Environmental Quality Commission
Environmental Quality Commission Recognizes Earth Day Achievements of Kentuckians
The Kentucky Environmental Quality Commission today presented its annual Earth Day awards to individuals and groups who have made significant contributions to the environment.
This year’s event took place on the campus of Kentucky State University in Frankfort.
Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Len Peters said this year’s recipients prove that Kentuckians can make a positive contribution to the Commonwealth’s environment.
“Today, we are honoring a diverse group with a common goal: to clean up and take care of Kentucky’s environment,” Secretary Peters said. “ I’m delighted to see two students on the list; our young Kentuckians are demonstrating that what goes on in our state is of importance to them. I’m equally excited to recognize one individual who has spent his 79 years making Kentucky a better place and is an example to us all.”
This year’s award recipients are:
Bracken County Conservation District
Last year more than 200 T-shirts were given to third-grade students to remind them of the importance of keeping our Earth clean and healthy. In addition, roll-off dumpsters were placed throughout the county for citizens to place unwanted items. This effort reaped nearly 112 tons of garbage. The dumpsters were provided through a Kentucky Division of Conservation environmental grant.
Candace, an 18-year-old senior at Eminence Independent Schools, is president of her senior class and an outdoor enthusiast. She spends tremendous time talking with her classmates about the necessity of keeping the environment free of trash and the advantages of going green. She schedules regular trash cleanup days around the Eminence area.
Jessamine Judge/Executive William Neal Cassity
Jessamine County Judge/Executive Neal Cassity has long expressed his concern and interest in environmental quality. He established two inmate crews to monitor and clean up roadside litter. He was instrumental in constructing the county’s first no-charge recycle centers, a recyclable market for residents, and a convenience center for construction debris. He is a charter member of the Bluegrass Regional Recycling Corp. This year alone, the county clean-up accounted for more than 1,100 tons of waste in a seven-day period.
Green Castle Baptist Church
Located in eastern Jefferson County, Green Castle became the first house of worship to receive the Energy Star Certification from the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Because of modifications made prior to the energy application, Green Castle’s buildings and products qualified for energy efficiency in the top 25 percent of their type. The 37,000-square-foot has an energy bill of approximately $2,600 per month.
Bridgeport Christian Church
Located in Franklin County, Bridgeport Christian Church is recognized for its formation of a “Green Team” to reduce the impact of individual and collective actions on the environment. The green team created a recycling program, installed programmable thermostats, created an environmental education area, switched to reusable and recycled items and implemented recommendations from an energy audit of their facility.
Randall Napier, a student at Eastern Kentucky University, Corbin Campus, and chair of the Student Government Association, applied and received a Kentucky PRIDE grant that supplied the campus with recycling receptacles. He created the first Kentucky PRIDE Club at EKU, and developed a proposal for strategic recycling distribution and collection system for the Corbin/North Whitley County area.
Marvin Lee Bryant Jr.
For more than a decade, Bryant has been a star example of conservation stewardship. Through his efforts, he is responsible for the planting of about 30,000 trees and shrubs, improving mined land in Whitley County. He founded the Cumberland River Reclamation Project and has been nationally recognized by conservation districts.
Woodford County Conservation District
After an audit by Kentucky Utilities, the Woodford County board recently completed Phase I of its “Going Green Project” by installing occupancy sensors, switching out T-12 lamps with fewer more energy efficient T-8 lamps using Woodford County labor and materials. Expected annual savings of $1,600 is expected on electric bills with additional savings from product rebates.
The 2011 Public Service Award was presented to J.R. Williamson of Scott County. In 1993, Williamson founded the Solid Waste Coordinators of Kentucky, an organization that encourages counties to work together to solve solid waste issues. He was chair of the organization from 1993–1996. He also served as the group’s legislative liaison, membership services and landfill services chairman. Williamson has been a solid waste coordinator for more than 20 years. His deep commitment to protecting our natural resources is exhibited by his extensive educational outreach, providing encouragement to communities to recycle and reuse.
The 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dr. Lee Dew. Since 1969, Dr. Dew has been involved in the environmental preservation movement. Through the years, Dr. Dew, an educator by profession, helped spur recycling in Owensboro; organized the Tradewater/Lower Green Watershed Watch program; and served as a “water sentinel” for the Sierra Club. Dr. Dew also makes presentations at environmental events across the state.