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Kentucky’s Earth Day celebration April 21 brings attention to importance of conservation

Gov. Matt Bevin has proclaimed April 22 as Earth Day in Kentucky. Each year, Kentucky celebrates Earth Day to increase awareness of the importance of conservation, stewardship and protection of our natural environment.

This year, the Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC), the Kentucky Division for Air Quality and the Kentucky Environmental Education Council are co-hosting the 2016 Earth Day Celebration Thursday, April 21, from 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the Brown-Forman Room and Cralle-Day Garden at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History in downtown Frankfort.

EEC Secretary Charles Snavely will kick off the event with remarks beginning at 10:30 a.m. The celebration includes recognition of Kentucky’s newest Green Ribbon Schools and the Green and Healthy Schools and the presentation of Earth Day Awards by the Environmental Quality Commission (EQC).

earthday poster

A number of state and local agencies will have booths to educate state employees and the public about how to become better environmental stewards.

“Across the Commonwealth, students, educators and other citizens are making commitments to improve the environmental health of our beautiful state,” said Snavely. “I encourage Kentuckians who are interested in learning how they can promote conservation and stewardship to stop by and browse the exhibits and ask questions.

“It’s also important to celebrate the many Kentuckians who are already engaging in environmental stewardship – and the EQC is doing just that through the annual Earth Day Awards,” added Secretary Snavely.

Here are a few exhibitor highlights:

— The Capital City Beekeepers Association will distribute information concerning beekeeping, the importance of bees in pollination and in making honey. If the weather cooperates, an observation hive will be on display. The beekeepers will have honey for tasting and for purchase. Also available for purchase will be “Bee Friendly Kentucky” tee-shirts.

— The Kentucky Department for Public Health will highlight Kentucky’s Environmental Public Health Tracking Network, “Your Environment, Your Health.” Kentucky is one of two states to receive a grant to collect data on environmental factors, exposure and health outcomes. Find out how we affect the environment and how the environment affects us.

— The Kentucky Division of Forestry will have approximately 300 tree seedlings to give away, along with information on invasive species, outdoor fire safety and forest stewardship.

— Kentucky State University will show how to get hands-on with your watershed and learn about point-source and non-point source pollution and what you can do to reduce it.

— The No Drive-Thru Crew, a group of 8th-grade SCAPA Bluegrass students, will share their message of reducing carbon emissions by walking into restaurants to order food, rather than using the drive-thru. Their award-winning project won them and their school $25,000 in this year’s Lexus Eco Challenge.

Visitors will be able to check out electric cars including a Chevy Volt and a Tesla Model S, which has more than a 270-mile range.
Ollie Otter, the mascot of the Kentucky Division of Water, will be on hand to greet the crowd.

Other participating state and local agencies include:

Kentucky Environmental Education Council
Bluegrass Greensource
Walk/Bike Frankfort
Woods and Waters Trust
Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund
Division of Waste Management
Reforest Frankfort
Kids Grow Kentucky
Department of Parks
Food Chain of Lexington
Kentucky Emergency Management
Division of Compliance Assistance
Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission
Kentucky Home Performance, Kentucky Housing Corp.
Frankfort Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites
Josephine Sculpture Park

The celebration is free and open to the public. For more information, call Ricki Gardenhire at 502-564-5525 or email Ricki.gardenhire@ky.gov. Visit the website.

From Energy and Environment Cabinet Communications

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