Billy Goat Hill Garden Visit

Written by The Highlander

gardeningOn a recent muggy day in June, high school students from the Kentucky School for the Blind walked to Billy Goat Hill Community Garden, 2004 Payne St., in the Clifton neighborhood. Led by gardener Alice Baldwin, the group experienced the garden by touching, smelling and listening.  To read the entire article click here.

Clean Air Champion Award



CAC Award Mayor Betty

Mayor Betty Shelton receives the Clean Air Champion Award from Paul Aud of APCD

On November 14th the Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District (APCD) presented the “Clean Air Champion Award” to Betty Shelton of the Billy Goat Hill Community Garden for the many volunteer hours she has spent cutting the garden’s grass with the Electric “Goat” Lawn Mower and trimming with a battery powered weed-eater.  Mayor Betty Shelton lives in the Sacred Heart Village Apartments and is a former Mayor of Parkway Village, a sixth-class city within Louisville Metro. It’s amazing to watch Mayor Betty maneuver the Electric Goat around the 42 raised garden beds and other obstacles within the garden. 

The Ninth District is proud to be home to the Billy Goat Hill Community Garden is thankful for the work done by volunteers at the garden, including Mayor Betty, which makes our community more sustainable.  Visit the Billy Goat Hill Community Garden’s websiteLearn more about the Electric Goat Lawn MowerFind resources and incentives to make the air cleaner from APCD.

Electric Goat Lawn Mower

Mike O’Leary with the Electric Goat Lawn Mower at the Billy Goat Hill Community Garden

Billy Goat Hill Community Garden Harvest Festival

Billy Goat Hill Community GardenOn Sunday, October 14, 2012, plan to attend the Billy Goat Hill Community Garden Harvest Festival at 2004 Payne Street near Mercy Sacred Heart Village.  The event will run from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. rain or shine.  Bring your pets to be blessed at 2:30 p.m.  Enjoy FREE food, hot dogs, chili, cider and music.  Musicians please call Mike at 899-1364 or email  Make this a real ‘green’ event and bring your own tableware.

Youth Gardening Grant Opportunity

The Home Depot Garden Club is offering Youth Garden Grants.  School and community groups that have garden programs for at least 15 youth ages 3-18 are eligible to apply.  Grant applications are due on December 3, 2012. 

Five programs will receive $1000 in Home Depot gift cards and 95 programs will receive $500 in Home Depot gift cards to purchase gardening supplies at Home Deport for projects.  Find more information and apply.

Sustainability Tip – Eat Locally Grown Food

Right now is the prime time to eat locally grown food.  View a list of what local foods are in season throughout the year in Kentucky.  Farmers’ markets around Louisville offer a wide selection of locally grown food.  Find a list of farmers’ markets.  Or, look into options for joining a CSA – Community Supported Agriculture.  There are many benefits to eating locally grown food:

  • You support local farmers, helping preserve farm land and strengthening the local economy. 
  • Your food arrives to you fresh from the farm: healthy options with amazing fresh taste.
  • You can ask growers’ about their techniques and choose sustainable options.
  • Less fuel is used to transport your food, cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • By participating in the local food economy, you have the opportunity to grow community. 

If you are interested in growing your own food, and need some help getting started, 15Thousand Farmers, a local non-profit can help.  Learn more about the organization, which aims to “create, empower, and inspire 15thousand new, sustainable, backyard/front yard farmers in Louisville, KY to feed their families and themselves!”  Attend the next 15th Day Celebration on July 15th to build community and get started.

Interested in gardening, but don’t have room at home?  Consider getting involved in a community garden.  Billy Goat Hill Community Garden is located at 2004 Payne Street on the property of Mercy Sacred Heart Village.  The garden is a 100 percent volunteer project that has reclaimed a former landfill with the help of neighbors and partners plants- now has 35 raised beds, bee hives, a daffodil garden, a butterfly garden, mushrooms, and places to rest and refresh.  If you’d like to sign up for a garden bed for next season, let them know by emailing  Check out the garden online at   For more information contact Mike at

Sustainability Tip – Saving Water in Your Garden

If you have a garden, try the following tips this summer to use less water and use water wisely.  This will conserve water and save money on your water bill.

  • Use a rain barrel.  Rain barrels attach to your home’s downspouts to catch rain water for later use.  You can purchase rain barrels at several locations in Louisville, including through 15,000 Farmers and the Louisville Nature Center.
  • Use a soaker hose.  Soaker hoses water more effectively and can reduce disease in plants, which can worsen when water stands on leaves. Rain Barrel
  • Water when it is coolest outside – this will slow evaporation.
  • Mulch your plants to help the soil retain water.
  • Don’t overwater.   If it has rained recently, or you have watered recently, consider waiting.
  • Use household “greywater” in the garden.  If you have a dehumidifier, empty it in your garden instead of pouring the water down the drain.  Put a bucket in the shower to catch water for the garden.
  • Outside of vegetable gardening: If you are looking for a way to cut down on the amount of grass in your yard, use native plants, which are suited for our climate and require less watering.  Learn more.

This sustainability tip originally appeared in the Green Triangle eNews.  Read the full edition and sign up to receive it every two weeks.


Healthy Hometown Mini-Grant Opportunity

local produceThe 2012 Healthy Hometown Mini-grant application is now available.  Grants will range from $2,000-$3,000 and will be awarded in July 2012. Applications are due on April 6, 2012 and can be found here. 

Funds can be used for physical activity, healthy nutrition, tobacco use prevention and cessation, and/or chronic disease prevention and management programming in Metro Louisville.  Learn more on the Healthy Hometown website and see previous grant awards.

Sustainability Tips – Food

GardenThis week’s warmer weather is making spring seem just around the corner.  Whether or not this warm weather sticks around, it’s never too early to think about how to be more sustainable in our eating habits.

  • Don’t waste food.  Plan out what you need when you do grocery shopping, and eat leftovers.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency, over 34 million tons of food waste was created in 2010, more than any other waste category besides paper.   With a 2010 USDA study showing that 14.5% of households were food insecure (lacking access to enough nutritious food for an active, healthy life), we should work to avoid food waste for more than just environmental reasons. 
  • Eat food that is in season.   When possible, eating food that is locally grown and in season supports our local economy while limiting the energy used in transporting food.  View a list of what local food is in season throughout the year in Kentucky. 
  • Buy local food.  Find a list of farmer’s markets, some of which are open year round.  Or, subscribe to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), or buy through Grasshoppers Distribution year round to connect you with local farm fresh food.  This supports our local economy while limiting the energy that goes into transporting food.
  • Grow your own food.  Start planning your 2012 garden.  15,000Farmers is hosting its first Beginning Growing Workshop of 2012 on February 25 from 10am to Noon.  Learn more on their website.   The Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service has helpful resources for gardeners.  If you don’t have space for a home garden, consider getting involved in a community garden.  Find a list here from the Extension Service, or learn more about the Billy Goat Hill Community Garden located on Payne Street.

This sustainability tip was taken from the most recent edition of the Green Triangle eNews.  See the full eNews, and sign up to receive it every 2 weeks.

Hoop House Funding Opportunity

NRCS Sent the following information:

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offers funding on High Tunnel – Hoop Houses

NRCS will be taking applications for the EQIP High Tunnel (or Hoop House Initiative) and the Organic EQIP Initiatives beginning now through February 3rd.  The Hoop House or High Tunnel initiative requires the applicant to have a Farm & Tract assigned through the Farm Service Agency.  This is not difficult to do and most farmers probably already have one.  However, many of the organic or vegetable producers may not or even folks that have < 10 acres might not. 

The criteria on the High Tunnels are they must be at least 6′ tall and USDA will pay up to 2178 sq. ft in size. USDA’s payment will be $2.57 per square foot not to exceed $5,597.00.  The facility must be used to plant crops “in the soil” – no tables or potted plants. If anyone has any type of interest they should call Kurt Mason, District Conservationist, at 502-499-1900

Applicants need to have time to address any eligibility criteria, set up farm numbers and file their applications before the Feb. 3 cutoff.  If they miss this date and are still interested, THEY NEED TO HAVE AN APPLICATION ON FILE!  NRCS will likely fund most of the applications received as long as they meet the eligibility criteria and use the facility for the intended purpose and PLANT THE CROPS IN THE SOIL – raised beds in the facility will be acceptable.

Green Triangle 2011 in Review

2011 was an exciting year for the Green Triangle.  As the Green Triangle works with individuals, businesses, and government to realize our vision, the 9th District office is also working to view public projects through a green lens.  Below is a review of Green Triangle and 9th District office work on sustainability in 2011.

Green Triangle Projects:

  • Green Triangle website launched at with lots of resources for living a more sustainable life.  This year the website will become fully interactive.
  • The Expanded Recycling Program was created for 9th District residents and businesses.  For a onetime fee of $55 businesses and residents can receive a 95-gallon recycling cart.
  • The Green Triangle Coordination Team used community input to create two initial Green Triangle community goals:
    • Waste/Recycling Goal: Create a universal access system for recycling and repurposing in the 9th District, to reduce the overall waste output of the District.
    • Network Goal: Create a supportive network as a tool that connects people and ideas to each other, empowering individuals, businesses, and organizations to be more environmentally sustainable in their thoughts and actions.
  • Volunteers were recruited to serve on two Goal Teams to create strategies and projects to achieve the goals above.  We’re still recruiting in 2012 – learn more about how to get involved.
  • Waste Cooking Oil Recycling: The Green Triangle started a partnership with Louisville Biodiesel Cooperative and MSD to provide residents the opportunity to recycle waste cooking oil to create renewable biodiesel.
  • Partnered with River Metals Recycling to offer extra incentives for 9th District residents to recycle metal leading up to the fall junk pick up.

9th District Public Projects and Grants with a Green Lens:

  • A 12-stall bike rack was installed at the public parking lot on Frankfort Avenue and N. Keats Avenue.  This is the first bike rack to replace a vehicle parking space in the county.
  • Two rain gardens were installed on Warren Road to address storm water runoff issues.
  • Sponsored a resolution, which was approved by the Metro Council in July, creating changes to the Land Development Code to include incentives for green development.  Read a press release on the new ordinance.
  • The Billy Goat Hill Community Garden received the “Electric Goat,” a new electric riding lawn mower, through 9th District Neighborhood Development Funds. 
  • The Tree Canopy Committee of Billy Goat Hill Community Garden received 9th District Neighborhood Development Funds to implement the first phase of the Tree Canopy Improvement Plan for Frankfort Avenue.  This will increase the vitality of the urban forest along Frankfort Avenue from Mellwood to Ewing through measuring the health of current trees and suggesting appropriate types of trees for future planting. 
  • Funds were provided for Metro Parks staff to provide seasonal land management for the Clifton Heights Greenway.

    Volunteers at the Spring 2011 9th District Clean Up

  • Produced “Recycling 201” video with 8th District Councilman Tom Owen and Metro TV to explain the single stream recycling system that Louisville Metro is now using.  Watch the video on the District 9 website.
  • Helped sponsor the 2011 Wild and Scenic Film Festival, hosted by the Kentucky Waterways Alliance.
  • Sponsored spring and fall 9th District community cleanups, in conjunction with Brightside’s Community-Wide clean ups.