In 2010, the Kenton County Conservation District was awarded a grant from the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund Board (KHLCFB) to purchase 204 acres of land in southern Kenton County near Morning View. The KHLCFB is funded in part through sales of Kentucky’s “Nature” license plate series. Land is acquired only from willing sellers. The Morning View Heritage Area was acquired in two phases, and now includes a little over 220 acres, including over 3,600 feet of Licking River frontage.
The Kenton County Conservation District’s goal is to protect and restore the property as a part of Kenton County’s natural heritage while providing for appropriate public use. The Conservation District will implement land restoration projects focusing on timber stand improvement to include tree planting and invasive species removal, and native grassland establishment.
The property lends itself to providing access and necessary facilities for recreational uses including a canoe/boat launch site, fishing access, nature study, bird and wildlife watching, hiking trails, and cross-country skiing.
The property features several distinct area, highlighted by five ridge top views, several natural wetlands, the Licking River, and the Mary Kathryn Dickerson Learning Center. The MKD Learning Center was dedicated in 2015, in memory of Mary Kathryn Dickerson, who worked tirelessly as a dedicated environmental conservationist and environmental educator as the District Coordinator for Boone, Kenton and Campbell County Conservation Districts in Kentucky since January 1989. Her duties included developing, promoting and presenting educational programs and workshops for children and adults. Most of her work related to educating farmers and other landowners, public officials, and policymakers about natural resource issues.
The opening of the Morning View Heritage Area (May 14th 2016) coincides with the Kenton County Farm Heritage Tour 2016.