The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment and the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation partnered in 2013 to make substantial improvements to the Cane Run Watershed, an important water resource for the region that is also currently on Kentucky’s 303(d) list of impaired streams. The two largest property owners within the watershed are UK’s Agricultural Experiment Station and the Kentucky Horse Park.

The collaboration is part of a ­longer-running project and a partnership between UK and many Kentucky organizations that began in 2006. It was funded in part by a $1.8 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under 319(h) of the Clean Water Act through the Kentucky Division of Water to the University of Kentucky in 2007. In turn, a sub grant award of $260,000 was given by UK to the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation in March 2013, with plans to bump that up to $465,000, said project lead Stephen Higgins, PhD, director of environmental compliance for UK’s Agricultural Experiment Station.

According to the project website, the Cane Run Watershed encompasses approximately 29,000 acres and is located in Fayette and Scott counties. It originates underneath urban areas on the north side of Lexington and is conveyed through a series of storm drains, pipes, and restricted channels. As Cane Run continues on the surface, it joins with other tributaries and travels through parks, open green spaces, and agricultural lands.

The Cane Run Watershed is an important water resource because it supplies water to the Royal Spring Aquifer, which is the majo