'Greening' the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games

When the world comes to Kentucky next September, we want to put our greenest foot forward.

That's according to Carol Hanley, director of engagement in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture and Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability & the Environment.

Hanley said to accomplish that, the Bluegrass Partnership for a Green Community is working with the Kentucky Horse Park and the FEI World Equestrian Games team to implement green projects, such as recycling, sustainability measures in hotels and restaurants, and introducing native plant species at the Horse Park.

"Our European visitors have a different standard of sustainability and we want to make a good impression and welcome them to the Bluegrass State," Hanley said.

Green Friends of the Games is a fundraising initiative that will give Kentuckians the opportunity to help make the 2010 Games greener and reduce their environmental impact. It aims to fund green projects that include, among others, permanent recycling centers to promote recycling at the event and smaller portable recycling stations. Green Friends of the Games is also engaged in planting native species and gardens along Cane Run Creek, which runs through the Kentucky Horse Park. The Bluegrass partnership hopes to fund other projects through the Green Friends Program. Benches, sculptures, gardens, and bike racks along the Legacy Trail, running from downtown Lexington to the Kentucky Horse Park, are under consideration, as are biofuels as fuel for visitor transportation, and green power might also be purchased. There are local food, education, and hospitality initiatives and green events for Spotlight Lexington, a festival to be held downtown during the Games. Spotlight Lexington will consist of entertainment, cultural, and artistic activities.

The Green Friends will solicit donations from citizens and from local corporations and organizations not currently the focus of World Equestrian Games' fundraising efforts.The Green Friends of the Games will also work closely with World Equestrian Games' management to ensure that green fundraising will not take away WEG fundraising opportunities, but add to WEG's opportunities.

Volunteers are still needed for this effort. If you are interested, you can volunteer by visiting alltechfeigames.com and clicking on "volunteer," or you can contact Carol Hanley at 859/333-8248 or chanley@uky.edu.

Alexandra Harper is a UK equine intern and undergraduate majoring in communications.

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