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Wednesday, March 4, 2020

New Conservation Efforts for Historic Licking River Watershed

Horizon Community Funds announces new conservation efforts for Licking River watershed

The Licking River (Img: Horizon Community Funds)

Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky has joined community partners to establish the Licking River Conservation and Greenway Fund, which supports land and water conservation and greenway initiatives in the Licking River watershed.

“This is an exciting, and critical, fund for us to offer Northern Kentucky,” says Horizon Community Funds President Nancy Grayson. “It shows the breadth of partnerships we’re able to create as a community foundation serving Northern Kentucky. Together, we can better address the many diverse needs of our community, including helping to preserve the natural and historical heritage of the Licking River.”



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Through the new fund Horizon Community Funds and supporting donors will gather financial resources to invest in the conservation and stewardship of the Licking River, while helping to raise awareness of its value as a natural, historical, and economic resource.

“Setting up this conservation and greenway fund, and bringing the many tools of Horizon Community Funds to the effort, will be foundational in reaching long-term goals for development of the Licking River as a leading destination for recreational and environmental tourism," said Rich Boehne from the Horizon Community Funds Council of Trustees. The fund also will be a platform for supporting and facilitating investments in the conservation and health of this critical watershed that binds together a significant portion of the Commonwealth.”


Licking River / KY 536, Sept. 25, 2019 (Img: Horizon Community Fund)

The Licking River, named for the many prehistoric salt springs and licks in the region, is a historic and natural treasure for both Northern Kentucky and the Commonwealth. With ties to Native American history, the Revolutionary War, the Underground Railroad, and the state’s original bourbon journey, the Licking River watershed also sustains a wide range of biodiversity and boasts more mussel species than the entire continent of Africa.

“The Licking River is central to the story of Northern Kentucky. The streams of twenty-three Kentucky counties lead to this place, and hundreds of years of the Commonwealth’s history flow along with it, said Steve Pendery, Campbell County Judge Executive. "The Licking River Conservation and Greenway Fund fills a gap in the tools available to our community to conserve and activate this natural asset. I appreciate Horizon Community Funds’ partnership in creating this mechanism, and hope that it fulfills its potential to assist in conserving and restoring the watershed’s corridor. This is a long-term project, but I’m excited at the steps being taken forward and am confident that our younger generations will see it through and celebrate its success.”   


Within the Northern Kentucky area, most of the Licking River watershed exists in Campbell and Kenton counties. Several creeks in the area act as tributaries to the river.

Licking River Clean Up (Img: DJ Skully, Horizon Community Funds)

“The opportunity that has arisen and made possible through the Licking River Conservation and Greenway Fund has connected numerous organizations for the purpose of land conservation and recreational uses," said Amy Winkler, District Coordinator of Campbell County Conservation District. "The Campbell County Conservation District looks forward to working with these groups through our common goal of being good stewards of the land and highlighting the natural beauty of the Licking River Corridor. Our Hawthorne Crossing Conservation Area is just one step toward conserving the Licking River corridor in Campbell County.”

For more information or to make a gift to the Licking River Conservation and Greenway Fund at Horizon Community Funds, visit www.horizonfunds.org or call 859.757.1552.

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