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November 24, 2009

The WEG Could Be The Greenest Games Yet

The Bluegrass Partnership for a Green Community and the Kentucky Horse Park are working together to reduce the environmental impact of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games according to TheHorse.com.

Carol Hanley, who is leading the initiative, hopes to raise $500,000 to improve recycling, plant native species, and encourage hotels and restaurants to take action. The project also includes gardens, bike racks and green transport systems.

“It’s a team effort,” said Hanley. “We’re all working together to put these measures into place.”

Three members of the Bluegrass Partnership—the Lexington-Fayette County Government, Fayette County Schools and the non-profit Bluegrass PRIDE—are planning the project with support from the Fédération Equestre Internationale and the KHP.

Esther Cruz Moberly, chairman of the recycling subcommittee, hopes to install 15 permanent recycling stations in the KHP. She estimated that at least 20 percent of the Games’ estimated 800 tons of trash could be easily recycled.

“We’re trying to leave a legacy at the park,” Moberly said. “If we can secure funding for the recycling stations, the park has committed to ensuring everything will be recycled.”

Moberly is working with vendors and the KHP to consider compostable plates and cups at the dining area, giving out reusable bags in the shopping area and installing a cardboard recycling machine, which could reduce garbage by another 30 percent.

The project will encourage hotels and restaurants to implement green measures, such as conserving water or energy. In return, they’ll receive green stars and a plaque to honor their efforts.

Hanley hopes to plant native species and gardens along Cane Run Creek, the watershed that runs through the KHP. Native plants are often drought resistant, which saves water, and they require little or no pesticides or insecticides. Native plants also support native wildlife and biodiversity.

Project planners are considering bike racks along the Legacy Trail, which runs from downtown Lexington to the KHP, buses that run on biofuels and hybrid vehicles for visitor transport, and purchasing green power.

Green Friends of the Games, a fundraising initiative, will solicit support from private citizens, foundations and businesses and allocate the funds. Green Friends is working with WEG planners to ensure that green fundraising will not take away WEG fundraising opportunities but add to their efforts.

People interested in volunteering or donating may call Carol Hanley at (859) 333-8248 or chanley@uky.edu or visit alltechfeigames.com.

 

 
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