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Nuturing nature

NatureFest! event
promotes nature, community

Brown Forman chef caters
new event at Creasey Mahan

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

GOSHEN, Ky. (May 2009) – When it comes to food, Mark Williams is at the top of his game. As a chef for Brown Forman for the last eight years, he has specialized in perfecting each dish he creates.

Naturefest!
Entertainment Schedule

May 30 at Creasey Mahan Nature Center, Goshen, Ky.
• Noon - 1:30 p.m.: The Lawson Brothers Band (bluegrass)
• 1:30 - 2 p.m.: Louisville Country Dancers
• 2 - 2:30 p.m.: Jenrose & The Kentucky Bootleggers (folk)
• 3 p.m.: Live Auction and Silent Auction end
• 3-4 p.m.: Jenrose & The Kentucky Bootleggers

Williams will be serving up food using the Slow Foods method at NatureFest!, a premier event to be held May 30 at the Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve in Goshen. The event is scheduled from noon to 4 p.m. and the public is invited.
As a chef Williams said he knows, “The secret to good food is good ingredients.” He will be promoting Slow Foods Bluegrass, a local chapter of Slow Foods USA and Slow Foods International.
The local chapter is based in Pewee Valley, where Williams lives. “Slow Foods is an organization founded to promote organic foods,” said Williams. “It’s the opposite of fast food.”
Williams first learned about Slow Foods when he was a chef for director Francis Ford Coppola in Napa Valley, Calif. “Coppola made me aware of it.”
Since then, Williams has promoted this non-profit food group every chance he gets. It’s a way to encourage more people to go into farming, or stay in farming, and educate the public on why organic food makes a difference, he said.
At the May event, Wil-liams will be using local products, such as salad greens from a Crestwood farm and beef from Foxhol-low Farm.
Also included in the day’s activities will be music provided by the Lawson Brothers and Jenrose & the Kentucky Bootleggers, hayrides, nature trails, crafts, games, face painting, inflatables, a dunking booth, silent and live auctions. Nature-related organizations that will be set up in booths include the Audubon Society, Sierra Club, Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, in addition to regional businesses.
It will be “a day for people to come in and listen to good music and enjoy our beautiful place and each other,” said Tavia Cathcart, executive director for Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve. Cathcart, 45, took over the post when Glenn Yost retired in June 2008.
Cathcart is co-author of a 496-page field guide to wildflowers, “Wildflowers of Tennessee, the Ohio Valley, and Southern Appalachians.”
She is a Certified Interpretive Guide and naturalist, photographer and speaker. Originally from the Highlands area of Louisville, she has had many years experience with non-profits on an administrative level and through volunteering.
This will be the first year for NatureFest!, and Cathcart said it is being put on in an effort to pull the community together and showcase organic, local products. “We care about giving back to the community,” she said.
Williams said NatureFest! is “a natural fit for me.” Slow Foods Bluegrass takes part in many festivals that are family oriented, have a focus on health, and an involvement with the environment. NatureFest! will incorporate all three of these qualities.
Cathcart said that there are many groups, such as Slow Foods Bluegrass, which have an investment in Oldham County as well as various environmental groups that are concerned about the area. The $5 entrance fee is a fundraiser for the nature preserve.
Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve is a non-profit organization located on 168 acres at 12501 Harmony Landing Rd. in Goshen. It consists of a wildlife refuge, eight miles of trails, recreational fields and two historic structures (the 1803 Mahan Manor and original Spring House), a field house and nature center for classroom education. “We have a strong educational outreach program and offer environmental education classes to hundreds of students within Oldham and Jefferson Counties,” said Cathacart.
The nature preserve allows the Mahan Library branch to operate out of a reconstructed barn and the City of Goshen maintains a community playground on the property. The facility is privately run and receives no tax funding.
NatureFest! is a celebration of nature and the community that takes palce on “a beautiful little gem” in the heart of Oldham County, said Cathcart.

• For more information on NatureFest!, contact Tavia Cathcart at (502) 228-4362 or email: tavia@creaseymahannaturepreserve.org. You may also visit: www.creaseymahannaturepreserve.org.

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