Adventures With Lost River Cave


Justin Jennings Named CEO of Lost River Cave

Justin Jennings Named CEO of Lost River Cave

Justin Jennings has taken on the role of Chief Executive Officer at Lost River Cave, succeeding retiring CEO Rho Lansden. Jennings becomes the organization’s 2nd ever CEO after previously serving as the Chief Operations Officer for Lost River Cave. With a wealth of knowledge and experience gained since 2008, he brings a deep passion for nature and the outdoors to the non-profit organization. This enthusiasm has been nurtured through camping, hiking and touring caves in the region.

Justin’s journey at Lost River Cave started in 2008 as a tour guide, and it deepened when he started leading programs for children during school field trips.

“I knew I had found a place where I could make an impact. I loved interpreting the science of our cave system, sharing the rich history of the property, and imbuing a sense of awe and wonder in tour guests that would hopefully spark a lifelong interest in nature.”

In 2011, he and his wife were married in the Cavern Nite Club, and they have watched their three children grow up at the Cave. Most recently, he served as head of park maintenance and operations prior to being selected as the COO. During his tenure, Jennings was responsible for expanding maintenance operations, enhancing cave tours, and spearheading the transition to new custom-built tour boats. Under his leadership, conservation initiatives were implemented within the park, ushering in the next phase of its transformation.

Rho Lansden has retired as CEO after an illustrious career leading the operation and transforming it from a fledgling nature and tourism site to one of the most active recreational sites in the region, boasting annual visitation of 200,000. She created a key educational entity for students from 36 school districts to experience nature-based curriculum first-hand and developed a renowned venue for weddings and events. Under her leadership, Lost River Cave has expanded valley and cave boat tours, enhanced a butterfly habitat, and laid the groundwork for the creation of a Nature Discovery Center for the region.

As for her time at the park, Lansden said:

“It has been the privilege of a lifetime to be at the helm of Lost River Cave. I’ve met and become friends with so many dedicated people who care deeply about the protection of this community treasure. Working side-by-side with the dedicated Board of Directors, our outstanding staff, countless volunteers, and gracious donors has helped to provide an amazing place that will be enjoyed for generations to come. My hope is that the community will always know that the security of this 72-acre park is in their hands and that they will forever be watchful stewards.”

A retirement celebration is scheduled for Wednesday, July 17th, 2024.

Read more

Earth Week 2022

What a week! Volunteers came out in force for Earth Week that ran from April 18th through the 24th. Native flora and fauna rejoice! Read on to get an Earth Week recap and check out some pics of our amazing volunteers taken throughout the week.

Read more

From 5 Inches to 50 Feet

Over the past weekend, we received large amounts of rain in the area in a short amount of time. The 5+ inch rainfall across South Central Kentucky shattered the daily rainfall record for February 28 and beat the all-time record for the month of February. This resulted in flash flooding and the highest flood waters seen at Lost River Cave in over a decade. Read on to learn how that 5-inch rainfall turned into about 50 feet of flooding. 

Read more

Nature Activities to Get You Through 2020

The Children & Nature Network (C&NN) featured one of our favorites this spring: Richard Louv, co-founder of C&NN and author of Last Child in the Woods. This book’s title may evoke murder mystery novel vibes, but it instead refers to, as Louv coined, Nature Deficit Disorder or the dwindling amount of time today’s children are spending in nature that results in behavioral changes. In this C&NN article, Louv provides ideas to bring nature into your family’s pandemic-era life, whether you’re staying at home or venturing out. In this blog post, we’re listing a few of our favorites. 

Read more

“Every bit helps.”

A global pandemic can really highlight human needs that are often easily neglected. Of course, food and shelter are on the list, but we continue to find that there is more to a healthy human life. One realization that many parents are having during this time of social distancing and quarantine is that nature is necessary

Read more

A Daily Dose Of Nature

It’s no surprise that people are spending more hours of the day indoors and online as they practice social distancing. There are many ways to practice safe social distancing outdoors as well! In fact, recent studies have shown that spending time in nature can positively affect our brains, bodies and keep us healthy.

Read more

There’s so much more going on at Lost River Cave. Check out the full calendar of upcoming events.