Whitesburg KY

Cornetts win environmental award

The Kentucky Environmental Quality Commission, which annually honors Kentucky individuals and organizations for outstanding environmental stewardship, will this year present a Lifetime Achievement Award to Dean and Nina Cornett of Blackey.

The awards presentation will take place on Friday (April 13) at noon at the Berry Hill Mansion, 700 Louisville Road, Frankfort. Bobbie Ann Mason, noted Kentucky author, will offer the keynote address at the ceremony.

The Cornetts, who live partly in Kentucky and partly in Alaska and work on environmental issues in both locations, were chosen for more than two decades of environmental efforts. Those efforts in Kentucky include:

• Establishing a nonprofi t corporation (web site http:// www.ecooutpost.org) that supports environmental efforts across eastern Kentucky

• Pursuing on-going efforts to obtain legislation to make it easier to investigate and prosecute timber theft in Kentucky

• Heading a clean- up committee that cleared more than 200 tons of trash from their small town, trash that when collected and piled for removal, comprised a stack one-hundred (100) feet long, sixteen (16) feet deep, and as much as seven (7) feet high

• Converting a one-acre trash dump in the center of their town into a park with a walking trail, landscaping, benches, an amphitheater, and a stage

• Planting trees to control coal dust and improve appearance

• Contributing to the successful fight against allowing overweight gravel trucks on roads across Kentucky, encompassing not only almost all eastern Kentucky roads, but also downstate routes such as New Circle Road in Lexington

• Producing videos on environmental and Appalachian subjects, including one about the bears in an eastern Kentucky park (The Bears of Kingdom Come) and a second about the demise of the American Chestnut (American Chestnut: Appalachian Apocalypse) which has aired on both Kentucky and New England PBS stations, and will next air on KET on April 21 at 9:30 p.m.

The annual awards, which were instituted in connection with Earth Day, generally are presented each April.

This year the presentation will take place about a week before an Appalachian Skills Festival organized by the Cornetts and Berea College Sustainability faculty and students. That Festival, which will feature a number of Eastern Kentucky residents demonstrating traditional Appalachian skills, will take place between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m on April 21 in front of Fairchild Hall on the Berea College campus, and will be followed by music.

For more information about the Cornetts, their environmental efforts, and their environmental videos, visit the following web sites: www.cornettmedia.com; www.ecooutpost.org.

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