2020 – A Year Like No Other

Melissa Donahoo, Development Coordinator

The staff and administration at Shaker Village entered 2020 with a high level of energy and excitement. 2019 had been a remarkable year at Shaker Village, and we put in place a great number of plans for 2020 that would further enhance the guest experience. But, “life is what happen to us while we are making other plans” (Allen Saunders; John Lennon).

As a non-profit cultural site, the mandated closure in the early weeks of the pandemic was difficult. But, it was within the Shaker journals that we found inspiration in this challenging time. The Shakers themselves were no strangers to adversity and had navigated through the Spanish Flu in 1918 as well Cholera outbreaks in 1820.

At different points in the history of Pleasant Hill, the Shakers in the community relied on healthcare provided by both Shakers, and non-Shakers. In this image, standing from left to right, are Dr. William Pennebaker, Francis Pennebaker (dentist) and a non-Shaker medical doctor. C. Late 19th Century.

Early on, our team committed to telling the story of the Kentucky Shakers through our digital media platforms. Bringing our humanities programming to you when you could not physically visit yourself, enabled us to act as a source of education, entertainment and an uplifting presence. As we reached out to you – our guests and supporters – to share this digital content, we received an outpouring of care and concern that meant so much to the staff who care for this powerful place every day.

2020 has turned out to truly be a year like no other, but despite the ongoing health emergency, Pleasant Hill remains and has been a peaceful retreat for our guests in an otherwise uncertain world. This has been possible because of you, your support, and your willingness to visit this summer and fall. Let’s take a look back at everything your support helped accomplish this year.

Preservation of The Historic Centre

When SVPH closed in March, the preservation staff was well-into a large project related to the 1817 East Family Dwelling.  A private donation from a generous donor enabled SVPH’s talented team of craftsmen to continue this work while the Village was closed to the public, focusing on the building’s windows and doors and replacing the wood shingle roof.

Preservation efforts in progress. July 2019.

Other notable preservation projects in 2020 included the completion of the 1833 Waterhouse and 1860 Bath House project, painting of the 1821 Ministry’s Workshop, installing a new roof on the 1809 Farm Deacon’s Shop, and cleaning and repointing of the masonry on the Farm Deacon’s shop and the 1811 Old Stone Shop. When you visit this winter, you’ll notice work has begun on the 1835 East Family Wash House. This building will be painted as soon as the winter weather breaks next spring.

Improvements to the Visitor Experience

During our closure, the Program Team, Marketing Team, Preservation Team, Farm Team, and Preserve Team produced digital content at a fast and furious pace. During this three-month time frame we posted six blog posts, over 20 interpretative videos, four photo slide shows, and many historical trivia posts. This work was made possible in part by a CARES grant through Kentucky Humanities. This type of work continued after our reopening as Program Specialist Laura Webb worked to prepare our collection records for online publication. She published nine blog posts featuring collections objects, photos and artifacts. Ms. Webb’s work was directly supported by a CARES grant through the National Endowment for the Humanities.

We also installed 20 new outdoor waystations thanks to the generosity of Community Trust Bank. These waystations provide our guests with information about the Shakers and Pleasant Hill as well as a myriad of topics related to the The Farm, The Preserve, and the natural landscape. They are positioned in key locations across the Village and add accessible interpretation of the Village to the guest experience.

Improving accessibility across the site is a long-term goal for us. In addition to the waystations, we installed an accessible path in the The Orchard, The Herb Garden, and The Native Garden as well as several picnic tables. We truly had no idea how big of an impact The Garden Project would have. This area became one of the most popular places in the Village this summer, much to the delight of our private donor.

The new accessible path that leads guests through the Apple Orchard.

We also continued our work to implement the new site-wide interpretative plan which is rolling out in stages across multiple years. In the first half of 2020, we installed 147 exhibition panels and 49 objects in six exhibits across four buildings. This is just the beginning of full, interactive exhibitions that are still to come!

The Farm

The Farm here at Shaker Village is a year-round operation that requires daily attention to our more than 100 animals. This year our “farmily” grew to include six lambs, six calves, 18 ducks and 36 new sheep (two different breeds!). We also expanded the farm footprint to 118 acres by adding a 68-acre tract of native grasses and added blackberries, flowers and green space near The Orchard.

One of the biggest challenges we faced at the Farm was food production. When we closed in March, our Farmers already had hundreds of plants growing in the greenhouse to support our farm-to-table dining experience. With the dining room closed, and later open at a reduced capacity, we were able to donate more of our produce to food banks and pay-it-forward restaurants. We also began a CSA model in the fall that we will continue and expand in 2021.

If you didn’t know, we also entered into a partnership with LGE and KU this year to give “baaaaack” to the earth. This innovative project established a flock of grazing sheep at the E.W. Brown Generating Station in Mercer County where their solar array is located. The sheep replace the need to mow with gas-powered lawnmowers and has been a huge success! Over the winter the sheep will be back at SVPH so we can care for the growing flock.

The flock of “lawn mowers” that care for the E.W. Brown Generating Station’s solar panel field.

The Preserve

The Nature Preserve is always popular during the summer and fall. This year was no exception as we saw record numbers of visitors hiking and riding on our 37-miles of multi-use trails. If you hiked on the Shawnee Run Trail or the West Lot/Shawnee Run connector trail, you may have noticed that we corrected some drainage issues, making the trails more guest-friendly and environmentally sound. This project was supported by gifts from the Tirbracken Green Foundation and the Fort Harrod Backcountry Horsemen.

The Preserve at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill.

It turns out that it wasn’t just humans turning out in records numbers. This year, our naturalist tagged 200 Monarch butterflies during their migration – a sharp increase over last year’s population study. We also continued to monitor our avian population via mist netting efforts through our partnership with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.  Highlights from this year were the Nelson’s Sparrow, Pine Siskin and Purple Finch along with many of our regular breeding birds and usual migrants.

Protecting the natural landscape is always the focus at The Preserve. This year we conducted prescribed burns for over 300 acres of converted native prairie as part of our regenerative practices. We also continue to sample water in the Shawnee Run Creek for Kentucky River Watershed Watch and are seeing good results as far as water quality.

Looking Ahead to 2021

If we learned anything at Shaker Village in 2020, it was to be flexible, focus on what we could do to provide our guests with the best possible experience, provide support in the community where we could, and keep doing what we do on The Farm, in The Preserve and to sustain this site. 

We also learned that we are not alone – you’ve shown us that you care about this site as much as the staff does. At the time of this writing, over 900 individuals, families, companies and foundations have made a financial contribution to sustain our operations. An additional 1,075 households have purchased an Annual Pass in 2020 – revenue that also supports SVPH’s operations. Your support has helped tremendously, allowing us to reopen and remain a top destination. We cannot thank you enough.

2021 is likely to also be a year like no other. We’re going to take it month by month, but we can promise you that we remain committed to caring for this site, to serving our mission, and to providing you with an peaceful place to rest, relax and discover.

2022: A Year in Review

Melissa Williams, Development Coordinator

2022 has been an incredible year at Shaker Village. There is so much to celebrate and none of it would have been possible without your support as a guest, a passholder, or a donor.

Major Milestone Achieved

Five years ago, William Updike joined the Shaker Village staff as the Vice President of Natural & Cultural Resources. His goal was to secure each of the 34 historic Shaker structures on the site. The first step was to replace aging (and failing) roofs.  William says, “A dry building starts at the top!” Realizing this ambitious vision required significant resources and funding, and it happened.

The 1844 West Family Sisters’ Shop was one of six historic buildings at Pleasant Hill to receive a new roof in 2022.

When you take a stroll down the historic turnpike and throughout the Village you will notice new roofs have been installed on nearly every building over the past five years. Six roofs were replaced just this year.  This is a quite an achievement!

Water poses the biggest threat in historic preservation. When a roof reaches the end of its useful life, it starts to let water in which can damage the building’s structure. Preventing leaks and deflecting water away from the building helps to preserve these original Shaker structures for future generations.  And that is precisely our mission!

Our team of craftsmen have also been hard at work this year on windows in the Old Stone Shop and completing the full preservation of the 1817 East Family Dwelling.  With help from the grounds crew, the Village has truly never looked better!

Growing a Farm, and our “Farmily”

The Farm at Shaker Village is one of the most popular spots on the property for our guests. Can you guess why? It’s the animals!  The Farm and the Garden are cared for by four staff members, and their successes in 2022 are amazing! Check out some of their accomplishments this year:

Alamo, a Texas Longhorn steer, was one of the new additions to The Farm at Shaker Village in 2022.
  • Completed the 3rd year of solar grazing at LG&E, with our sheep, controlling vegetation across 32 acres of solar panels.
  • Increased our flock population and now have almost 200 breeding ewes!
  • Expanded our cattle grazing into a 60-acre sections of native grasses.
  • Added 3 new registered Shorthorn Heifers to our herd, 2 calves and 1 Texas Longhorn steer.
  • Built 2 large sections of woven wire fence in our pastures
  • Redesigned the garden area to have additional walkways for guests.
  • Built a High Tunnel to extend the growing season and completed its first year of production.
  • Finished our 2nd full year of CSA garden shares across two, 10-week periods totaling 11 shares per season
  • Taught dozens of summer campers and hundreds of guests about honey bees and draft animals on our farm.
  • Donated hundreds of pounds of food to those in need.

Engaging Our Guests

Every day at Shaker Village there is a schedule of daily programs and tours for our guests to enjoy.  Our Program Team takes great care and preparation in putting these programs together.  They have a lot of fun interacting with our visitors.  It is the most rewarding part of our work. Continually enhancing the guest experience is our top priority.

This year we launched the much-anticipated Shaker Village App. This FREE app places hundreds of historic images and other rarely seen content right at your fingertips.  It is a great way for you to explore the Village and learn the stories of individual Shakers. Through the App, we hope you will gain a deeper understanding of the Pleasant Hill Shakers and their legacy.

“Local Economies, Global Impacts” opened to the public in March 2022.

In March 2022 Shaker Village also launched the new exhibition, Local Economies, Global Impacts. Sponsored in part by the Institute for Museum and Library Services, this award-winning exhibit tells the story of Shaker industry and trade, and is located in the East Family Brethren’s Shop and East Family Sisters’ Shop.

The Program Team and the Curator of Collections are also working on the development, fabrication and installation of two exhibits that will open in 2023.  The first, Searching for Sister Mary, will open in March 2023.  It will celebrate Sister Mary Settles who was the last Shaker to live at Pleasant Hill.  The second exhibit, The Believers: Shaker Theology and Worship, will be installed on the second floor of the 1820 Meeting House.  It will open in fall 2023.

Volunteers Make Improvements to The Preserve

Since the unofficial beginning of The Preserve, we have been constantly working to improve the habitat for all the wild things that call this area home.  We gauge our progress through surveys of plants, trees, birds, small mammals and insects.  This year a quick plant inventory revealed approximately 130 different plant species in The Preserve. And over the years we have observed 108 different species of birds.

Indigo buntings are one of over 100 bird species that can be observed in The Preserve at Shaker Village throughout the year.

As a guest, you can make your own observations in The Preserve by hiking or riding on our multi-use trails.  Our trails are maintained by a team of two staff members and a growing number of dedicated volunteers who meet every third Saturday of the month (March through October). Our volunteers worked throughout the past year to improve the Heritage Trail by removing overgrown honeysuckle. This work opened up the trail and hikers should be treated to a beautiful wildflower display next spring!

We also encourage you to spend some time at the Bird Blind, which was updated this past summer.  It’s a great place to see some of the area’s most abundant birds and insects. The Bird Blind is located at the center trailhead and is accessible.

We Make You Kindly Welcome

The Pleasant Hill Shakers were known for their hospitality and we carry that legacy forward today. Whether you are visiting for the day, staying overnight or spending a holiday here, we look forward to seeing you!

At The Inn this year, we renovated the bathrooms in four of our guest rooms.  These updated bathrooms now feature walk-in showers and more spacious bathrooms. These upgrades were made possible by generous donor support and are part of our ongoing efforts to improve accessibility across the site.

After a short sabbatical, Chef Amber Hokams returned to lead Shaker Village’s culinary experiences in 2022.

At The Trustees’ Table, we welcomed over 62,000 diners to our table. The fried chicken, Shaker Lemon Pie, and tomato celery soup are our guests’ tried and true favorites. If you’re looking for something a little bit different, check out our Fresh Food Adventure Series. Chef Amber Hokams is able to show off her skills and the best of the Shaker Village Farm during these events.  This past year we hosted six of these culinary adventures – and we invite you to join us in January 2023 for the Bourbon Dinner!

With Gratitude…to our Guests, Passholders and Donors

As the year winds down, we are so humbled by the support you’ve shown Shaker Village in a year that has been challenging for all of us. The best part about Shaker Village is that it is nestled in this beautiful rolling hills of the bluegrass.  When you visit, it’s because Shaker Village is your destination and you have made an effort to get here to enjoy the peace and tranquility.

In a year when the market has been unstable and inflation has caused rising gas prices, food costs and more, we know your charitable dollars may be limited. Yet we are celebrating all the things that you helped make possible in 2022. We cannot say thank you enough.

Pleasant Hill is a magical place. When the Shakers settled here in 1805, they had no way of knowing that this site would remain two centuries later.  Thank you for making that happen, and for generously supporting Kentucky’s largest National Historic Landmark.  We are so excited for 2023 and all the possibilities it will bring. 

We will see you in the New Year!

The Early Birds Get the Birds

Ben Leffew, Preserve Manager & Laura Baird, Assistant Preserve Manager

In 2009 Shaker Village got out of the industrial farming business and focused more on wildlife habitat and passive recreation via the trail system. We began converting fields once used and abused by overgrazing and mismanagement to native grasses and wildflowers with technical and financial support through private land programs with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) and the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). This was the unofficial beginning of what we now call The Preserve at Shaker Village and we are constantly working to improve the habitat for the wild things that call this area home.

Preserve Manager Ben Leffew in The Preserve at Shaker Village.

Harmful or Helpful?

You might be thinking; how do we know if what we’ve done to the landscape is hurting or helping wildlife?  

We use population surveys for birds, small mammals and insects – essentially anything we can count in a scientific manner or anything that has an established protocol. The bulk of our wildlife monitoring centers around birds. They act as indicators of habitat quality because if they don’t like what you’ve done with the place, they’ll fly somewhere else to find a suitable habitat. Unfortunately, suitable habitats are becoming harder to find as habitat loss is the main driver for most declines in wildlife populations, birds being no exception. According to avian biologists, grassland birds are in steep decline due to grasslands also being prime farmland and building construction sites.

Bird Banding Station

One of the coolest things we get to do as part of managing The Preserve is working with our partners at KDFWR at a Bird Banding Station established on the south side of the property. The station was built in 2009 to evaluate how our land management activities affect songbirds.

Before any habitat work took place, this area was a typical “old field” habitat – abandoned pastureland with mostly nonnative cool season grasses (Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue), plus some volunteer trees and wildflowers that had moved in on their own hedge apple aka osage orange). While many of the surrounding fields were converted to native grasses and wildflowers starting in 2009, the banding station’s field was left alone until 2012 to gather baseline data about how birds use typical old fields. This allowed for a more scientific approach so we could compare bird population dynamics before and after a field conversion. It was also important for future management decisions since we did not have the luxury of gathering baseline data before the conversions began.

Bird Banding Station at Shaker Village.

Bird banding occurs during breeding and migration seasons from May through October following protocols set forth by the Institute for Bird Populations and under the supervision of permitted avian biologists. This limits the number of people at a banding station and makes it off limits to the public. Ten mist nets are opened at sunrise and checked every 40-60 minutes for four hours. Birds are identified, weighed, measured, aged and sexed when possible. During the nesting season, the breeding condition of birds is checked. During migration, the fat deposits on the birds, which are vital sources of energy, are checked as well. Birds are fitted with simple aluminum leg bands which identify them with a unique code. The bands are secure and long lasting but loose, comfortable and lightweight so they don’t impede natural behavior.

A bird being measured at the Bird Banding Station.

13 Years of Findings

So, what have we learned from 13 years of banding birds at Shaker Village? We’ve captured 108 different species of birds, 18 of which are considered Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Kentucky. Migration capture rates have been consistently higher since the area was converted from cool season to warm season grasses, indicating that the landscape has become more attractive to migrating songbirds and provides them better nutrition.

Look closely and you can see the band on the bird’s leg.

Recaptures provide the most interesting data. In 2020, we recaptured an indigo bunting and a field sparrow, both of which were originally banded in 2015 and were at least seven years old at the time of their recapture. Individual Tennessee warblers have been caught repeatedly during the same migration season, indicating that Shaker Village serves as a stop-over site for migrating birds to stay for a while and fatten up before continuing their journey south.

We hope to continue our research efforts with KDFWR as long as possible. Learning more about how songbirds use The Preserve allows us to make data driven decisions supporting habitat improvement. 


Barry Stumbo, Chief Development Officer
lissa Williams, Development Coordinator

It’s a festive time of year at Shaker Village!  Most of the guests visiting are settled in at The Trustees’ Table for a hearty meal or snuggled down in one of our 72 hotel rooms. The coziness of the Village and the prospect of the New Year before us is filled with anticipation and promise. This is a great time for reflection and for counting blessings in 2021.

As we do each year in December, we’d like to share several highlights and achievements. We know thousands of you visited this year and saw first hand how the Village sparkled like never before.

Over 20,000 hikers and horseback riders explored The Preserve.

Our multi-use trail system is open (nearly) year-round. It’s a popular destination for our guests, especially when the wildflowers are in bloom. Our two-person Preserve team works hard to manage the natural habitat and we have a growing number of volunteers who assist with invasive species mitigation and trail maintenance. This spring we completed a major upgrade and repair to the most popular section of the trail system near the Fulling Mill. This repair stabilized the trail, the creek, and the slope of the surrounding spring to ensure this historic feature remains for generations to discover.

Upgrades to the Shawnee Run Trail at the Fulling Mill waterfall.

The Trustees’ Office and Old Ministry’s Shop were the beneficiaries of new roofs!

In November the 1839 Trustees’ Office got a new roof. There were enough materials left over to also replace the roof on the 1813 Old Ministry’s Shop. Not only do they look beautiful, the new roofs will help to secure the building envelop for 25-30 years. That’s cause to celebrate. As we wrote in May, water is the biggest threat to the long-term sustainability of the remaining Shaker Buildings. Every time we replace a roof, we are deflecting water and preventing it from damaging the historic structures.

The Trustees’ Office received a new roof.

They Shaker Village craftsmen also worked to complete over $1 million worth of preservation work in 2021:

  • The preservation carpenter gave the 1847 Cooper’s Shop a lot of attention as he repaired the building’s framework and siding. 
  • Loose mortar within the stone and brick masonry of the 1817 East Family Dwelling was replaced. Windows, sashes, and porches at East Family Dwelling were also repaired.
  • Across the Village, the paint crew cared for building interiors and painted walls, ceilings, doors and windows as needed.

The Farm thrived and got a little bigger!

The Farm team manages 118 organic acres and partners with our Program team to support educational programming.  In addition, they care for over 125 animals! This year The Farm expanded with the addition of a 30’ x 60’ high tunnel (funded in part by the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels). This high tunnel houses 12 new planting beds and will allow the Farm Team to grow vegetables during the winter months.  This food source is not only important to our onsite restaurant, but we also sell produce through our low-cost CSA program and donate local food banks.  Thousands of people benefit through the efforts of the Farm team.

The frame of the new high tunnel.

Signature Events Returned in 2021 and so did you!

When we opened ticketing for Family Farm Days and Brunch with the Babies, we suspected there would be a demand for event programming, however in the continuing pandemic, we were not sure what to expect. Your response was incredible!

Our signature events were high on your to-do list this year! Every event in 2021 (including Vintage Baseball, Craft Fair, Community Sing, the Kentucky Heritage Jazz Fest, Harvest Fest, Trick or Treat and Illuminated Evenings) was well attended.  In many cases, including the Craft Fair and Harvest Fest, the attendance for each was the highest in our history! 

Harvest Fest was a hit this year with record attendance.

You also attended our daily tours and programs and our specialty workshops.  You stayed overnight at The Inn, you dined (often!) at the Trustees’ Table and filled the house for the Fresh Food Adventures.  We are ending 2021 feeling overwhelmed by your enthusiasm for this place and for the work we do.

Celebrating 60 years as a nonprofit organization.

As the year comes to an end, we close our 60th year as a nonprofit organization. We cannot help but feel inspired and encouraged by 2021, though it was challenging at times. The Village at Pleasant Hill remains stronger than any time in our history. The buildings and grounds look spectacular. A new, permanent exhibit – the first in a series – is slated to open in March 2022. We have a great number of programs planned for the upcoming year – even new ones like Watercolor for Beginners.

But most of all, you’ve supported us through two tough and unprecedented years. You’ve kept coming back to the Village. You’ve shopped, dined, hiked, stayed and donated. Your passion for Pleasant Hill and the Kentucky Shakers is driving us forward for the future.

Last year we wrote: “we promise you that we remain committed to caring for this site, to serving our mission, and to providing you with a peaceful place to rest, relax and discover.” The promise rings true as we enter 2022. We look forward to seeing you at Kentucky’s largest National Historic Landmark in the New Year and are grateful for your trust and support!

Access for All

Billy Rankin, Vice President of Marketing and Public Programming

34 historic structures. 36 miles of hiking trails. 3,000 acres of natural and cultural landscape.

The vastness of the experience at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill is an incredible attraction for the guests that travel from around the world to visit Kentucky’s largest National Historic Landmark. However, this grand scale can also be a challenge for guests with limited mobility.

The Challenge

Consider the 34 historic structures at Pleasant Hill. Of these, 20 are buildings with multiple levels. While we admire the simple elegance of Shaker staircases, in the words of one recent guest, “They were great at building stairs, but not so much elevators, huh?”

Though this comment was made in jest (and the guest was probably a bit winded from the climb), providing inclusive access to spaces throughout a historic property is a very real challenge. Here are three specific areas we’re working to address:

  1. The historic, Shaker sidewalks that remain at Pleasant Hill are typically too narrow for wheelchairs, walkers and scooters. They can also become worn and uneven through aging, increasing the risk of slips, trips and falls.
  2. All of the 13 buildings that contain overnight guest rooms at the property currently require guests to navigate at least one step to access.
  3. Although there are educational exhibits in a dozen buildings at Shaker Village, only three of these buildings are accessible for guests using a wheelchair, and even in those, that access is restricted to only portions of the building.

So, how do we provide better access for guests with limited mobility, without damaging the aesthetic and historic integrity of this irreplaceable Village?

You Have to Start Somewhere

To be fair, there have been prior efforts toward accessibility at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill. There are outdoor lifts to provide access into The Trustees’ Table restaurant and to meeting spaces in the West Lot Dwelling. Public restrooms at the Village are accessible as well. The difference today is that these efforts are now part of a strategic planning process, and are being emphasized as a critical part of our site plan moving forward.

The biggest limitation to implementing plans for increased accessibility at Shaker Village is, of course, funding. Fortunately, we have been able to complete several projects through the generosity of private and corporate donors.

In 2020 the Village installed 20 outdoor, educational waystations thanks to a gift from Community Trust Bank. These waystations were placed in locations that are accessible, and have made a positive impact for those guests who are unable to navigate the multiple levels of exhibits in many of the buildings.

Around the same time, new pathways that meet ADA standards were created near the 1820 Meeting House and through the heirloom apple orchard. These paths are part of a larger plan to connect all the major buildings at Shaker Village with ADA compliant paths and sidewalks, and were made possible by the contribution of an individual donor.

Continuing the Progress

This month, two projects are underway that will dramatically impact accessibility at two of the most important buildings at Shaker Village.

The 1815 Carpenter’s Shop serves as the Welcome Center for the Village. While a sidewalk addition in 2017 made it possible for all guests to enter the building from one side, passing through the building and into the Village has been prohibitive for guests in wheelchairs. A new, permanent ramp is being constructed that will resolve this issue.

The 1839 Trustees’ Office, home to The Trustees’ Table restaurant, is also seeing an upgrade to improve accessibility. A new sidewalk is currently being laid, leading to the front entrance of the building and connecting to the lift on the building’s east side. By replacing a non-historic stone path that had many bumps and divots, this sidewalk is not only ADA compliant, but much safer for all of the restaurant’s patrons.

Where Do We Go From Here

The Shaker Village app will bring the story of Pleasant Hill to more guests with multimedia options.

In the coming years, Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill will continue to make improvements that increase access on the property for all guests.

Here are some projects to keep an eye on in the months and years to come:

  • The Shaker Village App is about to go live! The App will provide an additional layer of educational information for all guests to the Village, and the multimedia content, with closed captioning, will not only provide more access for visitors with limited mobility, but also those with visual and hearing impairments.
  • More ADA compliant sidewalks, pathways and ramps will be built. There are still several important areas of the Village where access needs to be improved. In the coming years you’ll see work to provide this access in the East Family area of the Village, at key buildings like the Meeting House, and around trailheads and hiking trails in The Preserve.
  • Select guest rooms will be modified to meet ADA standards. This step will take a while, but we have our eyes on some spaces where building access and ADA compliance can be accomplished while maintaining the historic integrity of the buildings.

As with all undertakings of true value, there isn’t a shortcut to improving accessibility across a 3,000 acre historic property. Along the way there will be difficulties, and it will never move as quickly as we would like. However, Shaker Village should be a place where every single person can feel ‘kindly welcomed,’ and we are committed to living up to that standard.

If you would like to learn more about how you can support accessibility projects at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, please contact us at info@shakervillageky.org or call 859.734.5411.