Thank You for Your Support During the GoodGiving Guide Challenge!

Bluegrass Greensource would like to offer special thanks to those who donated during the GoodGiving Guide Challenge! With your support, we raised $3,275 for environmental education in central Kentucky!

GGG Thank You (1)

Many thanks to our donors:

Mary Arthur

Jack Barnett

Carol Bottoms

Tracy Brown

Martha Brown

Gregory Butler

Sandy Camargo

Susan Cohn

Michael Cronk

Blaine Early

Amy Eddie

Chris Eddie

Daniel Elko

Jane Eller

Lynn Garrett

Ann and Tom Garrity

Ken Gish

Lajuanda Haight-Maybriar

Teresa Hendricks

Kristin Ingwell Goode

Susan Janecek

Diane Kohler

Hope Lanham

Tammy Liles

Tresine Logsdon

Mari Long

David Mannino

Malissa McAlister

Mary Miller

David Miller

Lauren Monahan

Robbie Morgan

Stephen Noel

Angela Poe

Katherine Redmond

David Shehee

Jody Shoup

Amy Sohner

Pattie Stivender

Kenya Stump

Stephanie Trevor

Chris Tyler

Wayne Waddell

Schuyler Warren

Pamla Wood

Phillip Woolery

Danny Woolums

Christina Zavos


Support Bluegrass Greensource on KY Gives Day on April 9th

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Bluegrass Greensource is participating in Kentucky Gives Day, scheduled for April 9, 2014, and we need your help! With just a few clicks, you make a donation that can help protect our local environment.

Go to: to make your donation TODAY!

Kentucky Gives Day, organized by Kentucky Nonprofit Network, is a 24-hour online fundraising event bringing charities and Kentuckians together for a powerful day of action by encouraging people to donate to their favorite charities.

Greensource’s goal is to raise as much money as possible in those 24 hours!  The funds we raise will help us expand our environmental education efforts in area schools, enhance our environmental outreach in Central Kentucky communities, and further our mission to help people make small changes in their daily lives that have a big impact in our environment.

“Bluegrass Greensource makes a difference every day through our environmental education and outreach programs in local schools and communities,” said Amy Sohner, Executive Director of Bluegrass Greensource. “By encouraging people, no matter what their age, to make small changes, they can not only save the environment but also save a lot of money.”

One of our many success stories includes helping a school district save over $50,000 annually on its waste hauling costs.  The school district has been so inspired that they have set a new goal to reduce their energy consumption by 20% by 2017.  To put this in perspective, if they were 20% more efficient in 2013, this school district would have avoided paying $1.6 million in utility bills.  This money could have gone toward providing salaries for more than 30 faculty or staff, purchasing over 1600 new computers, or building 7 new elementary school classrooms.

Beginning at midnight EDT on April 9th and continuing until 11:59pm EDT, you can visit our online donation page at and make your tax-deductible donation.   All online donations made to Bluegrass Greensource on KY Gives Day will go directly to support our mission.

You CAN make a difference.  Help the environment on April 9th!

If you have any questions, please contact Amy Sohner at or (859) 230-2325.


Staying active outdoors this winter is challenging but worth the effort

Winter has always posed a challenge to staying active outdoors, and this winter is particularly so with all the snow, ice and frigid temperatures we’ve had. But meeting that challenge head on is well worth the effort.

Research has shown that the more often we find ourselves outdoors and enjoying nature, the happier we tend to be. A 2013 article from the New York Times Health and Wellness blog discussed how exposure to plants is not only a stress reliever, but also seems to raise levels of white blood cells.


(Photo from

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Other research, including sources such as the Harvard Health Letter, has shown that being outdoors raises vitamin D levels, which lift one’s mood and fights cancer, depression and heart disease. Over the years peer reviewed research has also examined how increasing the time spent playing in nature for children with ADHD has improved their ability to concentrate and focus.

When the mercury keeps dipping into the negatives it raises questions for us. How can we benefit from the outdoors if we choose to? What do we do with ourselves and family members if we’re going to be stuck indoors more than we’d like? What can we do to help members of our community who might find themselves homeless or overexposed to the elements?

Tips on benefiting from the outdoors when you’d rather be inside:

Many of us have vowed that 2014 will be the year when we get back in shape for good. If walking or running outdoors was part of your new workout plan but you’re finding it unbearable to brave the cold, don’t give up yet. The key to keeping up an outdoor workout plan is all in the clothing. When I first started running I was shocked to find out that running in 40 degrees is actually a pretty perfect temperature with the right apparel. Running tights, thick socks, long sleeved sweat-wicking shirts and jackets, and thick gloves and hats made the runs surprisingly refreshing.

When the temperatures fall somewhere in between 30 and 40 degrees F, hats with built-in face masks are perfect (I have a neon yellow Carhartt one that was affordable and works well). Hats like these also keep your breath warm by filtering it which is good if you have exercise-induced asthma and the cold makes you wheezy. You’ll get used to the strange looks from passersby and like a recent commercial, it might be best to remove the mask when you enter a gas station, but all in all, running or walking in the cold can be done.

If the temps dip below the teens, however, it might be better to take your workout indoors and enjoy nature through a window from the confines of your cozy recliner because few pieces of clothing can make minus-9 degrees bearable.

Happy-making projects for yourself and your family:

When it is simply too cold to get out, workout videos can keep your cardio on track and you on your way to fulfilling those healthy resolutions. A yoga video in the living room can be just as fun as a group workout at your gym, and making time during work can bring a welcome change.

During our break, my co-workers and I have recently been doing a group exercise called “7-Minute Workout.” You can find it as a smart phone app or a video on Youtube. Many a cold gray day has been improved by our micro-workout and it is a fun activity since we usually end up laughing at ourselves as we do “high knees/running in place” and “side-plank.” We leave our conference room a little bit warmer, a little more refreshed and ready to dive back into work.

During the weekends and evenings it is far too easy to veg out and binge-watch shows such as Game of Thrones (admittedly fun, but leaves one feeling sloth-like), so making a list of projects to do can kickstart those creative juices. I promised myself I will complete at least 5 items from my Pinterest crafts page in 2014. Other things such as creating healthy meals and decadent desserts from recipes I have saved are also on the to-do list.

Purging/organizing is also a great indoor activity that helps refresh both one’s living space and one’s head space. I have been streamlining our apartment and getting rid of clothing and items that have accumulated in our closets. Coats, warm clothing, gloves, and scarves have been donated to local organizations such as the Hope Center and The Nest.

Organizing a clothing or home goods swap with friends is also a great, free way to get rid of stuff you’re tired of, while getting new-to-you things you might need. My newly de-cluttered space feels larger and leaves me feeling more free and inspired.

The following are great links to bookmark for the next time you and your family have a lot of indoor time on your hands:

50 Fun Winter Activities from Real Simple Magazine

31 Things for Kids to Do During Winter Break from No Time for Flashcards

29 Things to do Indoors this Winter from Minnesota’s Examiner

Winter learning activities from Scholastic

Themed winter crafts by Activity Village


Helping others endure the cold:

While complaining about the temperature, I have thought of the members of my community who have little choice but to endure the cold. For those without homes or who lack adequate housing, there are actions we can take to help.

Donating warm clothing, in good condition, to local shelters and nonperishables to local food banks will fill a need that increases exponentially with the cold. If you cannot donate monetarily, the following locations accept donations and are in need of the following items:

The Hope Center – Donations can be dropped at: 360 W Loudon Ave, Lexington. Currently in need of coats, cold weather clothing, thermal underwear, socks, gloves, hats and unopened hygiene products.

The Catholic Action Center – Donations can be dropped at: 614 E. 7th St., Lexington (10 a.m.-2 p.m., Monday-Saturday). Currently in need of laundry detergent, coffee, creamer/sugar, large garbage bags, bleach, cleaning supplies and toilet paper.

The Salvation Army – Donations can be dropped at: 736 W. Main St., Lexington. Currently in need of canned meats (tuna, chicken), beef stew and soups, pasta and spaghetti sauce, breakfast cereals, peanut butter, canned green vegetables, canned fruits and juices, clothing in good condition, diapers (all sizes), personal care items (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, deodorant), and household items for shelter residents who move into a home, such as toasters, microwaves, linens.

God’s Pantry – Main warehouse is at 1685 Jaggie Fox Way, Lexington (9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m.-12 noon on Fridays). Any nonperishable food item is appreciated. Residents of Fayette County can also make their donations at any Kroger location by placing the food in the donation barrel near the customer service desk or exit.


Lisa-Conley-300x203Lisa Conley is an outreach specialist for Bluegrass Greensource.

This article appeared in KY Forward on February 6, 2014.



Tis the Season to GIVE

By Lisa Conley

Frankfort trash clean up

Remember when a toy required no batteries and did not include a screen? Albert Einstein said “Joy in looking and comprehending is nature’s most beautiful gift.”  This holiday season, you could give that gift to classrooms of children right here in Central Kentucky through a donation to Bluegrass Greensource.

Our educators work tirelessly throughout the school year in over 230 schools to teach children in our community about the natural world- something most of us today see less and less of.  Our environmental activities include litter cleanups, watershed education using enviroscapes, organizing school green teams, helping students start vermicomposting/worm bins, and introducing students to Kentucky’s flora and fauna at outdoor events to name just a few.  Dunbar studentsWith your gift, we can introduce many more young people to the natural world.  A world where the gadgets and screens can have a rest and the mind can be free to explore.

A donation to Bluegrass Greensource will not only spread the gift of environmental education, but it can help you with that person who has everything already.  In the past, I have personally donated in the name of family. This was the perfect gift for them. There was no plastic and paper packaging to dispose of, no disappointment with another boring gift they didn’t really need, and we both had the pleasure of knowing the young people we might see at the grocery actually benefited from our gift.  Your one contribution’s impact could multiply across generations.  What other gift has this potential?

Montessori ResizedTo make your gift of education this year, please go to:

If you are a teacher who would like one of our educators to visit your classroom, please call us at 266-1572.  We also offer many environmental education materials for check-out at no cost.

‘Tis the season to give a gift that can change a life.