You would think that after the end of a long legislative session, we would be taking a break, but it has been a very busy summer here at the Kentucky Conservation Committee. We are presently continuing our work on several initiatives from the legislative session, such as our work do defend land conservation funding, support for electric cars, pollinator programs, clean energy and more. In addition, we have been trying to get out and about across the state to meet with groups and citizens in a wide range of legislative districts.
We started the summer by attending a screening of the new film, The Human Element, which was shown in both Louisville and Lexington. KCC is helping to coordinate additional screenings of this film over the rest of the Summer and Fall throughout the state. If you have a facility that is interested in showing the film, please contact us.
We’ve also been taking the time to explore other initiatives happening around the state and beyond starting with Kentucky’s Pollinator Program, where State Apiarist Tammy Horn hosted a day at one of the University of Kentucky’s research farms. UK interns showed us an array of research gardens with test plots of milkweed and native plants designed to inform best practices for monarch waystations and effective habitat restoration. We finished the day at Columbia Gas, where they have been experimenting with ways to transform utility corridors to promote more monarch-friendly habitat.
We also took the opportunity to check out the innovative programs happening at Mt. Folly Farm in Winchester, where Laura Freeman (formerly known for Laura’s Lean Beef products) has developed a wonderful suite of locally-based agricultural initiatives, out at her historic 1790s log house and organic farm. The compound features heirloom crops and heritage corn, plus her newly-planted CBD hemp plantation, used for Laura’s CBD oil and hemp chocolate products. Her farm is being designed to become a “carbon sink,” and the farming complex is open for birding and biking on Saturdays. See story about Laura’s work here.
We also traveled to Nolin Rural Electric Co-Operative in Elizabethtown, which has become America’s first PEER-certified electric co-operative. PEER is a standard from the US Green Building Council that stands for Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal. Nolin achieved its PEER “Gold” status by launching an emergency response plan for reliable service, by continually monitoring power quality on each service point on its 3,000-mile system, and by establishing enhanced tracking to determine root causes of any equipment failure and to identify problems. To learn more about PEER, go to: http://peer.gbci.org
Finally, we had the pleasure of attending the U.S. Climate Action Network Annual Conference, where KCC has been a member group for several years. The annual conference is where hundreds of organizations, with a particular emphasis on small and frontline groups, help to set climate priorities across the nation. KCC is presently compiling some of the best examples of local climate work in here in Kentucky for a project we will be releasing later this year. So watch for that soon!
So what is in store for the rest of the summer??
You can plan on seeing us once again out at the Kentucky Heartwood Music Festival on Saturday, July 28th in scenic Millville, Kentucky for starters. The event runs from 3-10PM rain or shine, so come on out!!
KCC’s Foundation is also one of the charities registered for the Birdies for the Bluegrass event, which is a PGA tour event to support charities throughout the region. So please ask your golfing friends (and others) to check out our foundation’s charity page for the event, and make a pledge per birdie! We appreciate if you can spread the word!
And because our work is at its most successful when we grow our strategic partnerships, we want to draw your attention to the upcoming Justice First tour, which focuses on building solidarity in the South by combining environmental justice, climate justice, economic justice and racial justice. The tour will be in Louisville on August 3rd, 2018. The tour will be visiting the Joshua Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, 426 South 15thStreet, from 6-8pm.
Finally, we plan on ending the season with our presentation of the Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Lexington, to be held on Thursday, August 30th at the Kentucky Theatre. If you have attended one of these festivals in the past, you know they are jam-packed with wonderful outdoor films, with each screening featuring a new mix of films custom-selected by the sponsoring organization. We’ve selected 14 short films that include a wide variety of hiking, birding and travel adventure films as a fundraiser for KCC. We want to thank our major sponsors for the event, which include: Solar Energy Solutions, West Sixth Brewery, J&H Lanmark Outfitters, Wild Birds Unlimited Lexington, Republic Bank, Quantrell Subaru and Good Foods Co-Op. Thanks to the Kentucky Sierra Club for their in-kind promotion support. We are presently helping to collect silent auction items for the Kentucky Conservation Foundation’s Silent Auction, which will run simultaneously with KCC’s film fest, so if you are interested in contributing items, please contact us.
Finally, some “Thank You’s” And Actions
We wish to thank Senator McGarvey and Representative Donohue for their recent editorial on how some utilities are rolling back energy efficiency programs. See story here. If you are an LG&E-KU customer and would like to submit your own thoughts to the Public Service Commission on these rollbacks, please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than July 23rd, note “Case No. 2017-00441” in your subject line, and include your name and USPS mailing address in the body of your note.