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Lucy Braun

Learn, hike, and experience Kentucky's most beautiful and bio-diverse wildlands during Pine Mountain's renowned Lucy Braun 5-day forest study workshop June 6-10, 2018. The workshop is named in honor of one of the first and foremost conservationists of the 20th century, E. Lucy Braun. Dr. Lucy, as she was called by her colleagues, devoted her life to the study of plants and to conservation campaigns to save wilderness areas and other natural sites.

The workshop will include presentations by researchers and experts on Lucy Braun and the wildlands Dr. Braun studied.  Pine Mountain educator and naturalist, Bucky Field, will be presenting an in-depth examination of Dr. Braun's life and work, “In The Footsteps of Lucy Braun."  Alice L. Jones, PHD, Professor Geosciences at Eastern Kentucky University, will present her award-winning play, Sisters of the Mother Forest: A Story of Lucy and Annette Braun.  Dr. Rob Paratley, curator of the University of Kentucky Herbarium, will also be presenting during the week.  

The hikes will include visiting the premier wildlands on the Eastern seaboard:

  • Blanton Forest with lunch at Knobby rock.  With 3,509 acres of old-growth and second-growth,  Blanton Forest is one of the largest old-growth forest in Kentucky. Several trees have been dated to the late 1600s.
  • Bad Branch Nature Preserve with lunch at High Rocks. This 2,785 acre preserve protects one of the largest concentrations of rare and uncommon species known in the state.
  • Lucy Braun Nature preserve with lunch at Table Rock. The 609-acre Preserve was dedicated into the state nature preserves system on June 13, 2007. It contains an Appalachian bog, one of the rarest natural communities in the state.
  • Lilley Cornett Woods. One of Kentucky’s premiere old growth forests.

About Dr. Braun

Dr. Braun produced over 180 publications on plant ecology that included 4 books and 20 scientific journals. Dr. Braun discovered many new plant species and had others named in her honor. Dr. Braun left an enduring legacy of forest research, inspiring others, and campaigns to protect natural areas from development.

Dr. Braun was born in Cincinnati and attended University of Cincinnati, where she earned her undergraduate degree, master's degree in geology, and Ph.D. in botany. She taught geology, botany, and ecology at the university from 1910 to 1948. Upon retirement from teaching in 1948, she spent the rest of her life doing research on plants and working to save natural areas from destruction. In the 1920s and '30s, she conducted field trips to gather information for her study of the forests of Eastern North America. Her travels brought her to the Southern Appalachians, including areas around the Settlement School. On these field trips, Dr. Braun and her sister Annette, a zoologist, drove their Model T Ford through the mountains to collect plant specimens. Dr. Braun's analysis of the information collected on these field trips resulted in her book "Deciduous Forests of Eastern North America." This book was the definitive text on the subject when it was published in 1950 and it remains so today.

In 1930, Dr. Braun and Katherine Pettit, one of the founders of Pine Mountain Settlement School, campaigned to save a virgin forest on Lynn Fork of the left fork of Leatherwood in Perry County. They were not successful, and the forest there was subsequently cut down.

Important Information
The five-day workshop will combine field trips, lectures, and slide presentations in the study of forest types found in Eastern Kentucky. Daily field trips will include four- to eight-mile hikes. The workshop is geared toward adults.

What to Bring
Sturdy hiking boots
Rain gear
Day Pack
Water bottle
Outdoor clothing
Insect repellent

Cost is $395 which includes meals from Wednesday dinner through Sunday lunch, 4 nights lodging, and all programming.

Visitors to Pine Mountain may stay in dormitory or cottage-style housing. Single rooms are available upon request. Linens are furnished.

Meals are served in the Laurel House dining room. When possible, the School serves vegetables grown on campus. Vegetarian meals are available upon request.

To reserve your spot click the link below, call 606-558-3571, or email

Earlier Event: May 31
Growing & Selling Wild Edibles
Later Event: June 18
Day Camp