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WKU Green River Preserve

WKU Green River Preserve

WKU Green River Preserve: Mission

The Green River Preserve (GRP) comprises over 1600 acres of land, and stretches across both banks of the Green River in Hart County, Kentucky. The mission of the WKU Green River Preserve is to foster knowledge and protection of this highly diverse region and our natural heritage through research, education, and conservation.


Habitats and Species: Land and Water

The habitats of the Preserve include bottomlands, uplands, barrens, caves, limestone glades, and of course, the river itself. The Green River and its tributaries are centers of biological diversity for freshwater mussels and fish, hosting over 150 fish species and 71 mussel species. GRP lands surround several mussel beds, including one where nine federally listed endangered mussels have been documented. A large spring known as McCoy Blue Hole is located on the tract north of the river; it empties an underground karst drainage of 34 square miles, and an endangered cave shrimp has been recorded from the  groundwater basin that feeds this spring. Two federally endangered bat species have been recorded from caves on the Preserve property, and the land serves as swarming habitat for bats. The Preserve also provides critical breeding and migratory habitat for neotropical songbirds along the Green River corridor.

 Download this summary and presentation for additional details about the breadth and depth of education, research, and conservation at the GRP, including cultural conservation and restoration of the historic Gardner House. We're excited about the students, researchers, and citizens that have made the Preserve the special place it has come to be. We invite you to become a Friend of the Green River Preserve and grow along with us!

News and Events  -  Keep up to date with us on Facebook!     facebook icon  

It's definitely summer at the WKU Green River Preserve! After glorious spring, with amazing wildflower blooming, great blue herons nesting, and a record number of bald eagle sightings on the river (which we're still seeing on many canoe trips), summer wildflowers are in full bloom and native grasses are tall. Look for fresh GRP photos on our Facebook page - and please LIKE us to see our postings!

In research news, we've recently approved a local research advisory committee and a national research advisory committee to have more voices and perspective guiding our research work; thanks very much to all of the scientists who have agreed to serve in this capacity.


If you'd like to get involved, consider helping out with one of the monitoring projects at the GRP! We're very grateful for students like Torey Gilkison, recently graduated, who have helped manage the GRP’s data loggers.

If you’d like to get involved in other ways at the GRP, email us at greenriver@wku.edu! This summer we’re supporting river cleanups (check out the calendar for dates), more surveys and restoration projects, and visits by prospective students and by wounded veterans and their families – we’d love to have your participation and your help!

Thanks for being our partner in this work.


Want to receive occasional Green River Preserve news? Email Dr. Albert Meier. Thanks for your interest!

Donation buttonYou can support the work of the WKU Green River Preserve!

Logo showing river flowing between landforms shaped like two mussel shells

This symbol of the Preserve uses the shapes of mussel shells as landforms on either side of the Green River. Created by Mina Doerner.

This land was purchased with Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Funds


GRP Field House Library