College Students Lend a Helping Hand for the Environment
As most of us know, schools are back in session. And for those of us that live in college towns, that includes many of the local college and universities. Central Kentucky is fortunate to have many institutions of higher learning that are invested in giving back to their local communities. Bluegrass Greensource partnered with both University of Kentucky and Georgetown College recently on several outreach endeavors.
For the first time, Bluegrass Greensource worked with University of Kentucky’s FUSION Program to coordinate two Great American Cleanups and distribute water quality information to local neighborhoods. Fusion is an annual day of service that matches incoming freshman with non-profit organizations looking for volunteers. Between the two cleanups, 16 pounds of trash and nearly 30 pounds of recyclable materials were collected from the streets around UK’s campus and the Elizabeth Park area. Additionally, students assisted Bluegrass Greensource in distributing water quality door hangers to 836 residences near Southland and Castlewood Parks. The door hangers provide information about fats, oils, and grease (FOG) and included a lid that residents can use for the collection of oils they produce during cooking. Forty-five students volunteered with Bluegrass Greensource for the day and, in spite of the heat, worked hard to improve the environment in their community. Many people do not realize that litter and FOG are two important issues that impact water quality. During a rain event, litter is washed from our streets into the storm drains which lead directly to our local streams and rivers. FOG impacts water quality by clogging up residential and city pipelines and causing blockages.
Bluegrass Greensource also partnered with Georgetown College on Friday, August 22nd as part of the Georgetown College Freshmen Orientation Program. The program, coordinated by Georgetown staff, seeks ways to bring together the incoming Freshmen and the Scott County community by sending small groups of students and a faculty leader out into the town to assist with a variety of different service projects. Working with funding provided by Kyle Goodwin and the city of Georgetown’s engineers, Greensource sponsored two service projects, specifically litter cleanups at both Brookings Park (more commonly known as Scott County Park) and the Yuko-En Japanese Friendship Garden. Dr. Nancy Lumpkin, a professor in the department of Business Administration and Economics at the college, led the morning group around Brookings Park for about three hours as they helped pick up nearly 30 pounds of trash, mostly cigarette butts and food wrappers. Dr. Jeff Asher, a professor in the Religion Department, brought his group to the Japanese Friendship Garden for the afternoon session, where they not only helped clean up litter near Elkhorn Creek, but also assisted the in the Garden with several landscaping tasks. Each of these cleanups served as great opportunities for the students to not only get to know their community but to also serve others that will be living around them during their four year college experience.
We want to thank the students from UK and Georgetown who volunteered to make these events a huge success! We hope to work with you again in the near future.