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The Bluegrass Region

"A Finite Resource"


May 1999

Faculty Advisors
Horst Schach, Steve Austin

Undergraduate Students
Mark Bazzell, Julia Brown, Bill Estes, Greg Heck, Ramona Henderson, David Hunt, Robert Hutcheson, Vonda Ingram, Clayton Nichols, Scott Rief, Jeff Rosiak, Brian Terry, Ben Wieseman

Project Statement
The objective of this study was to determine the impact that future urbanization may have on agriculture, particularly the equine industry, and the rural landscape of the region. The study identifies critical resources in the Bluegrass Region which support the equine industry of central Kentucky, determines the risks of urbanization to these resources, and explores potential resolutions to promote a more efficiently planned future. The Bluegrass Region has been identified as a seven county region comprised of Bourbon, Clark, Fayette, Jessamine, Madison, Scott, and Woodford Counties.

Project Narrative
The initial phase in the development of this study was to inventory resources critical to the equine industry and the Bluegrass Region's cultural landscape using both Geographic Information System (GIS) technology and traditional mapping techniques. Resources utilized include geology, soils, topography, watersheds, forest concentrations, and natural and cultural features.

Population and development trends were studied to project how the region might urbanize. Each county's comprehensive plans for growth, zoning, and infrastructure were used to make predictions described in this report. By overlaying the inventory of critical resources with the projected urbanization, areas critical to the future of the agriculture industry and character of the region were identified, as well as an Equine Resource Area (ERA) in which the equine industry is predicted to thrive. Based on this information, multiple methods for preserving these resources while maintaining economic viability are described in this report.


• Full Report • Preface • Resources and the Equine Industry
• Economic Impact of Agriculture •Cultural Identity • Predicting the Impact
• Risks to the Region • Proposals for Future Growth • Goals and Tools to Guide
• References • Appendix






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