Mammoth Caves

NKU graduate student David Kime’s final practicum project is with Mammoth Cave National Park. 

From 1935-41, hundreds of farms in central Kentucky were converted into the national park, with labor provided mostly through the Civilian Conservation Corps. Four CCC camps,enrolling hundreds of young men each year, razed a number of buildings and roads, while enhancing and building other roads, new buildings and necessary utilities. They constructed thousands of erosion control dams and structures, planted a million trees to rebuild the "wilderness," and constructed miles of hiking trails above and below ground in order to provide access to recreation within the Park.

The photo at right shows a group of African American enrollees from CCC camp KY-NP-1 (the oldest CCC camp in Kentucky) building the cave trail, which is used by visitors to this day.

Kime's practicum project partners with Mammoth Cave National Park Collections and Science and Resource Management Divisions to research and produce a general history of building the national park during this time, with a particular focus on environmental history and the built landscape of the park.

(Photo courtesy of Mammoth Cave National Park.)