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The Pennyrile Resource, Conservation & Development Council directed by Mr Charles Turner, formed the North Fork Little River Committee in 1990 which continues today to promote education, recreation and tourism opportunities along the river. Then Mayor Wally Bryan, who was aware of their efforts in 1995, convened a group to discuss the possibilities of saving the old Hopkinsville Water Treatment Plant from demolition for environmental education activities. In March of 1998, the Kentucky Design Assistance Team made up of 8 architects visited Hopkinsville and developed a blueprint for the environmental center development. In 1999 the center was named Jeffers’ Bend Environmental Center and Botanical Gardens in memory of the former Hopkinsville Mayor Sherry Jeffers. In October 2000, the Pennyrile RC&D Council helped to form the Jeffers’ Bend Steering Committee made up of 50 area community leaders. This committee, along with PRIDE, Inc conducted the programming and maintained the facility in the beginning.
Jeffers’ Bend consists of a 40 acre grassland, 1 acre lake, 2.7 mile walking trail and six buildings which once housed the old Hopkinsville Water Treatment Plant. Originally built in the 1895, along the North Fork of the Little River, these facilities are ideal for water quality, environmental and botanical learning activities.
The Welcome Center / Museum, originally the Operator’s Quarters, has undergone major renovation since work began in 1999.
The Distribution /Laboratory Building has hosted many educational meetings in its 3 classrooms. It has tables and chairs donated by the County Board of Education and the Pennyrile RC&D. It has an exterior wall mural of the Water Cycle designed by local artist Ricky Deel and paid for by a grant from the Pennyrile Arts Council and painted by workers from the Christian County Workforce Investment Act Summer Youth Program. The small two-story building behind the Laboratory building was renovated in 2003 and has storage and office space available for use when needed.
All of these buildings and grounds have been renovated by the many hours of volunteer work and money donated by many community organizations and individuals.