Saving Kentucky: An Environmentally Aware Cause

If you’ve landed on this page, I think it’s fair to say that we have one of the same interests; the environment and saving the beautiful land in Kentucky.

the 144

Family farmers looking to save and preserve a beautiful piece of land in Kentucky.

Environmental awareness ties into homesteading. In fact, I can’t tell you how much more aware I’ve become since starting to homestead. I grew up knowing not to throw trash on the ground and having an interest in gardening but it wasn’t until I started working my own piece of land that I started understanding what the Earth we walk on can provide. And why that Earth should be nurtured to its greatest extent.

One family saving Kentucky

Emerson and I met while enrolled in the Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Country Music Studies Program at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN.

Will Parsons, the owner of The 144, was our band leader and became a very close friend of ours.  In 2014 Will, partner Megan Gregory, and their family entered the homesteading world.  They bought 144 acres, which we now all call “The 144”, in Olive Hill, KY.

Their goal is to preserve the land while cultivating a simpler, healthier way of living for themselves and the community around them. They successfully raise their own meat, vegetables, and fruits.

They’re currently living on part of The 144 with a handful of free-ranging animals and gardens. Their border collie herd dogs are a sight to see while working! The land is beautiful and the unused portion is a natural home for the Kentucky flora and fauna to coexist in a safe, undisturbed environment. 

One section of the land had been stripped and logged by a previous owner and Will and his family is working to rejuvenate it by livestock rotation.

Will Parsons milking his sweet goat, Delia

An environmentally aware

The 144 is surrounded by a 204-acre tract of Kentucky forest. Unfortunately, there was recently new logging activity and is now up for sale.  The Parsons/Gregory family wants to purchase that land to preserve the natural landscapes and ecosystems. 

The land will be placed in a land trust or nature preserve. Furthermore, it will ultimately be used as a public space and educational facility for their community and all of Kentucky.

They have launched a GoFundMe campaign in hopes of finding like-minded conservationists to support the cause.  The family will make the purchase to keep extractive industries from stripping this beautiful land of its native hardwood trees and rich history.

Spreading the word

In addition to homesteading and performing in a family band, Whistle and Fish, William also builds mandolins. He continues to share his knowledge of music along with his partner-in-crime, Megan. 

I have directly benefited in many ways from the knowledge and community of the Parsons/Gregory family. In return, we are spreading the word to help them reach their goal to save this beautiful piece of Kentucky.

Saving Kentucky by sharing this GoFundMe Campaign

The campaign offers many perks for donations. Ranging from a ‘stay at their homestead’ to a ‘Parsons hand-crafted F-model mandolin’ to keep or donate to a school of your choice.

You’ll love the videos showing life on their homestead, accompanied by their homemade music located on their GoFundMe page. If you aren’t in a position to donate, that’s fine. If you would still like to contribute to the cause, share the link above!.

Now, I hope you find time to enjoy this short clip of some of the cutest border collie puppies ever playing!

Update on ‘Save our Kentucky Home

This GoFundMe is still open to donations and shares. After 4 years the 144 has continued to exhibit their dedication for the native Kentucky species – flora and fauna alike. There are wild Paw Paw trees growing in places where they weren’t planted, proving the ecosystem is reaching a balance it hasn’t experienced in some time.

The top of the hill that was logged years ago is growing grass which is then rolled in hay bales, providing nutrients for bovines and equines in the winter. Flocks of wild turkeys roam the top of the hill and the sunsets are better than most I’ve ever seen (and I grew up at the beach!).

Wendell Berry said, “The Earth is what we all have in common“. The 204 acres will go into a land trust – safe from the hands of corporations and society to take advantage of for the use of what we might think are needed organic materials.

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