The Jeffers Bend Environmental Center and Botanical Gardens at the Hopkinsville Water Treatment Plant is continuing to grow as a regional facility in providing hands-on study and training experience for thousands of students, teachers, environmental agencies and organizations and the general public in Western Kentucky.
The Center consists of seven buildings, two concrete structures, and forty-one acres of woodland and property that is utilized by thousands of students, teachers and the public annually.
Jeffers Bend is enhancing the quality of life for Western Kentucky citizenry by offering information in the areas of water quality, soil science, soil conservation, how plants grow, agriculture, wildlife habitat, trees, birds, recycling, and much more.
Jeffers Bend Highlights
Welcome Center and Museum
Under the leadership of Volunteer Lorin Boggs, the first major renovation work on the welcome center and museum occurred in the summer of 1999.
The first formal garden was planted in the spring of 2002. Volunteer Penny Chewning secured labor through Christian County Jail to plant over 100 trees, 100 shrubs and various grasses and flowers at several locations from 2003 -2006. Many new garden areas have been established in the years since.
The Hopkinsville Optimist Club allocated funds in 2002 to construct a pavilion at the trail head in memory of former club president, Bill Davis. The pavilion was completed in May 2003. The pavilion serves as the central registration point for most events at Jeffers’ Bend.
The one-acre lake was constructed in 2004 to provide additional space for the annual Take Kids Fishing event, canoeing during NatureFest and fishing for special needs children and adults.
Jeffers Bend has about three miles of compacted gravel walking trails extending from the south entrance of Riverside Cemetery, along North Fork Little River, CSX Railroad, Metcalfe Lane, to two miles of trails on center grounds.
A 15 ft. by 10 ft. wildlife observatory built along the walking trail was an Eagle Scout project of Andrew Chiles, son of David and Susan Chiles. The wood structure, featuring a one-way observation glass, overlooks the 1 acre lake near the walking trail and will seat 15 people.
Lewis Bradley worked with his son, Parker Bradley and other Boy Scouts, to construct an amphitheater along the walking trail and North Fork of Little River.
Developed by the Christian County Conservation District and Christian County Jail to provide fresh vegetables for various nonprofits with food distribution programs in the community.
Tree ID Project
Installed as an Eagle Scout project to help students and adults identify trees.
The Children’s Garden was started by Susan and David Chiles in 2008. In the first 4 years various groups of young children would come from the housing authority and daycare groups. Since then, the focus has been on child-friendly plants and structures including a tunnel covered in beans and Malibar spinach, a keyhole garden, a concrete block garden and a straw bale garden.
The butterfly garden was established in 2006. It is an official Monarch Way Station and a pollinator-friendly site.
A raingarden was installed in 2008 with the help of the Master Gardeners and the UK Extension Service of Christian County.
William Donald Walker Memorial Water Feature
As a former Jeffers Bend Steering Committee member, Mr. Walker left behind funds in his will for the construction of a water feature to be placed near the wildlife observatory. The water feature was dedicated to the memory of William Donald Walker and his family on October 29, 2016.
Patio and Amphitheater
Giving to Jeffers Bend has never been easier and now investors can see their giving realized in the construction of a new patio and amphitheater. Gift levels are $100, $250, $500, $1,000, $5,000, $10,000 and $15,000. As an investor in Jeffers Bend, a contribution can also be given in honor and/or in memory of a child, parent, grandparent, friend, associate, etc at the levels of giving identified above. The plaque is located on the Lab Building at the north entrance into the Jeffers Bend Patio.