Now Presenting: Brushy Fork Nature Coalition

by Chase Denny

There is a new kid on the block, folks! Berea College is proud to present the newly established organization known as the Brushy Fork Nature Coalition (BFNC). Student-led and student established group with the purpose of engaging students, faculty, staff, and community members. The BFNC plans to do this through opportunities that prove to be service-oriented, educational, and beneficial to the environment. The mission of the Brushy Fork Nature Coalition is to clean, maintain, and restore Brushy Fork’s Forest & Trails in order to provide an educational and recreational setting that offers students an opportunity to learn about the environment, wildlife, sustainability, and the outdoors. Berea College Sophomore Hunter McDavid is the founder and coordinator of the Brushy Fork Nature Coalition. Working alongside Hunter as the advisor for this coalition is the Forestry Outreach Center’s own Wendy Warren. This is an exciting development for nature lovers, those going into a nature related profession, and/or anyone that is interested in the beautiful scenery Brushy Fork has to offer. Brushy Fork is located right behind the Alumni Building at Berea College and is home to many beautiful sights

and some wonderful hiking trails. Over the years the trails and trail signs have experienced harsh climate and disrespectful treatment resulting in a lot of harm to Brushy Fork. With these things in mind the BFNC plans to have trail clean up events, restoration of the trail signs, and much more. Founder Hunter McDavid felt as if Brushy Fork could be so much more than just a mountain behind campus. When asked about why Hunter is so passionate about restoring Brushy Fork his response was:

My passion for restoring Brushy Fork comes from the natural restoration it has provided for me in the darkest time I had in my life. Last year I went through many hardships, I relied on my hikes and nature walks through Brushy Fork’s forest and trails to help me rid my mind of stress, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. Whenever I feel down, my first move is to head to Brushy Fork. In a way, it kept me alive in the hardest moments I’ve ever endured in my life. Now I feel that it’s only right for me to return the favor.

Not only is the Brushy Fork Nature Coalition working to bring together students under the common cause of restoring such a beautiful piece of land, but it is also working to bring together various departments on campus. Founder Hunter McDavid has been working closely with many departments around campus such as Berea College Public Safety, Berea College Administration, the Center for Excellence in Learning Through Service, and of course the Forestry Outreach Center. The BFNC also works with various members of the Berea, KY community in this effort and is therefore working to promote a unified sense of community.

For students who are interested in learning more and getting notifications about meeting times and locations, follow the Brushy Fork Nature Coalition on B-Linked. For anyone else who is interested in learning more on how to be active and make a difference by joining the BFNC, you can contact BFNC coordinator Hunter McDavid at mcdavidh@berea.edu and BFNC advisor Wendy Warren at warrenw@berea.edu.