Bluegrass Greensource bringing events to Boyle County
Published 8:25 am Thursday, December 21, 2023
By Fiona Morgan
Bluegrass Greensource is bringing several events and programs to Boyle County in 2024, which will encourage locals to save energy and take care of their environment.
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Bluegrass Greensource is an environmental nonprofit based in Central Kentucky, and has been working in Boyle County for over 10 years. This coming spring, they will have some new and continuing projects in Danville.
Community Outreach Coordinator Alli Johnson said they’ll have more programs in Boyle County next year than in any other county. One new program that’s going right now is the Green Neighbor Program. Johnson said it’s a pilot program that they’ve launched for the first time in Boyle County.
The Green Neighbor Program is a certification that any Boyle County resident can get. The certification will encourage homeowners to participate in environmentally friendly practices in their own homes, by providing the resources and recognizing their efforts.
To get the certification, residents can fill out a survey online, answering questions like “Are you watering your lawn multiple times a week?” and “Are you turning lights off when you leave the house?” The evaluation is divided into five sections:
• Water Quality & Conservation
• Lawn Care
• Plant Installation
Each section has a series of questions, each one with a points value. People can enter the points value for each question if it’s applicable for their household. People need to have a minimum score of 30 points to get the certification.
The survey takes 15 to 20 minutes to fill out, and the results give a full report on what areas people can improve on.
Actions mentioned in the survey help local environments by improving lawn health, reducing the amount of yard waste sent to landfills, providing habitat for native species, and reducing pollutants in the water.
Certificates will be free of charge and will be emailed to recipients as a downloadable/printable PDF file. “Green Neighbor Certified” yard signs will also be available. More information and pricing for yard signage will be announced soon.
Johnson said most people don’t get the certification on the first try, they have to go back through and make changes. She said Bluegrass Greensource offers phone consultations for people who want to improve their score.
The survey is up right now and will likely go through 2025, and may get renewed beyond that. The program is funded by Danville Stormwater.
The survey is available at bggreensource.org/green-neighbor.
Johnson said they started the Green Neighbor Program last year, but it didn’t get much participation. Boyle County is the only place they’re offering it right now, but Johnson said they hope to expand it and keep it up for many more years.
She said the goal is to build a community where people see that their neighbors are getting the certification, that maybe they’ll be inspired to as well, and learn about how they can help the environment.
“It can be not necessarily stopping bad behavior, but starting good behavior,” Johnson said. “It’s not meant to be punitive, just to encourage good things.”
There will be three events in conjunction with the Green Neighbor program, but people do not need to be certified to attend the events. There will be two rain barrel workshops, which Johnson said they’ve done in the past and people love them. People can go and make a rain barrel, and will pay $20 for what’s usually a $80-90 rain barrel.
Another event will be a rain garden workshop, where people will learn how to make a rain garden and maintain it. Rain gardens are small areas that can collect stormwater runoff, with native grasses and plants to promote pollinators.
Home Energy Efficiency Workshop
Bluegrass Greensource is holding a home energy efficiency workshop on Jan. 23, 2024 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Boyle County Public Library. The event is free and is funded by the Office of Energy Policy at the state level.
People will learn about the current energy landscape, and get hands-on experience using the home energy audit kit. Using the kit, people can evaluate spaces in their homes where they’re losing energy.
They will also learn simple DIY improvements that can help lower energy consumption and reduce the cost of utilities, such as resealing windows. The free kit will have various items they can use in their home to help save energy.
Main Street Clean Sweep
The Main Street Clean Sweep is a one-day community-led litter clean up in towns throughout Central Kentucky. Bluegrass Greensource provides all the materials like trash bags, gloves, grabbers, hand sanitizer; and will give out merchandise like t-shirts and water bottles.
A community sponsor picks the location for picking up trash, and recruits people to come. In past years, volunteers in Boyle County have picked up litter near local streams, since some trash makes its way down to the streams. Local watershed advocate Preston Miles has been a community sponsor in the past.
No date has been decided yet, but it will be sometime in April. Main Street Clean Sweep is usually held the week of Earth Day.
Green Business Innovation Forum
Bluegrass Greensource will be hosting a Green Business Innovation Forum on May 31, 2024. The location has not been announced yet.
Businesses from any sector can come to learn about opportunities for state and federal funding to make energy reduction improvements to their business. The forum will have keynote speakers, engaging panels, and interactive breakout sessions.
The sessions will allow local businesses and environmental leaders an opportunity to connect, discover, and share ideas. To register as a speaker, vendor, or attendee, people can go to bggreensource.org/green-business-innovation-forum.
For more information about any events, people can contact Johnson at (859) 266-1572 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.