Month: December 2019

Regional Stakeholders Discuss Future of Regional Land Use Partnership

Seventy-seven regional stakeholders, elected officials, planning commissioners and planning directors met at the Regional Land Use Partnership Summit at the U.K. Hilary J. Boone Center on December 5 and the take-away was a myriad of strategies and action items to begin to develop a strategic plan for the partnership focusing on communication and collaboration between cities, counties, agencies and organizations.

A Vision Statement for the Plan was also thoroughly vetted at the summit and will be released early in 2020.

The Regional Land Use Partnership (RLUP) which was organized and is managed by a collaboration through Bluegrass Tomorrow, the Bluegrass Area Development District, the Bluegrass Land Conservancy, Fayette Alliance, Woodford Forward and Farm Bureau, has created great momentum in a the form of a mutually agreed upon resolution, which contains land use principles of agreement, and has been passed by LFUCG, Bourbon County Fiscal Court, the Lexington/Jessamine Metropolitan Planning Organization, the City of Midway, the Scott County Planning Commission, and a myriad of others in the works.

The Strategic Plan will be discussed, vetted and drafted by the RLUP committee in the first quarter of 2020.

Mary Berry founder and CEO of the Berry Center, and daughter of Wendell Berry, was the keynote speaker, and focused on advocating for farmers, land-conserving communities, and healthy regional economies.  A series of TED talks on Advocacy, Food, Growth and Housing featured David Tomes developer of the Norton Commons, Ashton Potter Wright of Bluegrass Farm to Table and Brittany Rothemeier of the Fayette Alliance.

Local, State and National Perspectives on land use planning were provide by Billy Van Pelt of American Farmland Trust, Tom Hutchenson from Atalo Holdings on the hemp industry, and Chris Woodall of LFUCG Division of Planning.

58 Faculty & Staff Complete 5th Bluegrass Higher Education Consortium Academic Leadership Academy

The Bluegrass Higher Education Consortium has announced that 58 Fellows have completed its sixth Bluegrass Academic Leadership Academy recently at Kentucky State University, announced the chair of the consortium President M. Christopher Brown II of Kentucky State University.

The Academic Leadership Academy is a presidential initiative, led by the 12 presidents represented in the consortium, to build future academic leaders in the Bluegrass Region. 265 Fellows have now completed the program in six years. The purpose of the academy is to encourage faculty and staff to consider leadership career paths and to provide guidance in developing the skills that are requisites for effective institutional leadership to ensure a sound and successful future for their institution and the Bluegrass Region. This year, through a partnership with the Council on Postsecondary Education, the academy was made available to all of the public universities in the state outside of the Bluegrass Region footprint, and Murray State, the University of Louisville, Northern Kentucky University and several campuses of the Kentucky Community & Technical College System also participated.                        

The 58 faculty and professional staff from our Kentucky colleges and universities who completed the curriculum as fellows in the Class of 2019 are: Lewis Willian of Asbury University; Mia Brown, Randolph Cullum and Shannon Hankins of Ashland Community & Technical College; Shannon Phelps of Berea College; Laura Lynch and David Sturgill of Bluegrass Community & Technical College; Candace Wentz and John Harney of Centre College; Dominic Ashby, Joseph Carucci, Stacey Korson, James Maples and Derek Paulsen of Eastern Kentucky University;

Stashia Emanuel, Shuo Han Walter Malone III, Nikki McZee, Candace Raglin and Jamar Simmons of Kentucky State University; Jennifer Robinson and Brian Weldon of Midway University; Flint Harrelson, Michele Paynter Paise, Daryl Privott, Sherif Rashad and Lexius Yarbrough of Morehead State University; Susan Contreras Bloomdahl, Dina Byrers; Maeve Lewis McCarthy, Drew Seib, Melony Shemberger of Murray State University; Matthew Albritton, Joe Cress, Vanessa Hunn, Cecile Marczinski, Julie Moses and Carolyn Noe of Northern Kentucky University;

Jamie Cress, Tiffany Evans, Ian Hester and Anchalee Steele of Sullivan University; Jennifer Bird-Pollan, Brian Lee, Y. Charles Lu, Gia Mudd-Martin, Gitanjali Pinto-Sinai, Steven Schwarze, Asha Shenoi, and Sarah Wackerbarth of the University of Kentucky; Lynn Boyd, Meg Hancock, Amy Higdon, Thomas Rockaway, Michelle Rodems and Beth Willey of the University of Louisville.

The fellows participate in two full days of training where university presidents, vice presidents, provosts, deans and other key academic leaders present keynote addresses, panels and workshops. The final session was highlighted by keynote presentations by President Jay Box of KCTCS, and a popular opening keynote panel discussion with Presidents Christopher Brown of Kentucky State University and John Roush of Centre College.

Fellows also complete a research project for their specific institution between the spring and fall sessions. Completed Campus Projects were presented in four concurrent sessions at the final session at Kentucky State. Those presented were: Asbury successfully engaging incoming students, Ashland Community & Technical College “Connect: Establishing a Protocol for High Quality, Online Advising;” Bluegrass Community & Technical College “Community Resource Innovation;”  Berea College …”Building a Peer Health Education Program;” Centre College… “Digital Badging;”

 Eastern Kentucky University “The Impact of Advising Models on Student Success;” Kentucky State University “Mentorship/First Year Students;” Midway University “Inquiry-based Faculty Development on Assessment;” Morehead State University “Eagles of All Cultures” to involve all faculty and staff in cultural competencies; Murray State University “Recognizing and Supporting Faculty;” Northern Kentucky University “Provost’s Leadership Fellowship: Professional Development;” Sullivan University “Smashing Barriers: Strategies to Address Retention and Engagement;” University of Louisville “Program-level Advisory Boards: Best Practices for Recruiting… Employer Feedback, Financial Support and Community Engagements,” and the University of Kentucky “University of Kentucky Abbreviations and Acronyms” centralized access.

The Bluegrass Higher Education Consortium and the Academic Leadership Academy is managed by Bluegrass Tomorrow.  Member institutions include: Asbury University, Berea College, Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Centre College, Eastern Kentucky University, Georgetown College, Midway University; Morehead State University, Kentucky State University, Sullivan University, Transylvania University,  and the University of Kentucky.                        

Planning Our Tomorrow- Finding A Balance in Danville/Boyle County

As an outgrowth of the Regional Land Use Partnership, Bluegrass Tomorrow is beginning to offer its expertise to other communities on smart growth principles, and worked with the City of Danville Planning & Zoning and Mayor Mike Perros to facilitate and plan a conference planning for growth, economic development and farmland preservation at Centre College on November 1.

A standing room only crowd of over 100 Boyle County citizens attended this professional conference which focused on providing a unique opportunity to learn more and be part of the process to boldly grow Boyle County in a sustainable, planned manner, discussing strategies to help explore new opportunities for economic development, reimagining downtown Danville, and preserving agriculture.

The event was highlighted by keynote speaker Holly Wiedemann of AU Associates, noted for adaptive reuse projects across Kentucky that have been catalysts for vibrancy in smaller cities and rural communities and opportunities for residential and commercial accelerators.

Dr. Ned Crankshaw of the University of Kentucky Dept. of Landscape Architecture opened the conference with a overview of the principles of smart growth, which was followed by a panel discussion moderated by the American Farmland Trust’s Billy Van Pelt.  Panelists included David Tomes developer of Norton Commons, Clint Quarles from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, and Brian Howard Owensboro Planning Director.

Two Concurrent Session periods included choices on Rural Downtown Revitalization, Housing Options, Transportation and Farmland Considerations, Infill Development in Surburan Areas, County-wide Development: Balancing Small Business and Industry Needs, and Reimagining Downtown Danville.  As Downtown Danville is at the beginning of the process of a new downtown master plan, this session was popular and timely.

Report outs and discussion from the concurrent sessions led to facilitated discussion on setting priorities.

“Experiential” IdeaFestival Student Day at Morehead State University Hosts 430 Students From the Region.

IdeaFestival Student Day at Morehead State University was one of the best yet, hosting 430 regional middle and high school students and perhaps the best Career Maker Faire to date.

The Career Maker Faire, which is one half of the program, was unique in that exhibitors truly embraced the “Maker” creative concept, giving students the opportunity to see, touch, feel, hear, a more experiential event.

Over 40 exhibitors participated in the faire with Kentucky Utilities/LG&E stealing the show with the most popular exhibit which featured two poles and electrical infrastructure necessary for a technician/linesman to understand.  The Morehead Craft Academy boasted numerous experiences including virtual reality, a rover challenge, a rubics cube competition and more.

The STEM, Manufacturing & Business Cluster featured the BCTC Advanced Manufacturing program, Morehead State Space Science Center, Messer Construction, and East Kentucky Power among others.

Eastern Kentucky University brought several academic programs including the College of Business & Technology, the College of Health Services and the College of Justice and Safety.

Asbury University proudly displayed its Communications program, Midway University its Equine Program and the liberal arts programs at Georgetown College.  Health Services and Human Services were also well represented by BCTC, MSU and EKU.

In the TED-style talks program Connor Tilford dazzled the audience with his performance at the piano and his talk “Dream Big-You Never Know Where it Will Take You,” and Beth Price gave an inspiring keynote talk “Theatre Made Me.”

This was the second IdeaFestival Student Day program of the year, following the April event at the University of Kentucky for approximately 400 Fayette County high school juniors, featuring renowned Space Shuttle Astronaut Story Musgrave with the keynote.  In April 2020, IF Student Day is being planned for Kentucky State University.

Robert Clay Receives Bluegrass Legacy Award at Celebration of the Bluegrass.

Robert Clay, founder and CEO of Three Chimney’s Farm for decades, was joined by several former Bluegrass Tomorrow Board Members from the first decade of the organization, when he was awarded the Bluegrass Legacy Vision Award at the 30th Anniversary Celebration of the Bluegrass on October 10 at Fasig-Tipton. The Bluegrass Legacy Award is one of Bluegrass Tomorrow’s most prestigious Vision Awards and is presented for life-long service and dedication to the Bluegrass Region.  He was presented the award by his long-time farm manager at Three Chimneys, Dan Rosenberg.

Clay, who was Bluegrass Tomorrow’s first President for 10 years, was joined at the 30th Anniversary Celebration reunion from the original Board of Directors from 1989-1999:  Alex Warren, first Chair of Bluegrass Tomorrow-then President of Toyota (who also made comments), Joe Graves first secretary, Buckner Woodford first treasurer; Board Members:  Bill Hamilton, Hank Graddy, Tim Kelly, Farra Alford, Helen Alexander.  First Executive Director Jean Ward Scott was also in attendance.

All former Chairs of Bluegrass Tomorrow were also present and were introduced including Ben Fister, Bob Hewett, Nelson Maynard, Larry Jones, Kathy Plomin, and current chair Claude Christensen. Chef Ouita Michel also made comments and catered the delicious farm to table meal. She was recognized for winning the Josephine Abercrombie Vision Award two years ago, as she was not able to attend that event.

Robert N. Clay is President CEO of Clay Holding Co, and past president/CEO & Founder of Three Chimney’s Farm in Midway, which he established with his wife Blythe in 1972. One of the founding fathers and first chairman of Bluegrass Tomorrow in 1989, Robert was also a driving force in the creation of the Bluegrass Conservancy and served on its original Board of Directors.  He was also integrally involved in the development of the Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) program which began in discussions at Bluegrass Tomorrow and the Bluegrass Conservancy. Since the Vision Awards did not begin until the second decade of Bluegrass Tomorrow in 2001, Robert has never been honored with a Vision Award.  The Vision Awards Committee thought it appropriate, in our 30th Anniversary year, that he be presented with The Bluegrass Legacy Award.

 Widely known as one of the world’s preeminent horse farms, Three Chimneys has been home to a number of famous horses including U.S. Triple Crown champion Seattle Slew, U.S. Filly Triple Crown champion Chris Evert, as well as Silver Cham, Chief’s Crown, Genuine Risk, Point Given, Slew o’ Gold, Capote, Smarty Jones, and Big Brown. Always on the cutting edge, Three Chimneys was the first thoroughbred breeding farm to advertise on the Internet.   Robert has also been chair of the Lexington School, member of the Jockey Club, the Keeneland Association Advisory Board, and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Board of Directors, among many others.

Fittingly, the event took place in the Seattle Slew Room at Fasig-Tipton, historically one of Three Chimney’s most important sires.   Over 200 attended the event, and the fund-raiser raised over $14,000 for Bluegrass Tomorrow.