Thomas P. Dupree Sr. of Lexington, was recently presented with the One Square Mile Award by Kentucky Natural Lands Trust (KNLT) for his contributions to protect Blanton Forest on Pine Mountain. The One Square Mile Award recognizes those who have made donations that meet the financial level needed to purchase 640 acres.
Dupree is a founding member of KNLT’s board of directors. KNLT was formed in 1995. He was one of five people who made substantial financial gifts or land gifts that helped KNLT and the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission purchase the most important part of the forest. Blanton Forest is the largest known old-growth forest in the state.
As a boy growing up in Harlan, Dupree took every chance he could to explore Blanton Forest. During those hikes, he developed what would become a lifelong interest in nature.
Dupree has been an active member of The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky as a volunteer, board member and board chair. In 2013, he made a gift to The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky that helped make possible the establishment of a 300- acre preserve along the Kentucky River Palisades. The preserve, named for Dupree, is used as an outdoor classroom for people of all ages to help foster increased interest in nature.