Claude W. Hibbard was the first naturalist at Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave National Park (June 1, 1934 to August 22, 1935). His job was to evaluate the area and record the types of wildlife he found in this region. Hibbard was to look at various habitats in this region and evaluate them to help determine what should be included in the new national park.
Journal Entry- Area 4
October 24, 1934
The day was spent in Strawberry Valley, which is a small valley along the Edmonson, Hart, and Barren County lines. This is a region in which intensive farming has been practiced, in that field after field has been turned into pasture. Due to farming and pasturing, much erosion has resulted. The day that I was in this valley, Camp #2 started their erosion work for planting.
The valley is made up of a series of sinks which is typical of all Hollows and Valleys south of Green River. In the Valley is a large natural pond which affords a permanent water supply for wildlife. A large blue heron was at the pond, and from the tracks, it had been a regular visitor.
Many killdeer were also around the pond. This is the ideal place for the study of shore birds during migration. Mammals were scarce only cotton-tail rabbits were observed. A few grey fox tracks, one opossum was observed and one skunk. Song birds were numerous in old fields and along the wooded slopes and ridges.
related post: “I heard rumors about the blind fish”