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Hopkinsville’s Jeffers Bend brings back staple events after two years

The sign for the Jeffers Bend Environmental Center on Metcalfe Lane in Hopkinsville.
Kentucky Tourism
The sign for the Jeffers Bend Environmental Center on Metcalfe Lane in Hopkinsville.

The Jeffers Bend Environmental Center in Hopkinsville is reinstating some staple events following two years of pandemic-related cancellations at its annual retreat on Jan. 15.

Both the Pennyrile Resource Conservation and Development Area Council and Pennyrile Drinking Water Week Committee will meet tomorrow for the first time since 2019 to map out the Water Festival, Take Kids Fishing, Christmas at the Bend and school field trips — none of which have been held in two years.

“We rely on the information provided at the state and national level concerning COVID,” said Charles Turner, director of Jeffers Bend. “A high percentage of people have been vaccinated, so we see this is a better environment than it was previously.”

The Water Festival, featuring activities revolving around the importance of drinking water in communities, will be held at the center on May 14. This event will be free of charge with an attendance goal of 500.

Take Kids Fishing aims to bring out 800 children for fishing and other activities on May 28. Tickets will be $2 per vehicle if prepaid and $3 per vehicle at the gate. Free lunch and t-shirts will be provided to attendees. Prizes for the largest fish caught will be awarded to those aged 3 to 5, 6 to 8, 9 to 11 and 12 to 15.

“The kids have been pinned up for a while, so to speak, and they get the opportunity to be outdoors, to learn about the environment,” Turner said. “Unfortunately, too many of our kids today don’t have that farming background. They’re pretty well urban, and getting outdoors is a pretty big deal for them — getting out among the trees and the grass and the water.”

Visitors canoeing at Jeffers Bend.
Visit Hopkinsville
Visitors canoeing at Jeffers Bend.

The following events were held last year and will also return this year:

  • Benefit for the Bend, a silent auction to raise money for the center, will be held on June 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets will be $25 per person with an attendance goal of 200.
  • Nature Fest, an educational outing regarding nature and health, will be held on Sept. 17 from 1 to 5 p.m. Tickets will be $10 per vehicle with an attendance goal of 800 attendees
  • The center will host Torchlight Tales, the telling of spooky stories, on Oct. 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets will be $7 per vehicle, and attendees are encouraged to wear costumes.

The holiday-themed festivities and refreshments of Christmas at the Bend will cap off the year on Dec. 2 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with an attendance goal of 200 people.
Field trips to the center will be offered to Christian County schools from 9 a.m. to noon during April, May, September and October.

“For all our presenters that we have for our field trips, we always ask them to provide hands-on-type activities outdoors,” Turner said. “Kids seem to enjoy that — and the teachers, too.”

The Jeffers Bend Steering Committee is placing “special focus” on making the grounds more accessible for a variety of visitors, including churches and businesses.

Dustin Wilcox is a television production student at Murray State University. He graduated from Hopkinsville High School in 2019.
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