Woods and Waters Land Trust permanently protects forests and streams in the Lower Kentucky River Watershed to promote thriving natural lands on which all life depends.

Woods and Waters Land Trust envisions a future with clean streams and large tracts of protected land that promote vibrant, sustainable communities.  Natural corridors connect large forest blocks to the Kentucky River and its tributaries, creating a landscape of scenic beauty and exceptional water, air, and soil quality where wildlife thrives. The Lower Kentucky River Watershed becomes an outstanding example of effective land conservation and protection. We maintain leadership with the knowledge, experience, and skills to work with the community to achieve our mission.

Focus on the lower Kentucky River 

Our focus area is the watershed of the lower Kentucky River. Encompassing 600 square miles, the lower Kentucky River watershed includes the land drained by the Kentucky River and its tributaries from the Palisades to the Ohio River.

The river’s route passes through the state capitol city of Frankfort and is joined by several significant tributary streams on its way to the Ohio River, including Benson, Elkhorn, Drennon, Cedar, and Eagle Creeks.  This region hosts the most significant forestland in the Bluegrass region.  WWLT’s present core geographic focus is in Franklin, Owen, and parts of Henry, Shelby, Scott, Carroll, and Woodford Counties.

What is a conservation easement? 

A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement that landowners use to limit the type and amount of development that can occur on their land so that conservation values of the land are preserved.

The landowner conveys the easement to a qualified organization, such as the Woods & Waters Land Trust, Inc., which assumes long-term stewardship responsibility of the land, guaranteeing that the terms of the easement are respected.

The landowner retains ownership of the property, which includes the rights to lease/sell the land or convey it to heirs. Subsequent owners must abide by the terms of the easement, which provides permanent protection of the land.


Photo of Elkhorn Creek kayakers by Julia Taylor.