Lexington’s First-Ever Citizens’ Environmental Academy Class Graduates

Posted at 9:51 AM, May 23, 2018

LEXINGTON, Ky. — On Saturday, May 19, the inaugural class graduated from the Citizens’ Environmental Academy, and the Class of 2019 began the program.

The year-long program is presented by Lexington’s Department of Environmental Quality and Public Works (EQPW), and is designed to engage Fayette County residents in environmental issues related to the department’s work.

For the first six months, participants meet one Saturday a month for talks, tours and hands-on activities. Session sites include the Recycling Center, Town Branch Wastewater Treatment Plant, the Senior Center and McConnell Springs.

The program culminates with participants putting their knowledge to work by implementing projects related to the content of the academy. Each participant is given an allowance of up to $2,500 to contribute toward the project of their choice. Projects are selected by class vote and must be approved, along with budget, by the city.

Projects carried out by the graduating class of 20 members include:

  • Homeowner Outreach Packet – a mailer designed to educate new homeowners in Fayette County about city services with a focus on those offered by EQPW;
  • Lexington Green Guide – an online reuse and recycling database;
  • Pop-Up Streetscape – a temporary roadway reconfiguration at Loudon and Bryan Avenues (partially funded by a grant from the Safe Streets Academy);
  • McConnell Springs Tree Crutch – a crutch supporting the more than 250 year old Bur Oak, which will preserve the tree while reducing interference with the pedestrian path; and
  • McConnell Springs Stormwater Remediation – landscaping improvements near the Blue Hole intended to reduce erosion.

“We are excited to see the inaugural class of the academy pass the torch to this new group of enthusiastic, engaged citizens,” says Dowell Hoskins-Squier, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Quality and Public Works. “The graduating members have applied their knowledge to projects that benefit our community in a variety of ways, and we can’t wait to see how the new class follows suit.”

For more on the Citizens’ Environmental Academy, including further details on the Class of 2018’s projects, visit