A scenic foot race through a Lexington park will raise money for the Kentucky Children’s Hospital.
Part of the 2013 Kentucky Wood Expo, the inaugural 5K Log Some Miles Race will take place Sept. 21 at the new NCAA cross country course in Masterson Station Park. Registration begins at 7 a.m. Start time is 9 a.m.
Participants will run on a mowed course, which at times skirts a stream and enters lightly wooded areas. Runners or walkers can enjoy the beautiful fall scenery as they travel along the easy course with its slightly rolling hills.
The Log Some Miles Race is a fundraiser sponsored by Log A Load, a multi-state program, which in Kentucky is overseen by the Kentucky Forestry Industries Association. Money raised goes to the Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. The Kentucky Children’s Hospital is the only such hospital in the state.
The wood industry is a major contributor to Kentucky’s economic health. The state is the largest hardwood producer in the South and among the top three in the country. A recent University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment study concluded that the forestry sector added nearly $10 billion to the state’s economy in 2012. The sector employed almost 52,000 people last year.
“The wood industry is an incredibly diverse industry,” said Terrell Baker, chair of the UK Department of Forestry. “We can find wood products-related industries in 109 out of 120 counties across Kentucky.”
More than 100,000 individuals in the state own 10 woodland acres or more. More than 90 percent of the timber that supplies the forestry industry comes from those woodlands.
“Forests are responsible for a lot of products, but also a lot of less tangible things that we depend on every day: clean air, clean water, wildlife,” Baker said. “That’s no small thing.”
The forestry sector covers a wide range of industries that includes logging, paper production and conversion, and a diversity of wood and finished or secondary product businesses, such as manufacturers of furniture, trim, flooring and bourbon barrels.
“It’s a pretty close-knit community, and everybody has the same objectives, whether it’s raising money for the hospital or managing our forests better,” said Bob Bauer, executive director of Kentucky Forestry Industries Association. “Obviously, anything we or UK can do to promote better forest management benefits everyone.”
Since 1997, the Kentucky Forest Industries Association has contributed more than $375,000 to the children’s hospital.
In addition to the race, Log A Load for Kids will hold a silent auction over the two days of the wood expo, with proceeds also benefiting the Kentucky Children’s Hospital.
All preregistered race participants will receive free admission into the Kentucky Wood Expo and a Log Some Miles T-shirt. The race registration fee is $25. Online registration is available at http://www2.ca.uky.edu/forestryextension/WoodExpo/LogSomeMiles.html.
This is the first time the Kentucky Wood Expo has been held in Lexington. Throughout the two-day event, Sept. 20-21, there will be professional logging competitions, exhibits and demonstrations, and UK forestry specialists will hold educational sessions on an array of topics that includes, among others, battling the emerald ash borer, tree and wood identification and nature photography.
For a full schedule of events or to order advance tickets, contact Kentucky Forest Industries Association at 502-695-3979. The expo is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 20 and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 21. Adult admission is $7 at the gate ($5 in advance), and $5 for children 6 to 12 years old. Children younger than 6 are admitted free. For more information visit http://www.kywoodexpo.org.
Reneé Williams, 859-257-7597