University Presentation Showcase: Graduate Division

Project Title

Diversification in Kentucky: The Potential Wealth of Kentucky’s Natural Areas

Presenter Hometown

Lexington, KY

Major

Recreation and Park Administration

Department

Recreation and Park Administration

Degree

Graduate

Mentor

Dr. Brian G. Clark

Mentor Department

Recreation and Park Administration

Abstract

As Kentucky moves toward a more sustainable future, natural areas and land recovery efforts suggest an alternative and renewable source of revenue. Not only can this mean tangible financial revenue, but wealth in terms of Ecosystem Services as well. Provisioning Services can be extracted like vegetables, drinkable water, and medicine. Regulating services provide protection like carbon sequestration and flood mitigation. Supporting services like photosynthesis and the water cycle make life possible. Finally, Cultural Services provide the aesthetic and recreational venue to satisfy finer psychological and human self-fulfillment needs. Here we find a particularly alluring benefit for the recreation professional. Reclaimed land can be reinvented for varying tourist attractions and other economic alternatives. As aesthetic and cultural landmarks, natural areas imply an opportunity to attract visitors internationally. Likewise, they appeal to outdoorsmen and adventurers. The introduction of elk in Kentucky generates $5 million dollars in revenue through hunting guides and sightseeing tours alone (Whang, 2020). World class climbing presents untapped opportunities. This literature review identifies avenues for Kentucky to expand their repertoire of enterprise to include not only existing natural areas, but to explore opportunities for altered and restored landscapes as well.

Presentation format

Poster

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Diversification in Kentucky: The Potential Wealth of Kentucky’s Natural Areas

As Kentucky moves toward a more sustainable future, natural areas and land recovery efforts suggest an alternative and renewable source of revenue. Not only can this mean tangible financial revenue, but wealth in terms of Ecosystem Services as well. Provisioning Services can be extracted like vegetables, drinkable water, and medicine. Regulating services provide protection like carbon sequestration and flood mitigation. Supporting services like photosynthesis and the water cycle make life possible. Finally, Cultural Services provide the aesthetic and recreational venue to satisfy finer psychological and human self-fulfillment needs. Here we find a particularly alluring benefit for the recreation professional. Reclaimed land can be reinvented for varying tourist attractions and other economic alternatives. As aesthetic and cultural landmarks, natural areas imply an opportunity to attract visitors internationally. Likewise, they appeal to outdoorsmen and adventurers. The introduction of elk in Kentucky generates $5 million dollars in revenue through hunting guides and sightseeing tours alone (Whang, 2020). World class climbing presents untapped opportunities. This literature review identifies avenues for Kentucky to expand their repertoire of enterprise to include not only existing natural areas, but to explore opportunities for altered and restored landscapes as well.