Get ready for Lexington Water Week – March 18-25 with Our Resource Library!

Lexington Water Week is right around the corner and we have an entire Resource Library available for checkout so you can bring water education to your classroom or home! With over 90,000 miles of surface rivers and streams in Kentucky, there is so much to learn about our water systems, the importance of those systems in supplying our communities with a healthy water supply, and how to ensure those sources stay protected – that’s where our Resource Library comes in.

We house a free library of classroom materials, books, and other resources available for teachers and community members to check out. Resources may be checked out for a maximum of two weeks and can be picked up from/dropped off at our offices Monday-Friday 9am-4pm by appointment. Here are just a few of the items in our library that you can check out specifically for water education:

  • Preserved macroinvertebrate specimens, including a crayfish, dragonfly larvae, and leech! This kit also includes ID keys for macroinvertebrates.
  • Kit for a stream study, including flashcards for identification of salamanders, frogs and toads, macroinvertebrates, and turtles. The stream walk kit also includes 5 small nets, bug viewers, a turbidity tube, books and more.
  • Classroom set of mini stream table kits for experimenting with and observing erosion.
  • Book sets on Wetlands and Aquatic Systems
  • Incredible Journey (Learning activity that explores the movement of water through the natural water cycle.)
  • …and MORE!

Save the date for Lexington Water Week March 18-25 and make sure to contact for additional information or click here to reserve materials.


Creating Environmental Solutions Using STEM

Students at Garrard County Middle School have been studying the problem of floating plastic litter getting into our water.  The force of gravity and flowing stormwater can pull pollution, like litter, into our local waterways. The debris follows the path of the creeks and rivers and eventually empties into the ocean. Our educator, Kara Sayles, provided lessons to help students understand the detrimental effects littering can have on aquatic habitats and water quality and then posed the question, “How do we remove this litter from the water?”

Using the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Concepts, the students created a device to clean the floating plastic litter out of the water. In this process, students identified a need, researched the problem, imagined solutions, planned by selecting a promising solution, created a prototype, tested the process, and improved their designs. They used critical thinking and built their teamwork skills while developing solutions.

Students studied litter-trapping devices that are in use today before creating their models. They enjoyed making a prototype, but the real excitement was counting how many pieces of litter their device could retrieve from the water. It was a wonderful learning experience for all!

This activity is part of Bluegrass Greensource’s Water/Litter Abatement Environmental Education Program for Middle School. To learn more, visit


Environmental Educators attend KAEE 46th Annual Conference

Our education team recently attended the Kentucky Association for Environmental Education 46th annual conference in Berea, where we enjoyed time to learn, reflect, and (re)connect with other environmental educators. We were excited to lead a curriculum training and to present on our work developing and facilitating the Junior Energy Explorers program, funded by Kentucky’s Office of Energy Policy.


Reshaping the World Around Them: Students Participate in Riparian Buffer Program

Throughout Central Kentucky, Bluegrass Greensource (BGGS) empowers students to help shape the world around them. No better example is that of the Riparian Buffer Program BGGS helps facilitate from the Kentucky Division of Water. Several of our regional partners have participated in the program and are starting to see the results of their efforts.

Bourbon Christian Academy was one school that planted a riparian buffer on a tributary of Hinkston Creek. This is what their principal Terry Smith had to say about the project, “This experience of our students planting 600 plants for the riparian project was, by far, the most meaningful volunteer project we have ever done as a student body. It was an honor to be a part of it. Our students and staff enjoy visiting this area every year to see our progress and how it has beautified the stream bank has become. Thanks for letting us participate.”

During our last visit to Bourbon Christian Academy’s riparian buffer, some of the students mentioned that there is not only a visual difference in the stream but a massive change in the abundance of plants and life now taking shape along the creek’s edge.


Farmer to Farmer Field Day at Hinkston Creek

On November 12th BGGS held the Farmer to Farmer Field Day event in Millersburg KY, which is part of The Licking River Basin. This event was in partnership with UK College of Agriculture, Food & Environment Cooperative Extension Service and the Bourbon County Conservation.  BGGS staff was on hand to answer questions and present about the programs we offer, also staff from UK Ag, Bourbon Co. Conservation and The KY Division of Water were able to speak to farmers directly about programs and cost share opportunities available for some of the conservation practices highlighted during the event.

The goal of the day was to educate farmers and local landowners on the effect agriculture has not only on water quality locally, but how a local watershed can have a great impact on the overall water quality of the planet. 21 participants joined for the event. As part of the field day, our host Charlotte Box led us on a tour of Box Farm, during which we made several stops to showcase some best management practices that are in use on the farm.

The highlight of our tour was learning the unique way of watering that is in place on the property. Utilizing a combo of tire waterers, gravity flow and a pump located in a tributary of the Hinkston Creek, they are able to provide water to livestock with little maintenance. Because of this they are able to use rotational grazing for livestock and place exclusion fencing to prevent livestock from getting directly in the creek, allowing riparian zones to re-establish, not only does this provide habitat for wildlife it also helps to combat erosion, this will have a direct effect on the water quality in the area.

The F2F program is funded in part by a farmer conservation grant from Mississippi State University.


Who Powers You (and your community)?

The following article is sponsored content by Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives.

Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives’ Who Powers You contest is back for 2022, and now is the time to think about who powers your community. You can nominate someone who plays a vital role in your community by going to

If you know of someone who’s making a positive impact on the environment in their community, nominate them for Who Powers You. If someone you know is modeling positive environmental behavior such as organizing cleanups, planting trees or working to make their community a nicer, more beautiful place to live, they could be rewarded for their efforts.

Nominees are eligible to win cash prizes – $1,000 for the winner, $750 second and $250 for third place.

The #WhoPowersYou contest in which we invite the public to submit photos and stories about co-op members who are making a positive impact in their co-op community.

The 2021 winner and Jackson Energy member Gabbi Hartzel (pictured above) was nominated for her creation of a women’s ministry at The Creek Church in London, Ky. Hartzel’s community outreach job at the church means that she’s often looking for ways for the church to give back to the under-privileged in the community. “Angel Tree giving, backpack drives and things like that,” Hartzell said. She also interacts virtually with churchgoers during online services, and her women’s ministry, The Well, serves women in the church and does community services like Prom Prep, which helps girls who couldn’t otherwise afford the amenities get ready for prom.

The contest was created to reward and support co-op members who are making a difference in the communities served by Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives. Co-ops serve more than 1.1 million people in 87 counties.

To make a nomination, go to You’ll simply share a photo of the nominee and a brief description of how he or she makes a difference in the community.

Nominees must also be at least 18 years old, a member of Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives (see website for complete list of co-ops) and a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident.

The contest ends October 31. Winners will be selected by a panel of out-of-state judges.


Cooperative Solar Farm One: Affordable, hassle-free access to solar energy at home

The idea of someone else maintaining the solar panels was very attractive to us. This is much more efficient than everyone trying to figure this out on their own.
Guy Huelat, Cooperative Solar customer

The following article is sponsored content by Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives COOPERATIVE SOLAR program.

Homeowners and business owners who have sustainability goals to lower their carbon footprint or want to save money on their monthly energy bills have been Investing in solar energy for years. Solar is a clean, affordable way to produce energy using only the power of the sun.

Putting a solar array on a home or business can be challenging or impossible for many. For renters, or those whose homes aren’t suitable for solar panels, it’s not an option. The maintenance of the solar panels and associated equipment may also discourage someone from going solar.

But Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives has another option for its members. A sixty-acre solar array, Cooperative Solar Farm One, located just east of Lexington, provides the opportunity for any member who wants to offset their carbon footprint and lower their energy bill to invest in solar energy without having to put panels on their home or business.

Guy Huelat knew Cooperative Solar One was a good investment when he looked into using solar to offset his energy bill. He and his wife Debbi licensed 77 panels.

“The idea of someone else maintaining it was very attractive to us,” said Huelat. “This is much more efficient than everyone trying to figure this out on their own.”

The Huelats were concerned that the solar panels wouldn’t match the aesthetic of their home and property. Cooperative Solar Farm One was an attractive option because it made getting access to solar energy easy, without the hassle of putting the panels on their home.

“We have good friends in Florida, and about every seventh house has solar panels on the roof,” he said. “The reason is that it’s not offered by their electric company. The consumer is going to do this. This is proof that co-ops can be more competitive than other power companies.”

Huelat estimates that the panels will pay for themselves within 15 years, and said one of his concerns when he considered solar was the cost of fossil fuel energy will eventually go up.

Cooperative Solar Farm One has about 32,000 panels which make enough electricity to power about 1,000 homes.

For a one-time payment of $460 per panel, participating members will receive a 25-year license to one of the panels. That means they will get credit on their monthly power bill for their proportional share of the energy generated by the solar farm, as well as the market value of their panel’s capacity. And they can monitor panel performance online.

For more information or to license solar panels, go to


Education Spotlight: Eastern Elementary Litter Cleanup

This has been a busy fall with students learning about human impact on water quality and how our actions can improve that quality. Students at Eastern Elementary in Scott County began their unit on water quality with a litter cleanup of their school campus. It was an eye opening experience! They found 734 pieces of litter on the playground and beside the parking lot.

Students categorized their finds and added them to a litter map of the school grounds, using a color code to show what type of litter was found and where it was found. Candy wrappers, followed by juice box straws and wrappers, were the top items found. Students are working on a litter abatement plan to reduce litter at their school.


Electric vehicles signal the future is now

The following article is sponsored content by Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives.

A year ago, seeing a Tesla or any other electric vehicle was a rarity. But not any longer. Electric vehicles (EVs) are no longer a rarity on the roads, and the reasons are simple: they’re much cheaper to fuel than combustion engines. You plug them in to a charger at a much smaller cost, and they’re ready to go for hundreds of miles on a single charge.

When comparing gasoline prices to electricity prices, it’s clear that EVs are a winner. On average, a typical gas-fueled vehicle costs $1,800 a year to fuel. An average EV costs only $464 a year to charge. Here in Kentucky, where electric rates are some of the lowest in the nation, EV owners can take advantage of costs that average around 10 cents per kilowatt hour. That means you can drive a mile for about three cents.

According to Car and Driver magazine, there are 20 models of electric SUVs and sedans that have ranges beyond 240 miles, with 15 of those able to go more than 300 miles on a single charge. Electric vehicles not only are cheaper to fuel, but their battery technology puts many of them on par with the range of a regular gasoline vehicle.

You can find out more about the benefits of electric vehicles, including charger types, locations and trip planners for EVs at


We’re ready for another exciting year in Environmental Education!

Bluegrass Greensource (BGGS) staff is gearing up for a fantastic year of Environmental Education in the Bluegrass. We will continue to have many of the same excellent Environmental Education programs for preschool – 12th-grade.

Here are a few highlighted programs for the start of the 22/23 year!

Creek Day

    • Creek Day is continuing for Fayette County schools. BGGS will organize and facilitate activities on campus; we will discuss watersheds, water quality, and aquatic and streamside habitats. Limited spots are available, so if you have a stream on campus and are interested, please sign up with your BGGS Environmental Educator soon.

Preschool Programs

    • Junior Nature Explorers and Junior Energy Explorers engage preschool students in scientific discovery, guided by BGGS educators! Students explore regional plants and animals in the Junior Nature Explorers program–focusing on local freshwater ecosystems this year. The Junior Energy Explorers program invites students to investigate the power of the sun, wind, and water. 

Outdoor Classroom Consultations

    • New to BGGS, we are offering Outdoor Classroom consultations to FCPS. There is a minimal fee associated with the program. We can provide various services through this consultation, including organizational planning, native garden support, and curriculum training. 

Resource Library 

    • The Resource Library allows teachers and community members to check out Environmental Education Kits for classroom enhancement of various topics. Check out the kit topics available at this link, Resource Library.

If you’re interested in having one of our educators visit your classroom or just want to learn more about our programming, fill out an Interest Form or email