Franklin County Elementary Schools Create Litter-Free Zones

litter free zone

Last fall, Bluegrass Greensource environmental educators worked with students in Franklin County to address the issue of litter in their community.  Fourth grade students at seven participating elementary schools spent two days with Greensource educators in their classrooms, learning about the effects of litter and other nonpoint source pollutants on our environment and our waterways.  They concluded with a project where the students created their own aerial view maps of their school grounds, and used the maps to mark areas with stormwater runoff and litter, while conducting a litter clean up.  County and city high school and middle school students participated in litter cleanups on their school campuses throughout the spring as well, collecting over twenty pounds of litter in total.

This fall, all county and city schools were given a sign designating each school’s grounds as a litter free zone.  This sign was designed by Second Street School 7th grade student Jacqueline DeMers.  Jacqueline entered a litter art contest, along with 100 other students from the city and county schools, for which students were asked to create a logo to display on school grounds.  Jacqueline’s drawing was among the top 3 entries that were voted on during a social media contest in December 2013, and received the most ‘likes’ on Facebook.  Her original artwork was turned into an aluminum sign with funding from the Franklin County Solid Waste department.  Thanks to Jacqueline and all the other Franklin County students, all school zones are now litter free!


Over 400 Volunteers Participate in First Annual Main Street Clean Sweep

Bluegrass Greensource hosted the first annual Main Street Clean Sweep on Earth Day.  On April 22nd, city employees, small business owners, and concerned citizens from seven counties throughout the Bluegrass region came together to clean up litter during their lunch breaks to keep their main streets clean. Our first annual Earth Day Main St. Clean Sweep was a huge success.  We had 413 volunteers collect 286 bags of trash and recycling from Anderson, Clark, Estill, Franklin, Garrard, Lincoln, and Mercer counties!

We would like to thank all of the volunteers that took time out of their busy schedules to make a difference in their communities! We would also like to thank the businesses and government agencies that partnered with us to make this day possible:

  • All Things Country Magazine
  • Bushnell Drycleaning
  • City of Burgin
  • City of Frankfort
  • City of Harrodsburg
  • City of Irvine
  • City of Lancaster
  • City of Lawrenceburg
  • City of Winchester
  • Clark County Emergency Management Agency
  • Davis Law
  • Corning Inc.
  • Estill County Animal Shelter
  • Estill County Fiscal Court
  • Estill Development Alliance
  • Evergreen Community Supports LLC
  • Farmers National Bank
  • Frankfort First Baptist Church
  • Franklin County Attorney’s Office
  • Franklin County Circuit Clerk’s Office
  • Franklin County Drug Court
  • Franklin County Fiscal Court
  • Franklin County Occupational Tax
  • Friends of the Franklin County Court
  • Full Circle Market
  • Garrard County Extension Service
  • Garrard County Food Pantry
  • Garrard County Schools
  • Garrard County Recycling Center
  • Halcomb’s Knob B&B and Farm
  • Hitachi
  • Howard Law Group
  • Kentucky Division of Energy Development and Independence
  • Kentucky Heritage Council
  • Lake Village Water
  • Lancaster Lube
  • Lile Law
  • Lincoln County Recycling Center
  • Mercer County Chamber of Commerce
  • Mercer County Schools
  • Napier Brothers Clothing and Shoes
  • No Kill Central KY Regional Humane Society
  • Otis Engineering LLC
  • Republic Services
  • Roy Gray Law Office
  • Sekisui
  • Strodes Creek Conservancy
  • The Mikes Travel
  • Three Elements Design
  • Winchester First
  • Winchester Municipal Utilities
  • WUKY

Thank you, and we hope to see you all again next year!

Below: Volunteers from (1) Winchester and (2) Lawrenceburg participate in Main Street Clean Sweep.

Main St. Winchester 3 Main St. Clean Sweep 3 - Lawrenceburg


Earth Day Main St. Clean Sweep

Bluegrass Greensource needs your help this Earth Day for our first annual Main Street Clean Sweep.  On April 22nd, employees from seven downtown communities throughout the Bluegrass region will work during their lunch break to  pick up litter and keep their Main Street clean.

BGGS_Main St Clean Sweep

In the past, Bluegrass Greensource has worked with numerous community groups on litter clean ups and helped collect over 150,000 bags of trash and recycled an additional 1,500 tons.

Cleanups are planned in Frankfort, Lawrenceburg, Harrodsburg, Irvine, Lancaster, Stanford, and Winchester from 11:30 – 1:30 pm, rain or shine, on April 22nd.  Bluegrass Greensource will provide trash bags, gloves, t-shirts (adults), and tattoos (kids) to participants at each location.  Click on your city below to see more details.  Click here to register.

[add_eventon event_type=”176″ fixed_month=”4″ fixed_year=”2014″ event_order=”DESC” ux_val=”3″ ]


First Annual Earth Day Main St. Clean Sweep!

BGGS_Main St Clean Sweep



Bluegrass Greensource needs your help this Earth Day for our first annual Main St. Clean Sweep!  What better way to celebrate Earth Day than by getting out in your community and picking up litter?  Litter thrown on the streets ends up in storm drains and trashes our environment.  Storm drains often flow directly into streams, lakes, and rivers.  When water becomes polluted, it is no longer safe for drinking or recreation, and this litter harms fish and other wildlife.  Many of the items that are thrown from car windows or dropped on the sidewalk are not biodegradable, which means that their chemical decomposition takes a very long time and that these items will create long-term damage to environment (this is the case with cigarette butts).

You may have heard all kinds of things about how litter harms the environment, but did you know that litter also hurts local economies?  Houses in littered neighborhoods sell for less money than those in unlittered neighborhoods.  Also, cleaner communities have a better chance of attracting new businesses, residents, and tourists.  Much of what is thrown away or littered (like cans and plastic bottles) could have been recycled and is thus a lost resource.  So, let’s pick up some litter and help clean up the Bluegrass this Earth Day!

We are asking employees from businesses in Downtown/Main Street areas throughout the Bluegrass region to get outside during their lunch break on April 22nd anytime between 11:30 am and 2:00pm and pick up some litter (rain or shine).  Bluegrass Greensource is planning cleanups in Frankfort, Lancaster, Harrodsburg, Winchester, Stanford, Irvine, and Danville.  We will provide trash bags, gloves, and FREE T-SHIRTS at all locations!  Stay tuned for kick-off locations and more details in the coming month!

Even if you aren’t able to get out on Earth Day and help with one of the litter cleanups, you can still make a difference by picking up litter anytime, anywhere.  With your help we can make every day Earth Day!

If you are interested in being involved in one of the Earth Day Main St. Clean Sweep events, please contact Ashley at 859-266-1572 or


Making Green Work at Franklin County Operation Preparation

On March 10th and 11th, the Bluegrass Greensource Green Jobs Program was at Kentucky State University for Franklin County Operation Preparation.  Operation Preparation is a joint effort of the Kentucky Department of Education and the Department of Workforce Development and provides a powerful opportunity for schools, students, parents and communities to collaborate and focus attention to the importance of planning for college and/or career (  This program is the perfect opportunity for students to learn about green career opportunities in their community.

Ben Lyle - Green Jobs Presentation

 Ben Lyle from the Division of Forestry answers questions about being a forester as part of the Bluegrass Greensource Green Jobs Information Session

Green Jobs Coordinator Ashley Bryant Cheney participated in the advising sessions for interested 8th graders and offered the first ever Green Jobs Information Session for all 10th grade students from Western Hills High School and Franklin County High School.  Through these programs, Bluegrass Greensource provided green jobs information to over 400 students.    Kenvirons and the Division of Forestry partnered with Bluegrass Greensource for the information session.  Aaron Morgan (Kenvirons), Chris Jones (Kenvirons), and Ben Lyle (Division of Forestry) all talked about their green jobs and used real-life examples to engage students. It was clear, through the presentations and the questions that students asked, this session opened students’ eyes to green career options.

Franklin County Operation Preparation was a huge success!  Bluegrass Greensource would like to thank Aaron Morgan and Chris Jones of Kenvirons and Ben Lyle from the Division of Forestry for talking to the 10th grade students about their green jobs.  Bluegrass Greensource would also like to thank the Franklin County schools for featuring the Green Jobs Program as one of their workshop sessions.

If you are interested in learning more about the Green Jobs Program, please contact Ashley at 859-266-1572 or


Students Make an Impact in Franklin County

Peaks Mill Litter Cleanup #1 photo

Fourth grade students in Frankfort and Franklin County have been making a big impact in their environment.  As part of a project with Bluegrass Greensource and the Franklin County Solid Waste Administrator, students in seven city and county schools have had the opportunity to learn about litter in their classroom, and then applied that to their own environment.

Students at Bridgeport Elementary, Collins Lane Elementary, Elkhorn Elementary, Good Shepherd School, Hearn Elementary, Peaks Mill Elementary and Second Street School all worked with a Bluegrass Greensource educator in their classroom to learn about pollution and how it affects our local environment.  Using an Enviroscape model to demonstrate a landscape, students first learned what a watershed is and what watershed they lived in.  Students then identified various types of point source and nonpoint source pollutants found within that watershed.  Using items to symbolize litter, animal waste, and oil from cars, students saw where those pollutants came from and where they can end up as stormwater and move through their watershed.  After identifying the various types of pollution in the environment, students then brainstormed best management practices, or ways they can reduce and clean up those pollutants.

Following the classroom demonstration, students then met again with educators from Bluegrass Greensource to do a project on their school grounds.  Using the information they learned, the students made maps of their school grounds, and used the maps to track where they found litter, motor oil and stormdrains around their own school.  Students then put their best management practices into action and collected litter from their school grounds.  While doing the project, students were surprised to find more litter than they expected.  Students also became more aware of stormdrains and how stormwater affects their environment, and many classes chose to display their litter maps in their schools to educate other students and teachers about litter.

Bluegrass Greensource enjoyed this collaboration with Franklin County Public Schools, Frankfort Independent Schools, and Good Shepherd School.  Greensource is so proud of the impact these fourth grade students made in their community!