Bernheim ColorFest activities planned for October 19-20

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 CLERMONT - There aren’t many places more beautiful than Bernheim Forest in the fall. 

Activities and programs for people and families of all ages fill the October calendar, including Bernheim’s annual ColorFest on Saturday, Oct. 19, and Sunday, Oct. 20.

ColorFest’s two days of affordable family fun surrounded by fall’s spectacular beauty with hands-on nature activities, great food, distinctive crafts by Kentucky artists, pumpkin painting, a hay maze and many more autumn activities.

Families can learn about bees, purple martins and other wildlife while relaxing and enjoy the striking colors of fall on a hayride.

ColorFest is from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 5:00 p.m. Sunday.

A full schedule of ColorFest events are available at bernheim.org.

There is no cost to attend, but non-members are required to pay a $5 per car environmental fee at the gate.

Arts in Nature

Bernheim’s Arts in Nature program is designed to inspire and develop deep connections with nature.

In October, Bernheim will do that in a magnificent way with public opening of its newest sculpture, Earth Measure, on  Thursday, Oct. 17, at 10:00 a.m.

Louisville sculptor, Matt Weir, was commissioned to create this sculpture honoring Barry Bingham Jr.’s life and service. The former publisher of the Louisville Courier-Journal and Louisville Times who guided the publications to win three Pulitzer Prizes was also an avid environmentalist, photographer, supporter, and fundraiser for Bernheim.

Bingham served on the Bernheim Board of Trustees from 1970-2006.

The sculpture was made possible thanks to a generous donation from anonymous donor.

Beginning in October, Bernheim is also participating in Louisville Photo Biennial

This is the eighth Louisville Photo Biennial, and it continues its evolution with focused events each weekend, to educate and entertain the public with the richness and variety of photography as both a documentary and an artistic medium. The major themes are Historic/Alternative, Exchange/Generational and Exceptional People.

Bernheim will showcase the photography of artists, Todd Smith, and his collaborator, Natalie Biesel, and Nori Hall. All have worked at Bernheim in two different Arts in Nature Programs. 

The exhibition will take place at Bernheim‚Äôs Education Center with an artists’ reception on Oct. 13 from 2:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. The exhibition will run through November 30th.

Children at Play

Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest is launching a Regional Children at Play Initiative next month with the inaugural Children at Play Conference, October 4 - 5.

Parents, teachers, childcare providers, landscape architects, and anyone with an interest in how play promotes the healthy development of children are invited to attend.Funded by a grant from PNC Bank, the initiative is a regional effort to champion outdoor play environments and practices that connect children with nature for life.

"Studies repeatedly show that self-directed play in nature is not only essential for health and happiness but also contributes positively to academic performance in children," said Claude Stephens, Bernheim's Outreach Facilitator.

The conference will feature two prominent experts in the field, Morgan Leichter-Saxby and Rusty Keeler.

Keeler and Leichter-Saxby, along with local play leaders, will share their insights on the first day of the conference.

Saturday, October 5, is dubbed the Day of Play. Attendees will spend the day at Bernheim's Children's Play Garden where they will take part in guided play activities, curriculum based play, the installation of outdoor play structures and more. Saturday is open to families with children.

Registration is required. Call (502) 955-8512 for more information.

Many other activities and events fill the month as well.


On Wednesday, October 2, O.W.L.S. (Older, Wiser, Livelier Seniors) are invited to Autumn Trees from Top to Bottom from 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. at the Visitor's Center.

Join Corinne Mastey and explore trees from the vantage point of many wildlife species. Particpants will learn the vital link between trees and wildlife in order to more fully appreciate nature's important cycles and relationships. Seniors should be prepared for a gentle hike and dress for the weather.

Registration and payment are due by 4 p.m. on the day prior to the start of the program. Call (502) 955-8512. Bernheim members $5, Non-members $15.

ECO Kids Discovery Day

Children and their families are invited to Looking at Leaves on Saturday, October 5. Leaves are helpful characteristics when identifying trees, thanks to unique features like form, arrangement, and shape. Kids and their families will have fun identifying trees by leaves, and then exploring hands-on Discovery Stations and the Hike of the Day during the afternoon.

The day includes:

On Your Own Challenge, available in the Visitor Center from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Discovery Stations are at the Visitor Center from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Hike of the Day led by a Bernheim guide, starts at the Visitor Center at 2:00 p.m. and runs 45-60 minutes.

For details, call (502) 955-8512. Non-members $5 environmental impact fee per car.

ECO Kids Pollywog Play Party

Bring your pollywog (infant to five year old) to the Education Center, on Saturday, October 5 for a discovery day. Early learners will participate in Nature's Wonder of Changing Color, where they will investigate leaf colors and other autumn treasures by playing in leaf piles, making leaf rubbings, comparing trees by season, and more. ECO Kids Pollywog Play Parties combine music, art, language, and outside play to encourage infants and children though the age of 5 to learn about nature.

Registration required by 4 p.m. on October 4. Call (502) 955-8512. Fee covers one caregiver and child. The regular $5 environmental impact fee per car applies at front gate for non-members.

Bernheim at Night

Bernheim's night programs add mystery, magic and make for memorable experiences. Autumn and the coming of winter provide rewards for those who bundle up and venture outdoors. The stars and planets appear to sparkle more brightly, and there is nothing like coming into the warmth after a short brisk adventure outdoors.

Join Volunteer Naturalists Don Spain and Cele Beckner in the Garden Pavilion on Saturday, October 5 from 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. to gaze at the sky and hear stories of the stars in Fall Star Stories and Sky Night Watch.

Rain will move the program inside for a fun and informative evening. This program is done in cooperation with the Louisville Astronomical Society.

Go on a night walk with a Volunteer Naturalist on Friday, October 18 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Full "Falling Leaves" Moon Night Hike. Full moon programs weave together stories about night ecology, moon lore, history and the magic of nature at night. Night hikes keep to open trails and roads so that travel without flashlights is possible.

Bernheim at Night Programs are $10 for members and $12 for non-members. Registration and payment is due by 4 p.m. on the day prior to the start of the program. Call (502) 955-8512 before 5 p.m. on the day of the program for last minute updates and changes due to weather.

Volunteer Orientation Training

Interested in volunteering at Bernheim? Join us on Tuesday, October 8 from 6:15 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. in the Visitor Center. Volunteers can give a few hours or several hundred hours, providing support to Bernheim and its visitors. While working throughout the forest or arboretum, volunteers can participate in a variety of activities, while having fun in the great outdoors. To take the first step in becoming a Bernheim volunteer, attend this general orientation training. To register or for more information contact Volunteer Coordinator, Amy Landon at (502) 955-8512 Extension 262.