Upper Green River Biological Preserve
Imagine a place described as, “one of the most biologically diverse freshwater aquatic systems in the whole U.S., with seven of the rarest animals on earth all on one square mile.” It is a very real place for WKU Biology professors Dr. Albert and Ouida Meier, and it is known as the Upper Green River Biological Preserve. The Upper Green River Biological Preserve is a 800 acre outdoor classroom for WKU students and faculty.
The mission of the WKU Upper Green River Biological Preserve is to foster knowledge and protection of this diverse region and our natural heritage through research, education, and conservation. The habitats of the Preserve include bottomlands, uplands, barrens, caves, limestone glades, and of course, the river itself. The upper Green River and its tributaries are centers of diversity for freshwater mussels and fish, hosting 109 fish species and nearly 60 mussel species. The Preserve lands surround several mussel beds, including one where five federally listed endangered mussels have been documented. A large spring known as McCoy Blue Hole is located on the northern tract of land; it empties an underground karst drainage of 34 mi2, and an endangered cave shrimp has been recorded from the groundwater basin that feeds this spring. A federally endangered bat species has been recorded from a cave on the Preserve property. The Preserve also provides critical breeding and migratory habitat for neotropical songbirds along the Green River Corridor.