No federal funds appropriated for Bluegrass PRIDE program

December 23, 2004

Bluegrass PRIDE, an environmental non-profit organization that has served 18 counties in central Kentucky for the past three years, will not receive any federal funding next fiscal year.

Officials said it is a major setback since the program is funded solely through federal funds.

The program, initially started by Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher, gained the support of Democrat Congressman Ben Chandler because of its non-partisan approach to environmental issues.

Despite Chandler's support and the program's successes, Bluegrass PRIDE did not receive funding during the federal appropriation process for the 2005 fiscal year, officials said.

Since its inception, the program has awarded more than $375,000 for community environmental projects and $135,000 for environmental education programs.

Additionally, PRIDE, which stands for Personal Responsibility In a Desirable Environment, has spent in excess of $200,000 to directly support outreach campaigns that address local environmental issues such as non-point source pollution, household hazardous waste and litter.


PRIDE still plans to award more than $160,000 in January to governments and organizations throughout central Kentucky.

"One of the main objectives of PRIDE is to provide resources that improve quality of life in the Bluegrass through improving the environment.

"Our grant programs are key to fulfilling that objective, so PRIDE will go ahead with plans to award the 2005 community grants," said Angela Poe Dossett, executive director.

Dossett noted, however, that the grants will be the last awarded until further federal money is secured.

In the meantime, PRIDE will continue to develop and implement community and school programs.

Working with Chandler to raise money through donations, grants

The organization will work with Chandler to raise enough money to keep the organization running through donations and grants, while also working with Chandler's office in anticipation of the 2006 appropriation process.

"Even without the grants programs, PRIDE will continue to be a relevant organization impacting environmental quality in central Kentucky.

"Outside of the grants process, PRIDE has directly impacted students at 200 schools, given away hardener that has led to the proper disposal of thousands of gallons of paint, provided relevant internship experience for 10 students from five different universities, informed hundreds of thousands of adults about water quality issues through partnerships with organizations like Clear Channel and WKYT, and participated in litter abatement in all 18 of our counties," said Dossett.

"It will be more difficult now, but we must continue in our efforts to make central Kentucky a cleaner, safer, healthier place."

Anyone interested in contributing to the Keep PRIDE in the Bluegrass Fund can send a check to P.O. Box 910384, Lexington, KY 405091.

Bluegrass PRIDE is a 501(C)3 organization, so donations qualify for tax deductions.

For more information, call (866) 222-1648.

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