Environmental Quality Commission
Environmental Quality Commission presents 2009 Earth Day awards

Press Release Date:  Friday, April 17, 2009  
Contact Information:  Dick Brown 502-564-5525  

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 17, 2009) – Energy and Environment Cabinet Deputy Secretary Hank List and the Kentucky Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) today recognized individuals and groups who have made significant contributions to the environment.

“It’s important to recognize those Kentuckians who have worked diligently in increasing awareness of environmental issues,” said List.

The 2009 Earth Day Award recipients are:

  • Ted Withrow of Morehead received recognition for his work in protecting the Big Sandy watershed. His accomplishments include the production of educational materials and a video called “The Big Sandy and You,” which was distributed to thousands of schoolchildren.  His efforts have resulted in four communities that will have new municipal sewers replacing the old straight pipe system. Withrow recently retired from the Kentucky Division of Water.
  • Sue Anne Salmon of Madisonville was recognized for her advocacy and education efforts. As an investigative reporter in Whitesburg, she wrote about Appalachia, coal mining, coal miners and their families, and the environmental impact of that industry.  She has worked with a variety of environmental groups, ranging from a community organization fighting the destruction of the water basin in her Lexington neighborhood to active involvement with Watershed Watch as a water sentinel and Concerned Citizens of Hopkins County. 
  • Cromer Ridge Team of Winchester is a group of dedicated professionals working to restore more than 8,000 acres of public and private lands scarred by years of illegal off-highway vehicle use in Laurel County. This project is expected to reduce sediment yield in the river by roughly 9,000 tons per year. Aquatic habitat will be significantly improved.
  • Kentucky Sustainability Institute, Lexington, teaches leaders and citizens about sustainable development techniques. They have developed curriculum and materials for training as well as providing resources that include a “green” dictionary, and The Kentucky Sustainable Institute Green Tool for Elected Officials.
  • The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government’s Waste Buster Program is sponsored by Lexington’s local government and managed by Bluegrass PRIDE. The program works with businesses, schools and apartment complexes to encourage increased waste reduction practices. More than 140 businesses, 70 schools and 50 apartment complexes are now participants.
  • The Kentucky Derby Festival of Louisville this year is offering more recycling receptacles than ever before, enlisting the help of 300 volunteers known as the “Green Team” to increase cleanup efforts. They have made a new biodegradable “Go Green” pin made from corn oil, with packaging made from recycled plastic Pegasus pins.
  • Mark Jacobs of Petersburg is the executive director of Wildlife Conservation Kentucky Inc. He has restored a 165-acre park back to its native condition by implementing a program to remove non-native invasive plant species and establishing 40 acres of native grasses. Jacobs has planted approximately 5,000 native trees and shrubs of at least 10 different species.

The 2009 Public Service Award was presented to Don Dott, executive director of the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission (KSNPC) and president of the Kentucky Natural Lands Trust. Dott, an attorney, has headed the KSNPC since 1998.

The 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Revis “Reb” Stacey of Williamstown. In 1968, Stacey began using his own money to restore over 700 acres of forestland in Grant County. He created the Reb Stacey Woodland and Wildlife Center to help teach young people about the importance of the forest and its vulnerability.

The EQC is a seven-member citizen board created under state law.  Its mission is to facilitate public discussion and resolution of environmental issues, monitor environmental trends and conditions, promote partnerships to protect the environment for future generations and serve as an advisory board to the governor and other state officials on environmental matters.