YMCA volunteers help save trees on Paris Pike

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Student volunteers with the Kentucky YMCA Youth Association volunteered to help save the trees in the median of Paris Pike, between Lexington and Paris.

Sunday morning, a group of around 30 teens braved the rain to help protect the environment.

As part of the six month YMCA Y-Corps program, teens from across Kentucky travel to different parts of the state for about a week helping strengthen their communities.

"So there is a lot of team work going on. You'll see that, and there is a lot of investment in the state, and that's the point," Tracy Jo Ingram, who is the Director of Social Responsibility said.

Organizers say high-speed mowers are skinning the bark off trees along Paris Pike and damaging or killing them.

"What we are doing is taking plastic, like gutter type piping and putting it around the trees so when lawn mowing equipment hits it, it will not damage the trees, which gives it a better opportunity to survive and live," Ingram said.

The group saved 120 trees.

Ashley Barnette is a volunteer from Lexington and joined the YMCA Youth Association when she was in the sixth grade. She says the program for her has been life changing.

"Realizing that not everybody in Kentucky has the resources that you have or has some of the simple things that you take for granted, like water, that's life changing. It makes you want advocate and tell their story which is basically what we focus on," Barnette said.

The group's next stop will be in Louisville. Organizers say they try and keep what they are doing a secret until the teens arrive.


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