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 – bgGreensource.org – 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 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.