern boundary of this tract. The tract is currently being utilized as a bison farm, and contains a steep cliff, creek frontage, two natural springs and their associated drainages, and pasture land that will be buffer land for the creek and will allow access to the tract.
The tract contains the remnants of an early industrial complex known historically as “Factory Bottom” where numerous small businesses were established in the late 18th century, and continued into the mid-19th century. Factory Bottom also contains the remnants of a grist mill, its dam and raceway, and the dam for a fulling mill just downstream, but off this property. The Rice property also contains the remnants of old roads that could, in the future, connect the entire Preserve with a trail.
This property will not be open to the public while necessary biological and archaeological surveys are performed, fences, gates and signage erected, and invasive plants controlled. The property will only be available for viewing with a guided tour, since the large bison herd is immediately adjacent to the Preserve's property.