Project Green: Little-known Louisville treasure


Posted on April 5, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 5 at 6:50 PM

(WHAS11)  Louisville’s River Fields is the largest and oldest river conservancy along the Ohio River.

Their mission is to protect, preserve and enhance the natural and cultural resources of the land and water around the Ohio in Kentuckiana.

In today’s Project Green, chief meteorologist Monty Webb takes us on a hike at Wolf Pen Branch Mill Farm, a 180-year-old farm that River Fields is helping to preserve for future generations.

It is an extraordinary step back in time.  The property was organized in 1830 and the mill was constructed by Mr. Miller, who owned it until the 1920s.

The farm and mill was then bought by Mrs. Cooper, a Nashville widow, who didn’t want to raise her sons in the city.

She was known as the “lay wildflower expert” in the community. She transferred a lot of wild flowers here and made it a great wild flower collection.

The farm has remained untouched by urban sprawl for 150 years.  That almost changed in the 1980s, when developers planned to buy it and turn the mill into a restaurant and subdivide the rest of the property.

But it was purchased by Sally Bingham, because she wanted to save it.  Then she turned to River Fields and asked if they would enact a conservation easement on it.

Sally gave away her development rights, ensuring permanent protection for this ecologically sensitive piece of land.

Over 400 acres of beautiful land is preserved here at the Wolf Pen Branch Mill Farm in eastern Jefferson County, and coming up in April the owners will opens its doors allowing River Fields to give wild flower walks.

The hike will take you along Wolf Pen Branch, past a waterfall and through the rolling hills of the farm, lasting about two hours.   This Louisville treasure will always remain untouched by development.

If you would like to experience the history and the beauty of Wolf Pen Branch Mill Farm, River Fields’ annual wild flower walks will be held on April 14, 15, and 17 at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. each day.

Call 583-3060 for more information and reservations.

The deadline to reserve your spot is April 12.