The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky and Kentucky Waterways Alliance co-host the annual Green River Fest and Clean the Green events.
Kentucky Waterways Alliance (KWA) has worked diligently for 19 years toward a mission to protect and restore Kentucky's waterways. Through grassroots education, community-based organization, and state- and nation-wide advocacy, KWA has been very successful in their work to protect Kentucky's rivers, lakes and streams. In an effort to profile this important partner, the Conservancy interviewed KWA about their work in Kentucky.
Nature.org: How did your organization develop an interest in conservation?
Kentucky Waterways Alliance formed in 1992 to promote networking, communications and mutual support among groups, government agencies, businesses and individuals working toward one common goal -- to improve Kentucky's water quality. In 1993, that vision came together as the only nonprofit in the state working full-time on water issues.
Nature.org: How do you incorporate sustainability practices into your operations plan?
We incorporate sustainability in many ways -- from recycling, to reusing "waste" paper in printing drafts, to energy conservation. In addition, staff (as well as our board and our members) are encouraged to carpool to KWA meetings and events.
Nature.org: Describe your interactions with The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky.
We work with the Conservancy on several river cleanups geared toward protecting the Green River from excessive pollution. It has been -- and continues to be -- an honor to work with an organization that has done so much to protect our natural resources. Collaboratively, we have had great success engaging the public at our cleanups - recruiting hundreds of volunteers to clean the river, and removing tons of trash from the river each year.
KWA's other partnership with the Conservancy involves the conservation of land and aquatic species in Kentucky. KWA administers an Aquatic Resource Fund in Kentucky that the Conservancy has used to purchase lands in Sinking Creek and to implement conservation efforts on the Davis Bend Nature Preserve and Three Hundred Springs property along the Green River.
Nature.org: Do you have a favorite project of TNC's? Any advice for other people interested in Kentucky Conservation?
We would be hard pressed to choose between Sinking Creek and the Green River conservation efforts. ALL the work the Conservancy does is important to protecting our environment for this generation and for generations to come. Kentucky has such wonderful rivers and streams - our advice to people is to learn more and get involved!