KENTUCKY (WEHT) — Throughout its 200-year modern history, African Americans greatly contributed to the tourism, exploration, mapping and development of Mammoth Cave, officials say.

This month, the cave planned several programs that will celebrate Black History Month and teach others about their contributions to its long-running history.

Ranger-led Talks

Every day at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. CST, you can join ranger-led talks with additional discussion happening over the weekends at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the park’s visitor center. Rangers will talk about the significant contributions African Americans have made to the cave and area tourism throughout the cave’s history.

Ranger-led Walks

A ranger-led hike to the Bransford Cemetery will depart from the visitor center at 1 p.m on Saturday, Feb. 18 and on Saturday, Feb. 25. The two-hour hike will meet in front of the visitor center where participants will then caravan over to the trailhead to begin the program. Visitors will be joined by a park ranger on a dirt and rock path through the forest about a quarter-mile to reach the cemetery.

Along with will discussion of the significant contributions African Americans have made, rangers will also teach about the history of the Bransford family. Cave officials say this walk will be cancelled in the case of inclement weather.

Evening Presentations

Two evening programs will be presented outside the park at a couple of area libraries. The first will be on Thursday, Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. at the Mary Wood Weldon Memorial Library on South Green Street in Glasgow, Ky. For more information, you’re asked to contact the Mary Wood Weldon Library at 270-651-2824.

The second presentation will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 6 p.m. at the Warren County Main Library on State Street in Bowling Green, Ky. Please contact the Warren County Public Library at 270-781-4882 extension 4 for more information.

Visitor Center Displays

Alongside in-person ranger led programs, Mammoth Cave says they will display special posters with biographies of Black guides. Videos telling stories of enslaved Mammoth Cave guides will play in the visitor center exhibit area throughout the month.