Members Enjoy Multi-Chapter Sustainability Tour | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Members Enjoy Multi-Chapter Sustainability Tour

Members Filly Tierney, Rosanne Klarer, Ben Baker, and Jack Barnett talk about how the day went in Jack's kitchen after the event concluded.

Nearly 20 members of the Northern Kentucky and Scott County chapters participated in a day of learning and experiencing different ways people are working to build a more sustainabile and healthy Kentucky.

Members learning more about the vendors who sell at the Covington Farmers Market. One of the market's regulars picking up some of her groceries.

Members began the day at the Covington Farmers Market, a place where the Northern Kentucky chapter often does voter registration. There the groups shopped from local farmers, met some of the regulars, and had two presentations about the local market. The first presentation, done by Grahamville Griffith, was about the advantages not just of local honey, but of seasonal honey. He also spoke at length about the help pollinating insects bring to local vegetations. Grahamville has been keeping bees in both eastern and northern Kentucky for a couple of decades, and offered some helpful insights into products to avoid when dealing with pests.

After Grahamville's presentation the members visited with Ryan Grayson, who is the manager of the Covington Farmer's Market. Ryan focused his presentation on the benefits of SNAP and WIC in helping local people struggling with poverty to eat local and healthy. The market even allows some vendors to match the rates being paid by government assistance, and in essence get twice the food for the same price. The result has been an increase in business for the vendors, traffic at the relatively small market in a very urban environment, and more food for at-risk families.

Grahamville Griffith giving a presentation on beekeeping and local honey. Members listen and learn about the Covington Farmer's Market use of assistance programs.

From the Covington Farmers Market members went to Turkeyfoot Middle School in Edgewood, Kentucky. Turkeyfoot Middle School is a school whose aim is to be net-neutral, and features usage of natural lighting, non-polished floors, two types of solar panels, a rooftop garden, and water collection to help lower costs to Kenton County taxpayers, while putting more money back into education.

Members were excited for the tour of the facility, which was done by Rob Haney. His tour and presentation helped people learn about the efforts other schools in Kenton County had done, such as Caywood Elementary on the same campus, Twinhoffel Middle School in Independence, and the constant hope to do better. Seeing the great success that Turkeyfoot has had, and learning about how quickly the building has paid for it's cost, many members were interested in the possibility of other school districts following the model of what Turkeyfoot Middle School has done.

Members hear about the process leading up to the construction of Turkey Foot Middle School NKY and Scott County Sustainability Tour

Of course in the course of the day everyone has to eat, and the group made it's way south toward Walton, Kentucky to visit Brooks Meats. Brooks Meats, which is a slaughterhouse that is Kentucky Proud, and is used by many of the area farmers, provides good pricing for local meat. The meat is even available in many restaurants in the area, and the group settled in for lunch at the restauraunt next door.

The crowd ended the day by visiting the home of Jack Barnett and Mary Anne Carletta, who have a solar powered heat pump in their home. Jack explained how it looked, showed people how to determine where to install solar panels, and lead a discussion about the Clean Energy Opportunity Act. Members were surprised to hear about how much other states are doing to encourage local economies around clean energy and energy efficiency, and about what some businesses in Kentucky were able to do without being on the same level of a playing field as competitors in neighboring states like Ohio, Virginia, or North Carolina.

Jack Barnett demonstrates a tool used to identify how much sun a specific spot may receive, as well as leading a discussion on the Clean Energy Opportunity Act. Jack Barnett explains to Ben Baker how his solar heat pump works, and the process it took to have it installed.

Members left excited about the day, appreciating the work together, and glad to have had the opportunity to see where so many of campaigns work together to build a more just Kentucky.

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