Lexington, Ky. – A stream restoration project in Gardenside Park and a community garden for victims of intimate partner abuse were highlighted at this year’s Environmental Commission awards breakfast.
The commission also honored 11 other environmental projects in a ceremony held at the University of Kentucky’s E. S. Good Barn on Wednesday, Nov. 4.
Gardenside Neighborhood Association: For the Gardenside Park stream restoration
The Gardenside Neighborhood Association has worked to restore the stream that runs through Gardenside Park. More than 80 volunteers have contributed more than 700 hours of labor toward the project since the spring of 2014. Volunteers have cleared invasive plants and have planted nearly 1,000 native trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants in their place. The project is a partnership of the Gardenside Neighborhood Association, Friends of Wolf Run, the city’s division of Parks and Recreation, Bluegrass Greensource, and Keep Lexington Beautiful.
Greenhouse 17 & Jim Embry: For the Greenhouse 17 Community Garden
Greenhouse 17, a shelter for victims of intimate partner abuse, has deeply integrated a community garden into its operations. Residents help maintain a large vegetable garden and an orchard. Food from these farming activities is served to residents. Herbs grown on the property are used to make a line of personal care products that are sold to help fund the organization. Flowers grown on the property are sold for special events and through weekly shares that people buy at the beginning of the growing season. Proceeds from the flower sales also benefit the organization.
The act of gardening has been transformative for both the organization and the Greenhouse 17 residents. These transformations were made possible by Jim Embry, who has long promoted the benefits of community gardens to churches, the local government, neighborhood associations, and others. Jim helped Greenhouse 17 create a vision for their garden, and assisted them in making the connections that would help turn the vision into reality.
Also being honored for their projects are:
Metzger & Company, Inc. and Barrington Group Inc.: For 300 at the Circle
Metzger & Company, Inc. purchased 30-some buildings located on 20 acres at the corner of New Circle Road and Richmond Road. These properties had been in decline for more than a decade. Over the past three years, Metzger & Company has transformed this once blighted complex – formerly known as Pennington Place – into one of Lexington’s premier apartment facilities. The $16 million redevelopment and infill project is a shining example of adaptive reuse and economic revitalization.
Broke Spoke Community Bike Shop: For providing better access to better bikes
Broke Spoke Community Bike Shop’s mission is to provide access to better bicycles for all and to empower individuals to perform their own bicycle maintenance. At Broke Spoke, one can buy used bikes and parts. You can also rent work stand time and ask a bike mechanic if you are doing your repair correctly. Those with limited funds can earn credit for purchases or stand rental by volunteering at the shop. Broke Spoke prides itself as being a place to build relationships and give back to the community.
Kluasing Group: For Monarch waystation rain garden
Klausing Group, as a leader in environmentally-friendly landscaping and grounds maintenance, is in a unique position to use their stormwater best management practices and registered Monarch waystation to encourage clients to implement their own green infrastructure. The company has provided several public education programs focused on their rain garden and waystation in an effort to promote the concepts beyond their client base.
Kentucky American Water: For the company property gone wild
Kentucky American Water’s Richmond Road campus consists of more than 90 acres. It houses the company’s headquarters, water treatment plant, field operations center, stockyard, and storage building. The campus was designated wildlife friendly more than a decade ago by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife because the company’s effort to encourage wildlife habitat on the property thru no-mow zones and birdhouse installation. During the last two years, employees have replaced three acres of turf grass with native grasses and wildflowers. Employees have also worked with Girl Scout Troop 870 to install a Monarch butterfly waystation.
Meadowthorpe Neighborhood Association: For the Meadowthorpe tree walk
Wanting to highlight the critical importance of trees to the environment, the Meadowthorpe Neighborhood Association developed a tree walk brochure. The brochure was designed to get residents walking through the neighborhood and to “let the trees speak for themselves.” The project also identifies approved street trees and provides positive examples of tree selection and placement.
Marilee Design & Construction and Pohl Rosa Pohl: For the Industrial Oasis bus shelter
This bus shelter, located off Southland Drive, was designed to convey a sense of the texture of tree bark and the division of tree branches. This art shelter was also designed to improve the experience of those that use this environmentally-friendly means of transportation.
Scott Smouse: For the Vaughn’s Branch restoration and cleanup
Scott Smouse has volunteered for numerous projects over the years without giving any thought to gaining recognition for his work. He has helped organize a number of Wolf Run Watershed clean-up activities, honeysuckle removal events, and stream bank restoration projects. Smouse has been a key steward of the Versailles Road corridor and Cardinal Valley neighborhood.
The Southland Association: For the Southland Drive green infrastructure feasibility study
The Southland Drive Association was awarded a city water quality incentive grant to study the practicality of implementing environmentally and financially sustainable stormwater management practices along the Southland Drive corridor. The study resulted in a set of tools to guide property and business owners in selecting best management practices that reduce operational costs while improving the quality of stormwater.
Lexington Tree Board: For the Woodland Park Tree Trail signage
The Lexington Tree Board placed signs throughout Woodland Park to provide information about 100 different tree species. The signs also provide information on the benefits trees, including cleaner air, stormwater mitigation, and temperature moderation. This project is notable because of the collaboration between the city, landscape design professionals, arboricultural professionals, citizen volunteers, and students and staff from the Southside Technical Center.
Aylesofrd Neighborhood Association and Michler’s Florist: For Woodland Triangle median beautification
The Aylesford Neighborhood Association received a city grant to develop the Woodland Avenue triangle median and to increase awareness of the changed traffic pattern in the neighborhood. The association worked with Michler’s Florist, Greenhouse & Garden Design to create and maintain the planting scheme.
Miami Management and Wainscott Landscaping: For the Nicholasville Road Wendy’s corridor beautification
Wendy’s and Wainscott Landscaping designed and installed a landscaped space along Nicholasville Road that provides a better vista of the businesses while beautifying a major Lexington corridor.