New name, new look, but same mission – to teach and encourage green living

Bluegrass PRIDE is now Bluegrass Greensource. We’ve updated our social media accounts, launched our new website and got new business cards and email addresses. But now what?

Amy Sohner, executive director of Bluegrass Greensource, took a moment to reflect on our accomplishments in the last 12 years and expressed her desires for the future.

“Since I’ve been around from the beginning, I have really enjoyed seeing a shift in the understanding of what it means to be green. And with our new name, new brand, we want to continue this momentum,” she said.


Our environmental educators have worked with students in over 230 schools. “On any given day, they may be knee-deep in a stream showing kids how to test water quality or up to their elbows in classroom trash as they complete a dumpster dive.” Amy reminisced.

We also work with teachers on how they can use the environment to teach across all disciplines. We have taken science, social studies and English teachers in a coal mine and to solar farms to help them teach about energy.

PRIDE’s outreach specialists stay busy reaching out to Central Kentucky’s adult population and educating them on waste reduction, water quality and energy efficiency issues. This year alone, our staff assisted with home energy audits, partnered with community organizations to stencil storm drains and completed waste analyses for area businesses helping them recycle almost 1500 tons each year.

Our grant programs have helped Lower Howard’s Creek Nature and Heritage Preserve remove invasive plants and open its first public hiking trail. Eastern Kentucky University installed five reusable water bottle filling stations in campus buildings, saving tens of thousands of plastic water bottles from the landfill. Madison County Conservation District developed a fallen animal composting pad to use for education and demonstration purposes. Herrington Lake Conservation League cleaned up the lake, filling 19 commercial dumpsters with litter and manmade debris from the lake, while establishing a recycling and litter reduction program at several marinas.

We also provide resources to community groups for litter removal along roads and streams and have removed more than 150,000 bags of trash from local roadways and stream banks. To help promote our message across the region, we have assisted in making events throughout Central Kentucky both litter and waste free!

Over time, we became THE SOURCE for green education in Central Kentucky. With that said, we wanted our name to better reflect our mission and the fact that we are the green source for this area. As we begin this new chapter, we want to continue our outreach in the schools, building on the programs we provide in our region.

We want to continue our outreach in homes, encouraging small changes that make a big impact not only to our local environment, but also to our wallets and our health.

We want to continue building our partnerships with more than 600 business and apartment complexes, assisting them in all of their green needs and helping them get recognition for being environmentally responsible.

With this said, we need your help spreading the word. Same important mission, just a new name. Please share with your friends and your community.
Chris Clabes photo

Chris Clabes is the Development and PR Coordinator at Bluegrass Greensource.  Before joining BG Greensource, Chris worked as a consultant for numerous nonprofit organizations across the state, including the formation of Kentucky Philanthropy Initiative and Governor Beshear’s Commission on Philanthropy.  She was KY 4-H Foundation’s executive director and served as the Director of Finance for the National Association of Home Builders’ Political Action Committee in DC. She received her BA at the University of Kentucky.

This article appeared in KY Forward on July 4, 2013.


What’s in our new name? A lot! Bluegrass PRIDE now Bluegrass Greensource

I know one of those people who did not know she was pregnant until she gave birth to a full-term, healthy little girl. The thing that horrified me most when I found out was not how difficult it was going to be for her and her husband to prepare to be parents (i.e., arranging day care, getting car seats, adjusting to the idea, etc.), but how difficult it would be to pick a name. When our first daughter was born, we had to be forced to pick a middle name or they threatened to not let us out of the hospital. Our second daughter’s name came a bit more easily, but to be honest, after 11 months, sometimes we still agonize over her middle name.


Last week I launched the new name for my other baby, and though very exciting, it seemed just as heart-wrenching and almost as emotional as picking the name for my daughters. Bluegrass PRIDE is now Bluegrass Greensource. After 12 years, we took the plunge and did something we probably should have done years ago.

In 2001, our founders named us after the very successful East Kentucky PRIDE (Personal Responsibility In a Desirable Environment), and for a short time we modeled our fledgling group after them. We quickly realized that the needs were very different in the Bluegrass region, and went a different direction from our sister organization. That did not stop us from having visions of a statewide PRIDE network with regional organizations providing resources across the Commonwealth.

As the years went by, we realized that our name, unless the acronym was spelled out, was not descriptive of who we are. Even our logo – a horse with a Lexington skyline in the background — did not help anyone understand what we do. I felt, for a long time, that this was just the way it was going to be, and that we would always have to explain what we did without the crutch of having a descriptive name.

Then last year, during our first-ever strategic planning meetings, our board and county liaisons had the audacity to suggest we change our name! I was totally against it, but they convinced me to look into it. I think that by “looking into it,” I essentially agreed to change our name. I have been director for seven years, but I can still be naive sometimes.

The process of changing our name started very slowly and, therefore, kind of snuck up on me. All of a sudden, we had chosen a company to help in the process and they were about to present to our staff and a committee from the board. That was by no means the end of the process, but it sure was the tipping point. At that point, there was no turning back.

After a much longer than anticipated process, we decided on a logo, and a new name, Bluegrass Greensource. I am thrilled. For our entire 12 years, we have always been THE SOURCE for environmental education throughout Central Kentucky. I could not have asked for a better, more descriptive name.

We have developed a brand new website, too – – updated some brochures and given all of the staff new email addresses, business cards and nametags.* It has been a lot of work, but I am so excited about the possibilities we have with our new name.

We launched the new name last week with our 10th annual Rain Barrel Reception, and I have since received countless emails and comments commending us on our choice and expressing happiness about the new brand. I can’t say that it was easy for me, even though I love everything about the logo and name. I managed to keep it together while making the announcement, but it was definitely difficult.

As my husband and family can tell you, Bluegrass Greensource is like my third child, and as a parent, there are many things you do for your children that can be hard but are in their best interests. I know that this is one of those things, and as soon as I can get used to answering the phone, “Bluegrass Greensource,” I will be ready to say goodbye to Bluegrass PRIDE. I know I am ready to stop being mad at people who do not capitalize all of the letters in PRIDE!

*Because we are an environmental organization, we have recycled all of our old brochures, are using old business cards to write notes, have given old envelopes to staff to use personally and are using the back side of all old stationary. If anyone is interested in a limited edition Bluegrass PRIDE t-shirt, please let me know!

amy sohner

Amy Sohner is executive director of Bluegrass Greensource and a graduate of the University of Kentucky in Natural Resource Conservation and Management. Sohner has worked with Greensource since its inception in 2002 and is a Certified Environmental Educator. She is involved with the Kentucky Environmental Literacy Alliance, the Bluegrass Rain Garden Alliance, the Licking and Kentucky River Basin Teams, and serves as vice-chair of the Keep Lexington Beautiful Commission. Sohner lives near the Kentucky River palisades with her husband, two daughters and a multitude of pets.

This article appeared in KY Forward on June 27, 2013.