Bluegrass Greensource Honored by KY Department of Environmental Protection

Lexington, KY – Bluegrass Greensource (formerly Bluegrass PRIDE) was presented with the Community Environmental Luminary Award for outstanding achievement in community-based environmental education and outreach by the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection. The annual Environmental Excellence Award ceremony took place during the 37th Governor’s Conference on Energy & the Environment held at the Lexington Convention Center.

“Bluegrass Greensource is truly honored to be recognized for our work in the Central Kentucky communities we serve,” said Amy Sohner, executive director of Bluegrass Greensource. “We take great pride in our efforts and to receive this award is very gratifying.”

Bluegrass Greensource’s Environmental Educators and Outreach Specialists cater to both youth and adult populations. They partner with schools and local government to provide programming on the natural environment and energy efficient initiatives.

“Bluegrass Greensource is thankful for the many supporters and volunteers that help make our work possible and we feel they share in this award. We are also fortunate to have partnerships throughout Central Kentucky, particularly with Lexington Fayette Urban County Government and Kentucky American Water,” Sohner continued. “We look forward to building on our success and continuing to encourage Central Kentuckians to work together for a more sustainable future.”

Bluegrass Greensource is an environmental non-profit organization that has offered resources and educational information to 19 Central Kentucky Counties since 2001. Greensource undertakes outreach to over 230 schools, 600 community groups, businesses, local governments and private citizens throughout Central Kentucky. Encouraging small changes in every day lives that make big differences, they foster positive environmental and economic impact throughout the region. For more information please visit


Ky. American Water, Greensource among winners of state environmental awards

The Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection honored the six recipients of its 2013 Environmental Excellence Awards during an awards luncheon at the Governor’s Conference on Energy and the Environment at the Lexington Convention Center in Lexington. Three are from Lexington, two from Louisville and one from Bowling Green.

The recipients are:


KY EXCEL Champion Award: Kentucky American Water – Lexington
Kentucky American Water was the first utility to join KY EXCEL as a master member and has been involved in numerous environmental projects, such as environmental education, Trout in the Classroom, Reforest the Bluegrass, rain gardens, stream bank restorations, Adopt-a-Highway, recycling, stormwater mitigation and more.


Community Environmental Luminary Award: Bluegrass Greensource – Lexington
The organization provides environmental outreach to 18 counties, and organized 3,000 environmental presentations with approximately 80,000 student interactions. Outreach educators mentored more than 2,500 school administrators and teachers, taking them to coal mines and solar farms to help them teach about energy. They have demonstrated testing water quality of streams; conducted waste analyses, saving a school system $50,000 in waste hauling costs; and assisted in removing 150,000 bags of trash from roads and streams.


Resource Caretaker Award: University of Louisville – Louisville
The university created a strategic plan to focus on creative and responsible stewardship. This commitment led to reclaiming more than 200 acres in grayfield/brownfield areas around the Belknap Campus, resulting in being awarded the national Phoenix Award for brownfield reclamation. The university reduced energy consumption by $4.6 million annually, constructed or renovated six major capital projects at the LEED Gold or Silver levels and partnered with local food vendors and producers to utilize local food sources.


Environmental Pacesetter Award for an Individual/Organization: Chris Tyler – Lexington
As a member of the Kentucky Chapter of the United States Green Building Council, Chris Tyler has served as the Advocacy Chair, Green Schools Chair and board chair. His leadership in these roles demonstrated his effectiveness, commitment to and passion for the organization’s mission. During Chris’s chairmanship and leadership, the chapter was successful in establishing the first bipartisan Green Schools Caucus in Kentucky, providing the opportunity to educate legislators, school boards, PTA groups and others about the importance of green schools for children.


Environmental Pacesetter Award for a Small Business: Pull-A-Part – Louisville
Pull-A-Part has transformed what was once perceived as the junkyard into a sustainable recycling business. The company has made exceptional commitments to resource conservation, waste reduction and pollution prevention, working to set the standard of excellence in handling and recycling of end-of-life vehicles. To protect the environment, Pull-A-Part utilizes proper materials’ management, minimizing solid waste by removing and recycling all fluids and other potential contaminants, maximizing reuse of all possible parts and materials and maximizing recycling of the rest of the vehicle to decrease the residue disposed of by the automobile shredder.


Environmental Pacesetter Award for a Medium to Large Business: SCA Americas – Bowling Green
SCA Americas-Bowling Green has awarded environmental education grants to schools and implemented a zero landfill program, which diverted more than 7 million pounds of waste materials from local landfills in 2012. SCA team members participated in several community events, such as county parks trash pick-up days, tree plantings and partnering with Western Kentucky University on providing more than 1,000 sustainable tailgating kits at a football game.


From Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection

This article appeared in KY Forward on September 19, 2013.