BRYANT'S CAMP - When Judy and Joe Schueneman became the caretakers of Cliffview, a Catholic retreat center in Garrard County, they found that tall grasses and wild flowers had reclaimed the manicured dairy farm.
Smiling, Joe Schueneman remembers a meadow full of royal purple ironweed and goldenrod. To the couple, their role was not only to be stewards of the center but also of the earth around it.
For several years, they planted their own wildflowers and combated plant species that weren't native to the area. Then a member of The Nature Conservancy came to a retreat there and offered the organization's help.
TNC is a not-for-profit organization that preserves natural areas either by purchasing land or working with land owners.
The Schuenemans promised to preserve the native species there for four years in exchange for help with planting, mowing and burning the meadow. Two years ago, a group had a three-day conference at the retreat center and while there they burned the grounds.