Morgan County Nursery rebounds from tornado

Posted on Sep 26, 2014
Another step in Morgan County’s recovery from the devastating March, 2012 tornado came last month with the reopening of the Kentucky Division of Forestry’s Morgan County Nursery. Governor Steve Beshear was on hand for a ribbon cutting ceremony at the 50-acre nursery a few miles west of West Liberty. He was joined by Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Len Peters, Forestry Division Director Lean MacSowards, State Senator Ray Jones of Pike County, State Representatives John Will Stacy of Morgan County and Hubert Collins of Johnson County, Morgan County Magistrate Frankie Spencer and  Kentucky Division of Conservation Director Kim Richardson. Also on hand was former State Representative Adrian Arnold of Montgomery County.

The same tornado that hit West Liberty nearly wiped out the nursery, destroying the main office, two barns, equipment storage building and a cooler containing over 400,000 seedlings.  Damage was placed at just over $13.1 million.

The Beshear administration chose to rebuild the nursery, which was started in 1960 and produces around 1.5 million seedlings a year. It is one of two state nurseries; the other is in Gilbertsville in west Kentucky. The nurseries produce around 50 species of hardwoods and conifers that are available to the public.

“This nursery is too important to the state not to rebuild,” Beshear said at the ceremony. He noted that the only buildings left standing after the tornado were the superintendent’s home and a small chemical storage building.

Governor Beshear praised the staff for continuing to operate on a limited basis and persisting through the rebuilding process, which began in September 2013.

Ms. MacSowards recognized Farm Bureau during her opening remarks.

Tagged Post Topics Include: Adrian Arnold, Frankie Spencer, Governor, Hubert Collings, John Will Stacy, Johnson County, Kentucky Division of Forestry, Kim Richardson, Lean MacSowards, Len Peters, Morgan County, Pike County, Ray Jones, Steve Beshear, Tornado, Weather, West Liberty