Elaine Collins

Environmental Educator

Elaine is a certified Gifted & Talented K-5 teacher. She grew up in Lexington where she graduated SCAPA Lafayette as a visual arts major. She then attended  the University of Kentucky where she earned a bachelor’s in English Literature and Asbury University for her teaching certificate. For the past several years Elaine has lived all over the country, teaching and working as a freelance artist. During her three years in Orlando, FL she was the director of a homeschool learning center for traditional and special needs students ages 3-16.  It was in Orlando where she was also blessed with the adoption of her son, TJ and daughter, Ally and completed her master’s in Elementary Education at UCF. Elaine is passionate about hands-on learning and integrating students’ interests and talents in their learning experiences. 

Deb Larkin

Environmental Educator

Deborah Larkin joined Bluegrass Greensource in March, 2010, as an Environmental Educator. Deb holds a B.S. in Horticulture from the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. Before coming to Greensource, she was the Horticulturist for the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, near Harrodsburg, KY. During her 27 year tenure there, she researched and re-established the 19th century apple orchard, herb garden and heirloom seed industry. Her current responsibilities at Bluegrass Greensource include serving as educator for the non-traditional schools in Fayette County, as liaison with Girl Scouts – Kentucky’s Wilderness Road Council, and as outreach educator for Clark, Boyle, Garrard and Lincoln counties.



Lindsie Nicholas

Watershed Coordinator

Lindsie is a Watershed Coordinator for Bluegrass Greensource. Originally from Cleveland, OH, her previous experience as a Civil Engineer included stormwater program management, community and watershed master planning, stormwater modeling, and water quality treatment infrastructure design for several projects in Lexington, KY and surrounding communities. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Dayton and has been a part of the Lexington community since 2012. Lindsie focuses on watershed based plan implementation for several watersheds in the Bluegrass Greensource service area to help improve water quality and environmental health. She also enjoys singing, hiking with her husband and pup, and eating local!!

Noel Osborn

Outreach Specialist

Noel is an Outreach Specialist for Bluegrass Greensource. Holding a degree in Political Science from the University of Kentucky, her background is in politics with experience in the Kentucky General Assembly and lobbying for federal regulatory reform with The Madison Coalition. Noel chose to focus her career on environmental issues and enjoys educating people on the many ways they can make minor changes to create a big impact. She is a Leadership Lexington alum, member of the U.S. Green Building Council, and currently sits on the DiverCity Festival Lexington Board and Keep America Beautiful’s Young Leaders Advisory Council. In her spare time, she enjoys hunting for vintage vinyl, advocating for the Rebel Alliance, and making statements like “Stevie Nicks is a better songwriter than Bob Dylan.” 

Giulia Parli

AmeriCorps VISTA Member

Giulia joined Bluegrass Greensource Fall 2019 as an AmeriCorps VISTA member. She has been passionate about the environment her whole life, but first pursued a career as a ballet dancer. After finishing her career in dance here in Lexington, she completed her Bachelor’s degree in International Studies at the University of Kentucky. She has lived in five states and two countries, but grew up near the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. She attributes her childhood on a farm near the Blue Ridge Mountains as the source of her passion for environmental preservation and conservation. When she isn’t working, Giulia loves baking, hitting the gym, and spending as much time outside as she can.  

Rachel Patton

Environmental Educator

Rachel is an Environmental Educator for Bluegrass Greensource. Rachel graduated from Transylvania University in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. In addition to her classes at Transylvania, Rachel coordinated litter cleanups of the surrounding area and spent many hours in local schools. She has worked at the Lexmark Center for Children and in Fayette County Public Schools with elementary school students. Rachel enjoys spending her free time kayaking and hiking with her husband and dog.

Chris Porter

Development Director

Chris Porter joined Bluegrass Greensource as Development Director in 2015. His near decade of experience fundraising in the nonprofit sector includes work as a writer for Berea College’s Stewardship and Donor Relations program, as a Development Coordinator for Faith In Action: Elder Outreach, and most recently as the Development Director for the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED). Chris holds a BA in English from Roanoke College and an MFA in Creative Writing—Fiction from the University of Montana in Missoula. A native Kentuckian with deep ties to the state, he enjoys spending his free time laughing with his wife and teaching his daughter to swear in multiple languages.

Maxine Rudder

Deputy Director

Maxine Rudder has been with Bluegrass Greensource since 2004. She was the Education Coordinator for two years before taking on the role of Education Director, then Deputy Director. Before joining Greensource, Maxine was a teacher in London, Kentucky for 28 years. She attended Eastern Kentucky University where she earned a teaching certificate in Biology and Chemistry. She also has certifications in Supervision K-12 and Secondary Principalship. Maxine’s responsibilities at Greensource are to oversee compliance with contracts and grant funding, develop new environmental programs, and organize activities with the county liaisons in our service area. Maxine has two grandchildren and a cat. Contact Maxine with questions about environmental education in Central Kentucky and Greensource’s administration.

Kara Sayles

Environmental Educator/ Rain Garden Project Coordinator

Kara Sayles is an environmental educator and rain garden project coordinator. Her background is in Environmental Science and she holds a B.A. with a focus on Ecological Design and Sustainable Agriculture from The Evergreen State College. Kara chose to become an environmental educator because some of her fondest childhood memories are from observing tadpole ponds near her home: “Seeing a small tadpole transform into an adult frog was not only amazing but it sparked this lifelong desire to learn about nature.”

Rebecca Shobe

Finance Officer

Rebecca Shobe serves Bluegrass Greensource as a Finance Officer on a part-time basis.  She is an accounting graduate of California State University, Fullerton, and holds an MBA from California State University, San Marcos.  She brings to the organization over 20 years of experience in finance and accounting management with a variety of industries including government, manufacturing, and healthcare.  After spending most of her working years in San Diego, Rebecca has recently relocated to Kentucky to become a full-time farmer, but maintains an intellectual interest in accounting.  She and her husband spend most of their days on their farm in Estill County with their many dogs, cats, chickens and ducks; and they are devoted to improving the land and living a self-sufficient lifestyle.  

Amy Sohner

Executive Director

Amy Sohner has been with Bluegrass Greensource forever. She started at its inception and became Executive Director in 2006. She has a background in environmental education and a degree in Natural Resource Conservation and Management, but spends most of her days on program development and people/money management. Though she misses being in actual contact with the environment, she has come to enjoy managing the great staff and working with our community partners. When not at work, Amy likes to play nature hunter with her two daughters at their home near the Kentucky River Palisades. Contact Amy with questions about Bluegrass Greensource’s administration and program development.​



Pattie Stivender

Education Director

Pattie Stivender is the Education Director working with pre K – 12 schools and also coordinates community outreach activities and volunteer opportunities. Pattie attended Eastern Kentucky University where she majored in Occupational Therapy. Pattie developed a passion for nurturing the environment as a young child watching television! The Crying Indian PSA developed by Keep America Beautiful opened her eyes to the negative impact that humans can have on the earth. Litter cleanups are some of her favorite activities. Contact Pattie with questions about environmental education in area schools, or to schedule an event in Fayette County.

Andrea Zang

AmeriCorps VISTA Member

Andrea joined Bluegrass Greensource in 2020 as an AmeriCorps VISTA member. Originally from north Florida, she earned a Bachelor’s in sociology and a Master’s in urban and regional planning from Florida State University. She worked as a teaching assistant at FSU and as a graduate associate with the City of Tallahassee helping to implement its Resilience Plan. She grew up among long-leaf pines and dirt roads, but these days her passion for sustainability is in urban environments, where believes every neighborhood deserves access to affordable and fresh produce, unpolluted water and air, reliable public transportation, and permanently affordable housing.