Eastern Kentucky PRIDE

Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment

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PRIDE welcomes Boyd, Carter, Elliott and Lincoln Counties

The service area of Eastern Kentucky PRIDE, Inc. — a nonprofit environmental organization — has expanded from 38 counties to 42 counties of southern and eastern Kentucky.

As of Jan. 1, 2013, PRIDE now serves the four counties that joined the Fifth Congressional District in 2012. They are Boyd County, Carter County, Elliott County and Lincoln County.

The other 38 counties in the service area are: Adair, Bath, Bell, Breathitt, Casey, Clay, Clinton, Cumberland, Floyd, Green, Harlan, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, McCreary, Menifee, Metcalfe, Monroe, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Rowan, Russell, Taylor, Wayne, Whitley and Wolfe.

“PRIDE stands for ‘Personal Responsibility In a Desirable Environment,’ and our mission is to assist communities that want to improve water quality, clean up litter and other solid waste problems, and educate about good stewardship,” explained PRIDE’s Tammie Wilson.

“PRIDE is important for making our region healthy and enjoyable for us, as well as attractive to tourists, businesses and retirees,” Wilson said.

PRIDE was founded in 1997 by Congressman Hal Rogers and the late General James Bickford, who was Kentucky’s Environmental Protection Secretary. Their vision was to encourage and equip citizens and local officials to restore the natural beauty of southern and eastern Kentucky.

“PRIDE volunteers have transformed the landscape of southern and eastern Kentucky and I’m excited that the four new counties in the Fifth Congressional District will become a part of this successful program,” said Congressman Rogers. “Every April, upwards of 33,000 volunteers walk the roadsides and banks to clean up our hillsides, lakes and streams. In addition to environmental cleanup and education, our students have taken PRIDE to a whole new level by developing creative energy-saving projects, saving their schools thousands of dollars each year. PRIDE has played a key role in extending clean water and sanitary sewer to thousands of families over the years, including the removal of some 26,000 straight pipes from dumping raw sewage into our streams. I invite each community to join the PRIDE team and see the difference you can make in your environment.”

“We look forward to planting the seeds of PRIDE in Boyd, Carter, Elliott and Lincoln Counties as we build partnerships with the local officials, schools, civic groups, churches and other organizations that want to make their areas look their best,” Wilson said.

PRIDE assists communities to organize cleanup events for volunteers. It also provides speakers and educational materials on stewardship topics, such as recycling and energy conservation. PRIDE supports educators by offering PRIDE Clubs and PRIDE Environmental Education Liaisons.

“With 15 years of experience, we have developed strategies that work well in this region,” Wilson added. “For example, 2,875 illegal dumps have been removed from hills and creeks with PRIDE assistance, and teachers have used PRIDE funds to lead 655,311 students in hands-on environmental education projects, such as building outdoor classrooms.”

PRIDE Spring Cleanup Month in April will initiate the newest counties into the region-wide PRIDE initiative. PRIDE will work with local officials across the 42-county region to plan a month-long campaign to mobilize volunteers to clean roadsides and waterways. The Spring Cleanup is a popular tradition with an average of 25,000-plus volunteers annually.

“To gear up for Spring Cleanup and to receive environmental tips and news, I encourage you to connect with PRIDE online,” Wilson said. “You can follow us on Facebook, and on our web site you can sign up to receive PRIDE e-mails. You also can call our Somerset office, toll free, at 1-888-577-4339.”

The PRIDE Facebook page is www.facebook.com/EasternKentuckyPRIDE.

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