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2022 Beautify the Bluegrass Governor’s Award

Representatives from Warren County and Operation PRIDE receive the Governor's Award for the Beautify I-65 Project. Photo: Wade Harris
Jackson Purchase Energy receives their finalist certificate for the Lifeline Recovery Center Playground Project. Photo: Wade Harris
Liberty Tourism receives their finalist certificate for their Veterans Memorial Park Project. Photo: Wade Harris
Eastern Elementary Garden Club receives their finalist certificate for their project. Photo: Wade Harris
Knob Creek Conservancy and LaRue Co. Schools receive their certificate for the Hodgenville Elementary School Natural Trail/Outdoor Classroom Project. Photo: Wade Harris

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear and Kentucky Electric Cooperatives President and CEO Chris Perry announced the Beautify I-65 Project in Warren County is the winner of the 2022 Beautify the Bluegrass Governor’s Award. For the sixth straight year, the Governor’s Office, Kentucky’s electric cooperatives and their flagship publication, Kentucky Livingcollaborated on the Beautify the Bluegrass initiative to recognize and celebrate efforts that enhance the Commonwealth and make us proud to call Kentucky home.

“It’s a privilege to congratulate the Beautify I-65 project, along with all the other Beautify the Bluegrass initiatives, for their incredible efforts to make Kentucky a better place to live and raise a family,” said Governor Beshear. “The Beautify the Bluegrass program is one of my favorite examples of what it means to be on ‘Team Kentucky.’ I am so grateful to every individual, family and organization who volunteered their time to improve their community.”

“All five of these projects are worthy of this award,” said Johnny Webb, the project’s organizer and fundraiser. “We hope to make other communities in Kentucky jealous of us, but jealous in a good way. We would like for other communities in Kentucky to do what we’ve done because we want to elevate the commonwealth of Kentucky. It creates community pride, and it’s an economic development tool for our community.”

Warren Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation (WRECC) nominated the Beautify I-65 project, which involves planting flowers and trees, installing fencing along five local interchanges and creating “gateway” exits with attractive signs and colorful flags. The project is a partnership among Operation PRIDE, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the City of Bowling Green, and Warren County. Organizers hope to entice travelers to explore the community and engage with local businesses.  

“Because co-ops belong to and are led by people in the communities they serve, improving the quality of life in those local communities is at the heart of the electric cooperative mission. I’m especially pleased that Warren RECC and the entire Bowling Green area rallied around this project to earn this recognition,” Perry said. “The statewide association of electric cooperatives takes great pride once again highlighting impressive, homegrown projects across our Commonwealth that are making Kentucky a better and more beautiful place.”

Kentuckians cast votes for their favorite beautification project from five finalists on KentuckyLiving.com. The other finalists included: 

  • Veterans Memorial Park Beautification Project, Liberty;
  • Eastern Elementary Garden Club, Pleasureville;
  • Lifeline Recovery Center Playground, Paducah; and
  • Hodgenville Elementary School Natural Trail and Outdoor Classroom
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