Geography • In the Bluegrass Region they think the grass is blue. But, it is not actually blue. “Bluegrass” is just a type of a grass that was planted here many years ago. • The two largest cities in Kentucky, Louisville and Lexington, are in this region. • Horses are very important in the Bluegrass. People from all over the world go to Churchill Downs in Louisville and Keeneland in Lexington to watch horse races. • This region has some of the finest farmland in the state. Tobacco is the major crop. • The Bluegrass region covers an area of 8,000 square miles. • The Bluegrass is the 3rd largest region. • The capital of Kentucky is Frankfort. Frankfort is located in the Bluegrass region.
The Kentucky Derby Because race officials decorate the winning horse with roses. The Kentucky Derby in Louisville is the most celebrated horse race in America. The entire city begins celebrating with decorations and parties two weeks before the race takes place. The Kentucky Derby is also called “The Run for the Roses”? Do you know why?
Economy • Large producer of tobacco. • Many farmers depend on tobacco to make money. • Farmers grow crops like corn, cabbage, and tobacco. • The Bluegrass has many natural resources such as soil and minerals.
Geography • Partly bordered by the Ohio, Big Sandy, and Tug Fork Rivers. • The Cumberland Gap is a pass through the mountains used by hunters, explorers, settlers, and animals • The terrain is very rugged • The landforms create major transportation problems • Today, there are not as many trees as there used to be, but there are still many sawmills. Logging is important in this region. • The coalfields were not opened until late 1900's, but since then workers have mined millions of tons of coal from this region • There are more mountains in this region than in any other part of the state. • The Kentucky River run's through the Eastern boundary mountains. • This region has the highest elevation in Kentucky which is the Big Black Mountain in Harlan County. It stands over 4,000 feet high.
Cumberland Falls • The Cumberland river run's through this region, and also forms the highest waterfall in Kentucky also known as the Cumberland Falls. • One of the most amazing things about Cumberland Falls is the moonbow. A moonbow is a special rainbow that appears only at night. It is created when the mist above the falls reflects the moonlight. • It only happens when the weather is clear, and the moon is at a certain place in the sky.
History (Coal) • Millions of years ago, the land was a swamp with large plants. When the plants died, they were slowly covered by layers of sand and mud • Pressure and heat from the layers turned the plants into coal. Miners dug the coal from its “bed.” Then they covered the mines with soil and planted seeds so new plants would grow. • We use some of the coal right here, but much of it is moved by train, truck, or ship to places around the world. • Much of the coal is used to make electricity. The coal is cleaned before it is burned, so it won’t pollute the air as much • Coal will continue to be an important source of energy in the future. Coal is one of Kentucky’s most valuable resources. In fact, only one state produces more coal than our state does. Do you know which state that is? It’s Wyoming.
Economy • Eastern Kentucky features resorts at Natural bridge, Carter Caves, Green Bo Lake, Buckhorn Lake, Cumberland Falls, and Pine Mountains. • Mining • Limestone
Geography • The knobs is the smallest of all 6 natural regions (Bluegrass, Pennyroyal, Jackson Purchase, Western and Eastern Coalfields.) it also borders the bluegrass in an unusual horse shoe shape. Also the knobs region contains 2,300 square miles of area.
History To the west of the Eastern Mountains and Coal Fields is the Knobs. The Knobs is the smallest of Kentucky’s landform regions. Geographers, people who study the land and its formations, often describe the Knobs as horseshoe shaped. The Knobs region wraps around three sides of the Bluegrass region. The Knobs has rocky hills that are not high enough to be called mountains. In the valleys, the land is rich and good for farming. None of Kentucky’s 120 counties is totally in this region Knobs- a rounded hill or mountain
Geography • The Western Coal Fields are 4,600 square feet and contain 21 different counties. The region is surrounded by the Ohio River on the north and the Pennyroyal region on the east, south, and west. There is good farmland near the Ohio River. Two-third's of all the coal in the state is found in the Western Coal Fields.
A Port is a place on a shore where boats pick up or drop off goods. Henderson is also a port city. Many of the things we buy probably came to Kentucky on a boat. History Like the Eastern Coal Field, this region is named for the huge amounts of coal that lie under the ground. The Western Coal Field is much flatter than the Eastern Coal Field. The flat land make this area good for farming. This region also has the electric-generating plant at Paradise. It is a place where coal is turned into power. Almost all of the electric power used in Kentucky comes from electric-generating plants like this one. Owensboro is one of the largest cities in this region, which is a port city. What is a port?
Strip Mining People have different ideas about how to use land. In Kentucky, people have argued for years about coal mining. With large earth-moving machines, workers remove whole mountaintops to get to the coal faster. This is called strip mining, or mountaintop removal. After an area is stripped, the government often helps the coal companies reclaim or restore, the land. For every ton of coal taken from the ground, the coal companies pay a reclamation fee. Sometimes, the government uses money from the fees to build homes or businesses on the stripped land. But in areas that have not been reclaimed, the land looks barren and empty.
What do you think? Many people are not satisfied with our state’s efforts to repair the damage from strip mining. These people say strip mining hurts Earth forever. They say we are losing our natural resources. Some experts say that when rain hits the stripped land, chemicals mix with the rainwater. They say these chemicals end up in our drinking water and can make us sick. How do you feel about strip mining? Should coal companies be allowed to continue strip mining the mountains of Kentucky?
History • Did you know that a long, long time ago Jackson Purchase was not a part of Kentucky? Andrew Jackson purchased a piece of land and put it on Kentucky 26 years after Kentucky became a state. The first governor Isaac Shelby signed the treaty to make that land a part of Kentucky. They named it Jackson Purchase because Andrew Jackson purchased that part of land.
Geography • Jackson Purchase is located in the southwest part of Kentucky. Jackson Purchase became known as the," Gateway to the west." It has a big bridge that connects the Purchase to the rest of Kentucky. Before the bridge was built, it was hard to travel between this region and the rest of Kentucky. For a long time, people in the Jackson Purchase felt separated from other Kentuckians.
Geography The clothes you are wearing may be made from cotton grown in the Jackson Purchase. Much of this region is low and swampy because it is bordered by the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. It is also some of the flattest land in Kentucky. The lowest point is Fulton County. But, this flat, rich, river bottom land is perfect for growing crops especially cotton. The Jackson Purchase is the only region in Kentucky where cotton grows.
Continued • Paducah is the largest city in this region. It has lots of buildings, factories, and railroad yards. Most of the people in the Jackson Purchase work in farming. But, in Paducah, people have all sorts of jobs.
Geography • “Pennyroyal” is the name of a plant in the mint family. The region is named for the plant because pioneer settlers found it growing everywhere. They used pennyroyal to keep mosquitoes and ticks away.
The Pennyroyal has more lakes than any region in Kentucky including Barkley Lake and Kentucky Lake. The land between the lakes is called: you guessed it the Land Between the Lakes. • The Pennyroyal is the largest land region of the state. It touches all of Kentucky’s other land regions. • Farmers in this region grow tobacco, apples, and soybeans. They also raise dairy and beef cattle. • Jessie James robed his first bank in Pennyroyal in 1868.Pennyroyal was the birth place of the first confederacy president. It was also the birth place of the 16 president Abe Lincoln.
Economy • Pennyroyal has a very agricultural economy. Fort Knox is located in Pennyroyal. One of the only Corvette Factories in the world is located in Pennyroyal. It is the best region for verified farming. • But it also has one other famous attraction…
Mammoth Cave The land above the caves is full of holes, too. These are called sinkholes. Rainwater makes its way into these sinkholes, dissolves the limestone, and creates dips in the ground. Sometimes, the dips fill with water. There are many ponds around Mammoth Cave • Mammoth Cave is the world’s longest known cave system. In the cave system’s 200 smaller caves, explorers have mapped 360 miles of passages! Mammoth cave was formed over millions of years as moving water slowly dissolved this layers of rock. Even today, underground water is forming new caves. • Mammoth Cave is home to more than 130 types of creatures. One kind of fish has no eyes. That is because deep inside the cave there is no light. Without light, most living things cannot see. Fish that cannot see do not need eyes. They have adapted to their lightless environment.
County Another kind of region in our state is a county. A county is a region that has at least one town. Every person in Kentucky lives in one of our state’s 120 counties. Each county has its own county seat. The county seat is the town or city where the county government has offices. Which county do you live in?