See 'Blue' at the Salato Center in Frankfort
Sports fans and wildlife lovers alike will delight in seeing “Blue,” the official University of Kentucky wildcat housed at the Salato Center in Frankfort, Kentucky. Blue is the only animal on exhibit at the Salato Center with an official name, according to Director Laurie Davison.
The center, operated by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, works to promote wildlife conservation education through displays, programs, workshops and wildlife-viewing opportunities. The center’s funding comes from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses and via donations to the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
Although the center works primarily to provide tours and activities for school field trips, Salato is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. The center is closed Sundays, Mondays and on state holidays.
Davison says attendance in April and May accounts for about 20 percent of the center’s annual visitation, which exceeds 100,000 guests. “We’re packed with school kids during those months,” she explains, adding that free admission, programs and outdoor picnic shelters draw many field trips.
Visitors are welcome to take self-guided tours of indoor and outdoor exhibits, as well as make use of walking and hiking trails. Davison says the “tot trails” are designed especially for little ones and allow easy access for strollers.
In addition to Blue, the native wildlife exhibit includes a black bear, an eagle, bobcats, elk, deer, bison, snakes and fish. General admission to the Salato Center is free, although some programs require a registration fee.
Fishing is available at two lakes, which are fully stocked with blue gill, bass, catfish and trout, according to Davison. Many students make their first catch participating in summer camps and other programs offered through the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife’s aquatic education branch.
Posted on January 2, 2012 by Bobbi Buchanan