Clay Hill to be submitted for inclusion in historic registry

Clay Hill to be submitted for inclusion in historic registry

May 25, 2012
For Immediate Release

Tromping through new grass on a May morning was favored by most of these students from Lebanon Middle and Campbellsville Independent schools over sitting in a classroom. Kentucky Archaeological Survey staff archaeologist Eric Schlarb, facing the camera, was the lead archaeologist of three to visit Clay Hill Memorial Forest and survey for historic artifacts. (Campbellsville University Photo by Linda Waggener)

By Linda Waggener, marketing and media relations coordinator

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Clay Hill Memorial Forest (CHMF) has been designated for submission toward inclusion in Kentucky’s historic registry as a “known prehistoric site” thanks to the work of the Kentucky Archaeological Survey team and visiting students from the area.

 Leah Hazelwood, a Lebanon Middle School
sixth-grader, right, got high marks on her
plotting map of the discovery locations in
the recent archaeology survey. (CU Photo
by Linda Waggener)

CHMF is Campbellsville University’s science and nature preserve. Middle School students from Lebanon and Campbellsville Independent schools spent a morning at CHMF recently searching for and plotting graphs of locations of Indian artifacts.

Three archaeologists from the Kentucky Archaeological Survey conducted a hands-on archaeological survey of one of the CHMF warm season grass fields burned off in early April. One of the students told CHMF director Dr. Gordon Weddle, “Today we made history.”

If history wasn't made, then it was discovered as four arrowheads were found which date to what is known as the early-archaic period, 10,000 years before present day, according to Eric Schlarb, staff archaeologist with the Kentucky Archaeological Survey at the University of Kentucky. Schlarb, organizer of the event, said he was very impressed with the site. His group will make a follow-up visit and professionally map the site and submit it for inclusion in the historic registry.

All of the artifacts found will be returned to CHMF for a future prehistory display at the Joan White Howell Environmental Center. Assisting Weddle with the special event at CHMF were Dr. Glenn McQuaide, associate professor of biology at CU; Dr. Richie Kessler, CU associate professor of biology and environmental studies program coordinator; and Alicia Bosela, CU instructor in biology and assistant director of Clay Hill.

 Burning of grassland at Clay Hill.

Campbellsville University biology majors, chemistry majors plus pre-dental, pre-engineering, pre-medical, pre-medical technology, pre-nursing, pre-optometry, pre-pharmacy and pre-veterinarian students are among those who experience Clay Hill Memorial Forest as a part of their career preparation courses.

It is central to the university’s growing green and earth stewardship movements and is a regional center for environmental education available to non-science and general education students as well. Over 35,000 local elementary, middle and high school students have visited CHMF on field trips since it was donated to Campbellsville University in 1996 in memory of the Joan White Howell family.

Clay Hill Memorial Forest is used to promote environmental education on all levels and serves as an on-site teaching center and outdoor learning laboratory for K-12 students and teachers, university scholars, scientists, researchers, government agencies, community leaders and faculty members. Upcoming events at CHMF include the annual Outdoor Classroom Institute where teachers receive training in the art of teaching science. Presenters at this year’s week-long session include: Dr. Mark McKinnon, Tim Sutter, Susan Pope, Lorinda Jones, Paula Roberts, Jeff and Henrietta Scott, John Blair and Georgia Purtee.

For more information, or to schedule a visit to Clay Hill Memorial Forest, contact Dr. Gordon Weddle, professor of biology at CU and CHMF Director, at 270-789-5328 or by email at

News links to other stories about Clay Hill Memorial Forest can be found at: and at

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is
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The Joan White Howell Environmental Center welcomes students to Clay Hill Memorial Forest all year long. Campbellsville Independent and Lebanon Middle Schoolers gathered recently to learn about archaeology. (Campbellsville University Photo by Linda Waggener)

Dr. Glenn McQuaide, associate professor of biology at CU, standing, leads visiting students studying the world of science at Clay Hill Memorial Forest. (Campbellsville University Photo by Linda Waggener)