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Clay Hill Memorial Forest receives maple tree donation

Dr. Jonathan Moore, director of Clay Hill Memorial Forest and assistant professor of biology, stands with a maple tree donated by the Taylor County Cattleman’s Association recently. (Campbellsville University Photo by Gerard Flanagan)

By Gerard Flanagan, news writer/photographer/social media, Office of University Communications

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. –Campbellsville University’s Clay Hill Memorial Forest has received the donation of a maple tree to honor those impacted by the tornado that hit Taylor County Dec. 11, 2021.

The Taylor County Cattleman’s Association donated the maple tree to Clay Hill Memorial Forest recently.

“Clay Hill Memorial Forest gladly accepted what promises to be a beautiful commemorative maple tree honoring those affected by the Dec. 11 tornado in Taylor County,” Jonathan Moore, director of Clay Hill Memorial Forest and assistant professor of biology at Campbellsville University, said. “The tree will be planted in a prominent place near our education center.

“The tree will commemorate the disaster experience by many in our community from the tornado on Dec. 11 and will serve as an illustration of the regeneration and regrowth of our community.”

Clay Hill Memorial Forest’s education center is located at 7426 Old Lebanon Road, Campbellsville, Ky.

According to Moore, the tornado on Dec. 11 impacted approximately 80 acres of Clay Hill and downed the majority of mature trees in approximately 50 of those acres affected.

All of Clay Hill’s nearly five miles of wooded hiking trails are closed due to tornado damage. About 1.25 miles of trails are totally encumbered with downed trees.

“Trails are undergoing active maintenance to make them safe and accessible to visitors,” Moore said.

According to Clay Hill Memorial Forest’s website, on May 7, 1996, many descendants of Henry Sanders, an original owner of what would become Clay Hill, gathered at Clay Hill Farm to transfer stewardship responsibilities to Campbellsville University and to formally dedicate Clay Hill Memorial Forest.

Campbellsville University received title to a part of Clay Hill Farm, with the explicit agreement that the land would be used for environmental and forestry education and research.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university that has enrolled up to 12,000 students yearly. The university offers over 100 programs of study including doctoral, masters, bachelors, associate and certification programs. The website for complete information is