FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 29, 2023) – Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear and Chris Perry, Kentucky Electric Cooperatives President and CEO, presented the 2023 Beautify the Bluegrass Governor’s Award to Whitney Lewis of Cleaning Up Kentucky today. For the seventh year in a row, the Governor’s office, Kentucky’s electric cooperatives and their flagship publication, Kentucky Living, partnered on the Beautify the Bluegrass initiative to recognize Kentuckians who help make the Commonwealth a great place to live and call home.
“All of the beautification projects we’re celebrating today have made Kentucky a better place to live and raise a family,” said Governor Andy Beshear. “I am so grateful to every individual, family and organization that volunteered their time and showed love to their communities by improving their hometowns. I also want to thank Kentucky Living for sharing these amazing Kentucky stories.”
The program recognizes Kentuckians who take an active role in preserving the state’s natural beauty and helping their communities shine.
“I’ve always picked up trash when I’m out in nature. I take my girls and we go out and enjoy nature. Now we pick up trash while we’re there to give back a little bit,” said Whitney Lewis, recipient of the 2023 Beautify the Bluegrass Governor’s Award. “Thank you to everyone that has supported me. I’m so very grateful. I’m thankful for my girls and my friends that believed in me and I hope to inspire others.”
Whitney Lewis of Jessamine County has made it her mission to make Kentucky cleaner while kayaking or hiking. She attempts to make the places she visits a little cleaner and better than she found it. While recording her trash pick-ups on social media, she inspires others and posts often to keep track of her trash pickups. As of this year, she has collected more than 2,000 bags of trash.
“Like the electric co-ops that were built by local Kentuckians to improve their communities and help their families, these Beautify the Bluegrass projects are homegrown,” said Chris Perry, Kentucky Electric Cooperative President and CEO. “These projects were not completed to win an award. They were the result of these Kentuckians taking it upon themselves to identify how they can make our Commonwealth a better and more attractive place to live. We love sharing these stories in Kentucky Living – which celebrates the energy of Kentucky – and we greatly appreciate the Governor and his team partnering with us to make sure that these efforts do not go unnoticed.”
In August, Kentucky Living and Governor Beshear announced five Beautify the Bluegrass finalists, and Kentucky Living readers voted online for their choice to receive the 2023 Governor’s Award. The other finalists included:
- Somerset Veterans Memorial Park (Pulaski County)
- Manchester Splash Park Upgrade (Clay County)
- Art in the Garden (Marshall County)
- “Community Crossroads” Mural (Shelby County)
It takes every Kentuckian to beautify the Bluegrass, so start your 2024 Beautify the Bluegrass project today and watch for the nomination form to go live next year. This annual program is about more than recognition or honor, it’s about making the state and our communities as beautiful as they can be.