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Abbey of Gethsemani Named a Kentucky Natural Area

Abbey of Gethsemani

More than 1,500 acres of field and forest in Nelson County have been established as the Abbey of Gethsemani Registered Natural Area.

The designation is made by the Office of Kentucky Nature Preserves and recognizes sound ecological stewardship of the property.

The abbey has an area of high-quality, rocky grasslands called “limestone slope glades,” which are a rare natural occurrence in Kentucky.

The glades contain species including white prairie clover, sedge and prairie dock.

The Abbey of Gethsemani is a monastery near Bardstown and a part of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, commonly known as Trappists.

Placing the areas on the Kentucky Registry of Natural Areas does not create a change in ownership or regulatory limitations. The designation is an agreement that the abbey will not purposefuly alter those areas in ways detrimental to their ecology. The abbey also agrees to keep Kentucky Nature Preserves up-to-date on any situations that might affect those areas.

In turn, Kentucky Nature Preserves will help advise and manage the registered natural area.