This past May, I was a part of the Lexington’s 2019 Citizen’s Environmental Academy. The 2019 was the second class to graduate from this program that is offered by the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government Division of Environmental Services.
The program is a year long venture. The first half of the program involves meeting once a month to learn about different aspects of environmental efforts in Lexington. We made several trips to different locations such as the Water Treatment Plant, the LEED certified Lexington Citizen’s Center, McConnell’s Springs, and the Regional Recycling Facility.
The second half of the program involved creating and executing an environmentally focused project. The projects had to follow certain guidelines and deadlines, but the program leaders were open to ideas. We then had to present our project ideas to our class, which in turn received a vote. This vote determined if the project could continue.
2019’s completed projects included
UpCycle Bluegrass where efforts were made to teach people how to take common household items and repurpose them into something new instead of throwing them away.
Go See Trees, which was a project dedicated to creating a tree map of historic or significant trees in Lexington. With the debut of the map in May, anyone in Lexington could become involved with a month long interactive contest to see if you could visit all the trees on the map. There was another challenge this past October.
Preston Cave Springs Restoration, aimed to eradicate invasive species such as honeysuckle and winter creeper in a part of this Lexington public park and plant native plants in order to restore beauty and the ecology along this natural spring.
Cane Run Greenway Installation, took efforts to improve a riparian buffer, where the Cane Run stream daylights . Native plants and many trees were planted in this space in order to increase the ecological value of this area and improve stormwater quality. The project implemented one of the Plant By Numbers gardens. Check out the Plant By Numbers program, which EARTHeim created the designs for!
Lastly, the Tree Care Video Guide, is a series of 5 videos created to educate the public on how to take care of their trees. This includes ‘The Value of Trees‘, ‘Right Tree Right Space, ‘Pruning‘, ‘Mulching‘, and ‘Proper Planting‘. This was my project, in which I was the only team member of the academy! The videos were filmed by a student videographer the city was able to provide. Unfortunately, the Right Tree Right Space video has not been posted and I’m unsure why.