The Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund (KHLCF) was established by the 1994 Kentucky Legislature and is administered by a 12-member board. The board's mission is to award funding for the purchase and preservation of selected natural areas in the Commonwealth, to protect rare and endangered species and migratory birds, to save threatened areas of natural importance, and to provide natural areas for public use, outdoor recreation and education. The Heritage Land Conservation Fund Board gives special consideration to funding agencies working together to meet these goals. The fund is supported by the state portion of the unmined minerals tax, environmental fines, the $10 additional fee to purchase a Kentucky Nature License Plate, and interest on the fund's assets.
In 2013, the Campbell County Conservation District was awarded a grant from the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund Board (KHLCFB) to purchase 146 acres of the St. Anne property. The KHLCFB grant included funds to acquire the land as well as to assist with land restoration and making the area accessible for compatible public uses such as hiking, bird watching, environmental study, scientific research. This is the second project funded by the KHLCFB in Campbell County. The property will be managed to protect and restore the land.
Currently, only one section of the wetlands (off of Anderson Lane before the railroad) is open to the public. We hope to have the woods open with an addition of a parking lot in the near future. Please contact the Conservation District office if you are interested in bringing large groups to tour the Wetlands.
We have most recently partnered with the Northern Kentucky University Research and Education Field Station. The REFS facility opened in May 2017 and is nestled into the corner of the St. Anne Wetlands. Our District Coordinator sits on the REFS Steering Committee as a representative of the Conservation District and the St. Anne Woods and Wetlands. For more information on the REFS facility and programs, click here!
The property came to the attention of the Campbell Conservancy when it was listed for sale in 2006. The Campbell County Conservation District received a grant through the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund to purchase 135 acres of land. The Campbell Conservancy, with assistance from the Campbell County Fiscal Court, acquired an additional five acres. In 2012, the Conservancy gave this section of land to the Conservation District. In 2014, Allen Weber of Newport, Kentucky, donated 11.5 acres of land adjoining the Hawthorne Crossing Conservation Area to the Campbell County Conservation District. The Allen and Loureena Weber Conservation Area will be managed as a natural area in perpetuity, protecting the land, flora and fauna, that the Webers held dear.
Hawthorne Crossing Conservation Area will be open to the public in the future. Work is currently underway to assess resources for land and habitat restoration and to ensure visitor safety. Please contact the Campbell County Conservation District for more information.