The gift shop next to Lost River Cave in Bowling Green, Kentucky is not only unique, but as we say in the South, smack dab in the middle of nature’s beauty. Wildflower Gifts opened in 2010 adjacent to Kentucky’s only underground boat tour.
The main purpose of the gift shop is to provide financial support for The Nature Center at Lost River Cave. The center offers tours, kids’ nature programming, family activities, school programs and an urban green space to serve as the community’s backyard.
Creative Director Kara Williams explains, “Because of the revenue from Wildflower Gifts, we are able to offer our community at-cost programming that would otherwise be unavailable in our area.”
In the summer months, the staff at the gift shop really enjoy engaging with visitors who come to the cave from all over the country. During the winter months, they encourage locals to help support nature programming and family activities by purchasing gifts from the shop.
The gift shop team makes their way to the Atlanta Market and the Kentucky Crafted show at least twice a year to find nature-inspired merchandise along with home décor, jewelry, children’s gifts and the latest styles for the shop. Every week they stock their shelves with new shipments of country chic, modern vintage, bohemian and more. It’s so much more than souvenirs.
Kara says, “Each gift a guest takes home is proudly ‘Nashville Wrapped’. The eco-friendly, made in the USA shopping bags are a perfect fit for our conservation-focused mission. Our team searches for made-in-the-USA merchandise and is excited to find many quality Kentucky-made items to support local businesses.”
She adds, “To promote our shop, we air TV commercials at Christmas, engage with our community on Facebook, make Wildflower Gifts ‘Pinteresting’ and have an email newsletter filled with park happenings, sales and coupons.”
Their beautiful park has been a popular spot for weddings, which they feature on their Gorgeous Weddings Pinterest board. They also share the cave’s interesting history, nature craft ideas, cave critters, and their Kentucky pride on their other Pinterest boards.
Lost River Cave and Valley has historical significance as well. It served as a camp for both Union and Confederate troops in the area during the Civil War.
Next time you’re in the beautiful Bluegrass State, we hope you’ll visit Lost River Cave. It’s home to about 75 species of birds, an amazing Butterfly Habitat, a dozen kinds of urban wildlife and the best place to hike a dirt trail in Bowling Green. With four Blue Hole Trails, a mile-long karst valley, a river that runs underground, a variety of micro-climates and one of the largest cave entrances east of the Mississippi, it’s a nature lover’s dream.