Joe Ford Nature Library
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Open: 2:00-5:00 PM Tuesdays and Thursdays
Open other times by appointment: (270) 785-4850

Located at Brescia College in Owensboro, KY

“People are hungry for this.”

Nature enthusiasts are getting their nourishment for knowledge through the Joe Ford Nature Library. Co-founder Grace Ford provided Daviess County Audubon Society members with an update of the library’s offerings during the March 13 meeting.

Of particular interest to members was the recent addition of the Bert and Millie Powell collection of bird-related materials. Seven hundred and eighty-three books and other bird-related items are included in the collection, with 116 items connected to other materials.

The collection includes such staples as John James Audubon’s “Birds of America” and Brainard Palmer-Ball’s “Kentucky Breeding Bird Atlas.” Other titles reflect interest in birds far from the Bluegrass State: “Birds of Europe,” “Birds of the Rockies,”  “Connie Hagar –- the Life History of a Texas Birdwatcher,” “Common British Birds” and books detailing species in Big Bend and Zion national parks.

Interested in how the study of nature has changed? Grace Ford said she is enthralled by the large number of older magazines, with many complete annual sets. The collection includes “The Migrant,” the Tennessee Ornithological Society’s journal, dating back to 1934, the Kentucky Ornithological Society’s “Kentucky Warbler” from 1942 and Audubon magazines as early as 1947.

Wrapping up a long career in education, she loved the 60-year-old Nature magazines by the American Nature Association and Canadian Nature magazines from the late 1940s.

“They had such wonderful activities for children. In fact, I will use some of those activities for children.”

Along with bird-related materials, the collection also includes items ranging from insects to natural history, including John Burroughs’ “America.”

Bill and Brenda Little recently visited the Powells in Jackson County and said that Bert Powell “couldn’t be happier” with the location of his treasures in Room 131 at Brescia.

The Powell collection joined those ornithological and historical resources already shared by Joe Ford, as well as items from his long career as a naturalist. One recent afternoon, Grace Ford noted, a patron stopped by to explore archaeological materials, and Judy Tabor, who attended the March program, returned to borrow a bluebird video.
While the library boasts an impressive collection of written resources, living, breathing sources of knowledge have attracted visitors to several programs.

“We have four wonderful presenters,” Grace Ford said. A series of seasonal hikes by Obbie Todd and Steve Hahus debuted to rave reviews this winter, with 38 hiking in Ben Hawes in late February and 24 registering for a wildflower/bird hike in late March. Grace Ford shared her love of roses during February. Wildflower hikes with Joe Ford and Hahus are scheduled for this month. The Littles were to share their expertise on bluebirds in March, and Grace Ford planned programs on the library’s birding resources and wildflowers for the spring.

However, she can’t wait until summer, when the library will be able to concentrate on attracting children to afternoon and Saturday programs. The first, on reptiles, is tentatively set for May 20.
The Fords also are beginning to plan their first-year anniversary celebration, which will include fall hikes and child and adult programs on ghost stories and superstitions.

Programs offered
by the Joe Ford Nature Library

Joe Ford

* Getting Ready for Winter
* Indians of Our Area
* Ghost Stories
* Reptiles in General
*Wildflowers in Our Area
* Birds in the Backyard
* Insects
* Daviess County in the Civil War
* Plant and Animal Invaders
* Owensboro Red Light District
* Outdoor Dangers
* Rocks and Minerals
* UFOs: Are They Real?
* The World of Plants
* The Good Ol’ Days – or Were They?
* The Tobacco Farm as It Was
* Spiders, Ticks and Chiggers
* It’s Time to Retire
* Joe Ford Library
* Field Trips/Nature Walks

 Obbie Todd

* Nature Walks for all ages

Bill and Brenda Little

* Hummingbirds
* Eastern Bluebirds
* Frog Logging
* Kentucky’s Forest Stewardship Program
* Kentucky’s Heritage Land Conservation Fund (Nature License Plate Fund)
* Organic and Native Plant Gardening

 Steve Hahus

* Bird Identification
* Bird Songs
* Trees
* Wild Flowers
* Ecology
* Mammals
* Reptiles and Amphibians

To schedule a program or field trip, call (270) 785-4850, (270) 316-1632 or (270) 316-3702

 

 


 


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