HAZARD—Over the last year, the Perry County Soil and Conservation District has worked diligently to improve the environmental conditions of Perry County, and now that hard work had paid off. The district was named the top conservation district in Eastern Kentucky this year for the first time in the district’s history.
District Chairman Bobby Brown said he was extremely proud and honored for receiving the award and for all of the work his district has put in in the last year that made it the Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts’ “Outstanding Conservation District” in the region.
“This year we gave away fruit trees and we done the wildlife seed give away, and we’ve gave away garden seeds—corn and beans—plus, helping with the PRIDE program and the Spring Clean Up, which we’re heavily involved in,” Brown said of just a few of the things the district has been able to do for the county in the last year.
Brown added that the district also has six individuals on a $1,000 continuing scholarship for programs related to the conservation field.
Though the excitement of receiving the award has not quelled, Brown said he is already looking to future endeavors in the county that may make the district just as outstanding in a year’s time as it is now.
“The city has a recycling program, but there’s not a countywide one,” Brown said, adding that the current recycling center could be upgraded to be able to accept a wider variety of recyclables. “So, we’ll see what they’ve got set up and use some of their ideas to establish one here.”
Brown said that while implementing a new recycling program or expanding the existing one would warrant some high dollar amounts, the district has a few avenues to explore for funding.
“We have some [grants] and we have access to some more,” he said
Last year, the district teamed up with the Perry County Fiscal Court to implement an electronics recycling program. Brown explained he hoped another partnership with the county for a future county recycling center may be a possibility.
“That was a partnership between the conservation district and the Perry County Fiscal Court to establish that one. We chipped in half of the funds and the county built the building and the county’s provided the land to put it on and it’s working pretty good,” he said.
Brown said being awarded the most outstanding district in the east is definitely a great honor, but really couldn’t have happened without the hard work of those in the district, especially the new secretary, Patty Fugate.
“It shows that your program is progressing in the right way, and I think we’ve shown that,” he said. “We’re not a tree-hugging entity. We’re just to see that we can conserve our natural resources in this county, and if we dig those up … we want to see that it’s done in the right, proper way. That’s what we’re about.”
Amelia Holliday can be reached at 606-436-5771, or on Twitter @HazardHerald.