Isaac Bernheim was a German immigrant to Kentucky who went to work as a peddler and eventually became a wealthy distiller. Grateful for his good fortune, he gave Bernheim Arboretum as a gift to the people of his beloved adopted state in 1929. His will stipulated that “said 14,000 acres be used for a park…to be developed and forever maintained…for the people of Kentucky, and their friends, as a place to further their love of the beautiful in nature…and as a means of strengthening their love and devotion to their state and country.” Bernheim died in 1945, and five years later his forest was opened to the public. It presently includes a research station, a visitor center, and many ecological education programs and nature studies.
- Bernheim Arboretum, bernheim.org/general-info/history