Bluegrass Greensource is Don Jacobs April Charity of the Month!

Mark your calendars! During the month of April, Bluegrass Greensource is the featured Charity of the Month at Don Jacobs BMW, Honda, and Volkswagen in Lexington! This program is a wonderful way to support the many nonprofits that are working to make a difference in Central Kentucky. 

Here’s how it works: If you schedule a service visit at Don Jacobs during the month of April, and make a gift of $1 to $25, Don Jacobs will match your donation! This is a great way to show your support for environmental education, double the impact of every dollar donated, and support a local family-owned dealership and its hard working staff who have placed their commitment to the Lexington area at the center of their operations since 1971.  

Please join us at Don Jacobs in April to show your belief in environmental education and your support for this wonderful community partner!


Submit your 2017 Sustainable New Year Resolution!

Best Wishes for a Sustainable New Year!

AmyBy: Amy Sohner
Bluegrass Greensource
Executive Director

We have realized for a long time that many people make resolutions that they never can keep. I am guilty of that myself.  As an example, I finally renewed my passport, a resolution I made five years ago!

Almost since our inception, Bluegrass Greensource has encouraged Central Kentuckians to think about New Year’s Resolutions differently. Instead of thinking only about personal goals, i.e losing weight, sleeping more, renewing your passport etc., we encourage resolutions that will have, collectively, a big impact on our local environment.

Our resolutions this year are to:

  • Make my home more energy efficient

  • Conserve water at my home or office

  • Improve my recycling

  • Ride my bike more

  • Start or improve my compost practices

  • Get outside more

In addition to offering an alternative to the regular resolutions, Bluegrass Greensource understands that committing to something publically increases its chances of success. By submitting your environmental goals to Bluegrass Greensource, you will be much more likely to actually accomplish them.

Since our mission is to empower the citizens to create a sustainable environment, we also want to know what you are striving to do and learn. By participating in the resolution program, we are alerted to what the needs are in our community, and can target programming to meet those needs.

And finally, as an incentive to participate in the resolution program, we have a drawing to award a $100 gift card! In my opinion, the part of the incentive that makes this great is that the gift card is tailored to what you resolve to do in 2017.  If you choose to improve home composting, you can use your winnings to buy a home composting system. If you resolve to ride your bike more, you can use the money to buy a bike. We hope that the incentive will not only help you commit, but help break down any barriers that are preventing you from being successful.

Each year, we receive many resolutions, and I hope that we can empower you to make 2017 your greenest year yet!

Click here to share your 2017 resolution with us!



Green News in the Bluegrass – October 2015 Newsletter



Fall is upon us, and it is the perfect time to think about planting trees. Whether you are planting in the fall or planning for an early spring planting, choosing the right native species for the site is essential for the survival and vigor of the tree. Read More…



Bluegrass Greensource provides free Energy Audit Kit’s through the public libraries for checkout. The Energy Audit Kit’s are designed to guide you through the first steps of making your home more energy efficient. Read More…



To help improve water quality in the Dix River watershed area, Bluegrass Greensource offers homeowner workshops in Boyle, Garrard, and Lincoln Counties. Participants will learn about local watersheds and water quality, how to properly care for septic systems, and how to identify problems with septic systems. Following the workshop, participants can apply for a cost-share grant for septic system repairs, or for a free septic tank pumpout. To be eligible for the grants, homeowners must reside within the Dix River watershed in Boyle, Garrard, or Lincoln Counties. Read More…



Wishing you could find some funding to help improve your favorite local stream, river or lake?  Are you located in the Kentucky River Basin? If so, please consider applying for a Kentucky River Authority Watershed Grant. Applications are being accepted until November 16, 2015. Read More…



Wait – what’s coming?

It’s mid-October, and that means that we’re less than a month away from one of Central Kentucky’s best events – the Bluegrass Community Foundation and Smiley Pete Publishing’s GoodGivingGuide Challenge. Read More…



Increasing residential sustainability has been one of the primary goals at Bluegrass Greensource since its inception in 2001. This goal serves a double purpose in that it not only benefits the environment, but also offers additional incentives for homeowners looking to save money on utility expenses. But what happens for the thousands of Lexington/Fayette County residents who live in apartments and lack the ability or resources to implement such changes on their own? Read More…



There was a flurry of activity and much excitement as Bluegrass Greensource Educators hosted an open house for educators in the Bluegrass area.  Educators and students were given the opportunity to learn about environmental activities and materials available to the public. Read More…



We will be offering a volunteer training class at our office on Saturday, November 21st. Please let our Volunteer Coordinator, Ashley Bryant-Cheney, know if you are interested in attending!

Check out our Events Calendar to learn more about upcoming green events in your community! Submit your organization’s green event here.


September Newsletter


Folks around Central Kentucky often ask me which plants are appropriate for a rain garden. Rain garden soil conditions can vary from wet to dry, making them tough places for many plants to grow. Read More…


Many of Kentucky’s streams and rivers are unsafe for wading, swimming, fishing, and other forms of water recreation due to the presence of high levels of E. coli bacteria. Human sources provide the most prominent contribution to E. coli exceedances. Rural areas not serviced by municipal sewage collection systems have higher human pathogens contributions from failing septic systems or straight pipes. When bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens are released into the ground, they eventually enter waterways, harming or killing native plants, fish, and shellfish. Read More…


Hear from our new Environmental Educator, Jackie Gallimore, and AmeriCorps VISTA, Olivia Oakley as they describe their first few weeks at Bluegrass Greensource and the journey that brought them here.  Read More…


Small changes lead to big impacts.

At Bluegrass Greensource, we see this in action every day.

Providing support for schools to recycle leads to recycling rates more than doubling in one year. Supporting local businesses in implementing sustainability initiatives leads to reductions in energy usage and the amount of waste produced. Partnering with major events to help them achieve a Zero Waste status leads to significant amounts of materials being diverted from landfills and into recycling and compost streams. Read More…


The Waste Tire Collection Program is an ongoing effort to rid Kentucky’s landscape of waste tires. Established in 1998 as part of the Energy and Environment Cabinet’s (EEC), the Waste Tire Collection Program works to ensure the recovered tires are recycled into beneficial products, such as tire-derived fuel or crumb rubber.

During the waste tire collection event, individuals can drop off their unwanted tires at the specified location within their county at no cost. To date, tire amnesty is responsible for the proper disposal of more than 19 million waste tires. Read More…

Check out our Events Calendar to learn more about upcoming green events in your community! Submit your organization’s green event here.


August Newsletter


Thanks to funding from the Department for Energy Development and Independence, Bluegrass Greensource is offering FREE coal education again this year! Read More…


Bluegrass Greensource has been invited to talk about sustainability at the Greater Lexington Apartment Association (GLAA) General Membership Meeting in September. Attendees will learn about easy-to-implement, sustainable strategies to lower utility expenses, attract clientele, gain a competitive advantage, and improve their triple bottom line of profit, people & planet. Read More…


Bluegrass Greensource will be offering Rain Garden Workshops this fall to neighborhood associations and homeowner groups in Fayette County.  Attendees of the workshop will be eligible for a $250 grant to construct a rain garden at their own home. Read More…


Would you like to learn more about Rain Gardens?  Join the GreenForce for Volunteer Rain Garden Training.  Learn the basics of Rain Gardens and help with the installation of a Rain Garden at a school in Fayette County.

When: Saturday, September 26th 10am-12pm Where: Location TBD

Lunch will be provided.  Please RSVP to by September 21st.


The majority of students in Central Kentucky, as well as their teachers and parents, have little practical knowledge about energy production in the state or the impact that energy production has on our culture, economy and natural resources. Read More…

Check out our Events Calendar to learn more about upcoming green events in your community! Submit your organization’s green event here.


Green Career Fair

Planning for the 2015 Green Career Fair is well underway! The event will take place on Friday, April 17th at Crestwood Christian Church in Lexington. The goal of this event is to inform high school students about the environmentally friendly educational and career opportunities available to them after graduation.

Last year’s fairs connected over 1,000 students across Central Kentucky with a wide array of resources in diverse industries, including nonprofit organizations, universities, financial aid programs, volunteer opportunities, and over 30 different businesses. We hope that this Spring’s event will be even more impactful on the students who are attending!

All high schools in Central Kentucky are invited to participate at no cost.  Bluegrass Greensource provides funding for busing students to the event and for substitute teachers.  Students will have the opportunity to speak with representatives from environmentally focused organizations from the Bluegrass Region as well as attend breakout sessions for more in-depth information.  Schools may sign up for for morning or afternoon sessions.  There is no limit to the number of students each school may bring.

Bluegrass Greensource is also seeking organizations to participate in this event. We are in search of businesses and programs whose mission statements emphasize sustainability, or who operate in an exceptionally environmentally conscious way. We are also looking for individuals or small groups to lead breakout sessions for students on a variety of different topics related to the green economy.

Please contact Macy Gould at or (859) 266-1572 for more information or to RSVP.


Spring Watershed Festivals and Septic Maintenance Workshops

After a cold and snowy winter, Garrard, Lincoln, and Boyle Counties will welcome the long-awaited spring with festivals celebrating the Earth and focusing on the importance of clean water. Bluegrass Greensource is working with local partners to host two festivals and workshops in April.

The Garrard/Lincoln County Earth Day and Watershed Festival will be held on April 18th from 10:00-3:00 at Garrard County High School. Garrard County High School offers a perfect venue for the event. The outdoor area features a rain garden, a monarch butterfly way station, and ample space for local vendors, children’s activities, food, hiking, and music. Free workshops will be held inside and will focus on water quality in the Dix River watershed, septic system care and maintenance, organic gardening, rain barrels, and monarch butterfly way stations. A guided hike at nearby Tom Dorman Nature Preserve will take place in the afternoon.

The Boyle County Earth Day and Watershed Festival will be held on April 25th from 11:00-3:00 at Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Danville Campus. Boyle County’s Earth Day Festival’s theme of Water Quality will help educate the community about the importance of clean water and the ways they can protect their local waterways. Local vendors, children’s activities, art contests, food, music, and a 14-mile bike ride will be featured at the festival. The Boyle County Earth Day festival will also offer a variety of free workshops indoors, including septic system care and maintenance.

Bluegrass Greensource will host the Septic System Care and Maintenance workshops at the festivals. Septic workshops will focus on the Dix River Watershed in Garrard, Lincoln, and Boyle Counties and the impact of failing septic systems on human health and on the environment. The workshops will give local residents an opportunity to learn about local watersheds and water quality, how septic systems work, proper septic system maintenance, and how to identify problems in a septic system. After attending a workshop, homeowners may apply for financial assistance for system repairs or installation, or for a free septic tank pumpout. To be eligible for the grants, homeowners must reside within the Dix River watershed in Boyle, Garrard, or Lincoln Counties. County health departments are partnering with Bluegrass Greensource to help make this project possible. Please contact Bridget Abernathy at or (859) 266-1572 for more information or to register for an upcoming workshop in advance. Workshop registration will also be available the day of the festivals.

The spring festivals and septic workshops are funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under §319(h) of the Clean Water Act. The Garrard/Lincoln County Earth Day and Watershed Festival is co-sponsored by Earth Angels, Garrard/Lincoln Solid Waste, and Garrard/Lincoln County Cooperative Extension. The Boyle County Earth Day Festival will be held in conjunction with Clarks Run Environmental and Educational Corporation, Boyle County Cooperative Extension, and Bluegrass Community and Technical College.

Festival Locations and Additional Information:

Garrard/Lincoln County Earth Day and Watershed Festival

April 18th, 10:00-3:00

Garrard County High School

599 Industry Road
Lancaster, KY 40444

 Boyle County Earth Day and Watershed Festival

April 25th, 11:00-3:00

BCTC Danville Campus

59 Corporate Drive
Danville, KY 40422-9690





Toyota of Georgetown Environmental Field Trips for Students

Overlooking nearly 50 acres of wetlands, prairies and woodlands, Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Kentucky’s nature trail spans approximately one mile, windingalongside native grasses, bluebird boxes, and Kentucky ‘cane’. Trail markers tell Kentucky’s story and how TMMK works hard to protect the state’s natural treasures. Hikers are guided from one ecological highlight to another, with each stop providing information about the beauty, history and importance of our natural environment.


Approximately one-fourth of the Nature Trail (1/4 mile) is paved and wheelchair accessible.

Hours of Operation
Guided tours are available for school groups Tuesday and Thursday at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Reservations must be made in advance. Self-guided tours available for all visitors accompanied by a Toyota Team Member.

Interested in visiting? Schools may schedule guided trail tours by calling the Visitor Center at 1-800-866-4485. A maximum of 32 (including 1 adult for every 15 students) can be scheduled for guided tours, available Monday through Friday at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Guided tours are weather permitting, and scheduled seasonally (March through November). Self-guided tours may be scheduled for groups larger than 32.

Staying for lunch? A covered pavilion is suitable for picnicking, and ideal for school groups visiting the nature trail. Click here for picnic shelter guidelines.

Transportation Reimbursement for Schools
Toyota offers a limited number of transportation reimbursements for field trips to TMMK’s Environmental Education Center| Nature Trail. Transportation reimbursements are available for 4th – 8th grade field trips.  For more information about this program and to apply, click here.

Link for lunch

Link for reimbursement request


April 2014 Newsletter

Help Keep Lexington Clean and Green at the Downtown Trash Bash

Come on out to the Downtown Trash Bash on Friday, April 18th and make our downtown more beautiful while helping to protect water quality in the Town Branch watershed! Individuals and businesses are invited to join us any time between Noon and 4 p.m. at one of five starting locations, where we will provide the tools you need to help remove litter from our cityscape. Continue reading…

Volunteers Needed for First Annual Main Street 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. Learn more…

Upcoming Festivals Will Celebrate Clean Water in Central Kentucky

The birds are chirping, the trees are in bloom, the weather is warming up – spring has sprung and it’s the perfect time to celebrate the Earth! Bluegrass Greensource is working with a variety of local partners to host three watershed festivals this spring in Boyle, Garrard, and Lincoln Counties. Find more details here.

Beth Oleson Joins Our Team

Greensource welcomes Beth Oleson, our new Outreach Specialist, to the team! Beth will be working with Fayette County businesses through the LiveGreenLexington Partner Program. She began her own environmental education as a toddler, flipping over rocks in her Lexington back yard to check out the bugs living underneath. Learn more about Beth.

Go Green, Save Green Workshop A Success

The fifth annual Go Green, Save Green workshop brought together over 105 members of Lexington’s business community. The workshop, sponsored by LFUCG and organized by Bluegrass Greensource, aims to provide various types of Lexington businesses with information from experts in waste reduction, water, and energy efficiency.  Continue reading…

Check out our new Events Calendar to learn more about upcoming green events in your community! Submit your organization’s green event for inclusion here.


March Newsletter

post image

It’s Not Easy Being Green –
We’re Here to Help


The 5th annual Go Green, Save Green Workshop, sponsored by LFUCG,  is scheduled for March 20, 2014 from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the BCTC Newtown Campus (500 Newtown Pike). This one-day workshop will educate businesses of all types and sizes on practices that are both environmentally friendly and money-saving.

This workshop is a fantastic opportunity to network with sustainability professionals and learn more about the steps that businesses can take to save energy, improve water quality, and reduce waste, all while reducing your costs!


Whether you’re just getting started implementing eco-friendly practices at your business or you’re a seasoned sustainability professional, there are sessions to fit your needs. This year’s workshop offers specialized tracks for various types of businesses including industrial-sized businesses, bars and restaurants, apartment complexes, and religious institutions.

This year, we have partnered with the Kentucky U.S. Green Building Council to expand our offerings, including a session that will provide continuing education credit for LEED professionals. Sessions on energy efficient thermal comfort, grants for developing brownfields, water incentive grants, low impact development, and net-zero building will offer much to consider for businesses looking to ‘go green.’

Homeowners as well as businesses will benefit from learning about current recycling efforts in Lexington, the ins and outs of composting, and water quality issues. There will also be a presentation from the builder of Kentucky’s first net-zero energy home.

The cost to attend is $25 (general attendee), $15 (student attendee), or $50 (vendor). On-site general registration on the day of the event will cost $40. The registration fee covers admission to all sessions, a zero-waste breakfast and catered lunch, a tour of the LEED Certified BCTC Newtown Campus, chances to win door prizes (including a Haiku Fan from Big Ass Fans), and a drink ticket for happy hour. Happy Hour and networking will take place at Blue Stallion Brewing Company after the sessions. Parking is free and conveniently accessible.

To register, please visit by March 18th. Registration after that date cannot be guaranteed to include lunch.



kygives logo

Support Bluegrass Greensource on KY Gives Day on April 9th

Bluegrass Greensource is participating in Kentucky Gives Day, scheduled for April 9, 2014, and we need your help! With just a few clicks, you can help us continue our work in protecting our local environment.

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 Chris Clabes at or (859) 230-2325.



BGGS_Main St Clean Sweep

First Annual Earth Day Main St. Clean Sweep to be Held April 22nd

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



Ben Lyle - Green Jobs PresentationMaking 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.

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



rumpke1Bluegrass Greensource Staff Tour Rumpke Facility

A group from Bluegrass Greensource had the pleasure of touring the Rumpke Material Recovery Facility in Cincinnati, Ohio on February 19th.  Each day Rumpke takes in tons of unsorted recycling and uses some very skilled people and amazing technology to sort everything that makes its way into the facility.   When Rumpke’s old recycling facility burned to the ground in 2012, they committed to building a bigger, better, more efficient facility. This new facility includes six optical scanners, two electromagnetic eddy currents, hundreds of spinning discs as well as nearly 100 employees to sort 500 tons of material daily. Rumpke isn’t stopping there; they hope to have the facility running 24/7 and bring the facility up to maximum sorting capacity.

If you would like to schedule a tour of Rumpke, please visit



Earth Month is Coming Up…

Save the date for these upcoming Earth Month activities in the Bluegrass!

April 5th: Reforest Frankfort
April 12th: Reforest the Bluegrass (Lexington)
April 18th: Downtown Trash Bash (Lexington)
April 22nd: Restore: The Earth Day Event (Georgetown)
April 22nd: Main St. Clean Sweep (Frankfort, Lancaster, Harrodsburg, Winchester, Stanford, Irvine, Danville)
April 26th: Arbor Day at the Arboretum ( Lexington)

Follow us on Facebook to keep up with these and other Earth Month events.


Thank you for signing up to receive our newsletter.  If  you have any questions or comments about this issue, please contact us at                               


Amy Sohner
Executive Director
Bluegrass Greensource

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