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The City of Bowling Green is inviting photographers of all ages to submit their best high resolution images celebrating our community in the Third Annual City of Bowling Green Photography Contest – We are Bowling Green!

Submission entries will be accepted May 1 through May 31!

Entering is free and easy. Visit https://www.bgky.org/preview/photo-contest-2019 to view all rules, criteria, prizes and to upload your photo (starting May 1).

Participants should select images that best depict Bowling Green’s beautiful environment, active people, and vibrant community life. This includes but is not limited to sky, parks, rivers, wildlife, cityscapes, landmarks, people participating in sports and arts, or special events, and other activities. We want to know what you love about Bowling Green and what makes you think makes Bowling Green is the special place that it is.

First, second and third place winners will be chosen by a panel of Judges and a first place People’s Choice award will be chosen by online voting. First place winners will receive a $100 gift card to Amazon and second and third place will receive $75 and $25 respectively.

Start snapping those photos today and upload May 1 through May 31.

We hope you enjoy a few of last year’s entries in this post!


Census 2020

The goal of the 2020 Census is to count everyone once, only once and in the right place. In order to help accomplish this goal, the City of Bowling Green, Warren County and many other businesses and entities have created a Census 2020 Complete Count Committee. The committee is dedicated to making sure all residents in the Bowling Green and Warren County area are counted in 2020.

The first census began more than a year after the inauguration of President Washington and shortly before the second session of the first Congress ended. Congress assigned responsibility for the 1790 Census to the marshals of the U.S. judicial districts. The pay allowed for the 1790 “enumerators” was very small, and did not exceed $1 for 50 people properly recorded on the rolls.

As mandated by the U.S. Constitution, our nation gets just one chance each decade to count its population. The U.S. census counts every resident in the United States. It is mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution and takes place every 10 years. The data collected by the census determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives (a process called apportionment) and is also used to distribute billions in federal funds to local communities.

The next census in 2020 will require counting an increasingly diverse and growing population of around 330 million people in more than 140 million housing units. To get an accurate count, the Census Bureau must build an accurate address list of every housing unit, maximize self-response to the census, and efficiently follow up with those who do not respond.

The decennial census is the largest mobilization and operation conducted in the United States and requires years of research, planning, and development of methods and infrastructure to ensure an accurate and complete count.

In 2020, the Census Bureau will continue to improve its use of mobile technology, geospatial innovations, and internet self-responses to reach their goals. Help us, and make sure that you respond to census questionnaires and requests. Spread the word, and if you have any questions or concerns, please visit https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census/2020-census.html.

Arbor Day 2019


Arbor Day is a holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees. Though usually observed in the spring, the date varies, depending on climate and suitable planting season. The idea for Arbor Day originally came from Nebraska. A visit to Nebraska today wouldn’t disclose that the state was once a treeless plain. Yet it was the lack of trees there that led to the founding of Arbor Day by J. Sterling Morton in the 1800s.

On January 4, 1872, Morton first proposed a tree-planting holiday to be called “Arbor Day” at a meeting of the State Board of Agriculture. The date was set for April 10, 1872. Prizes were offered to counties and individuals for properly planting the largest number of trees on that day. It was estimated that more than one million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day.

The Bowling Green Community Tree Advisory Board, in conjunction with the City of Bowling Green, organizes an Arbor Day celebration every year to help make the public aware of how trees benefit us. This year, the annual Arbor Day celebration will be held on Saturday, April 13th, 2019 at Kereiakes Park from 9 a.m. until 12 noon.


A variety of trees will be given away during Arbor Day including Sugar Maple, Green Giant Arborvitae, Paw Paw, Redbud and Catalpa trees. In total there will be 1,500 saplings available on a first come first served basis.

In addition to free trees, there will be a tree planting and care demonstration, tree planting items, stormwater information, children’s activities, inflatables and more.

Arbor Day is FREE and open to the public. We encourage everyone to spend time among trees and to learn about proper tree care and planting.

Please come join us for this fun and educational day.  For more information about the Tree Advisory Board or Arbor Day, please call 270-393-3111 or visit http://www2.bgky.org/tree/index.php

How Government Works

Bowling Green is a City Manager form of government as constituted under Kentucky Revised Statute 83A.150 and was established as such in 1969.

All of the powers of the executive and legislative branches are vested in the Board of Commissioners (all judicial functions are under the jurisdiction of state government). The Board of Commissioners is made up of four Commissioners who serve two-year terms and a Mayor who serves a four-year term. The Board of Commissioners make public policy and focus the direction for the City of Bowling Green.

The Mayor has the statutory responsibility to preside at Board meetings, recommend appointments to designated boards, and is the signatory of authorized documents on behalf of the City.

The Board of Commissioners also appoints a City Manager as the chief administrative officer. The City Manager administers the policies, procedures and directives established by the Board of Commissioners. Oversight and coordination of the daily operations of the City’s nine departments and their divisions is the overall responsibility of this position.

Board of Commissioners meetings occur on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 4:30 p.m. at City Hall (located at 1001 College Street). Proposals for action are placed on the agenda by the City Manager or members of the Board. At the meetings, members of the Board discuss and deliberate items on the agenda, then approve, modify, or reject the proposals by a majority vote. The City Manager then carries out the decisions of the Board.

Meetings are open to the public. They are broadcast live on the local government cable access Channel 4 and streamed live on the internet through the City website.


Run For Abilities

The City of Bowling Green will hold their third annual Run for Abilities 5k Race and Walk at the Loops at Lovers Lane on Sunday, April 7th, 2019 at 2 p.m. All proceeds will benefit the Area 5 Special Olympics Program.

Area 5 Special Olympics is a twenty-county region surrounding Bowling Green that is dedicated to providing the following quality events:  Area 5 Bowling Tournament, Special Olympics Kentucky Regional Softball Tournament, Special Olympics Kentucky Regional Basketball Tournament and Area 5 Spring Games.  Any person who wishes to volunteer or with an intellectual and/or physical disability that wishes to participate in Special Olympics should call Special Populations for more information at 270-393-3487.

The 5k race will begin near the new shelter at the right side of the park and will follow the 1.6 mile trail approximately two times.

Pre-registration for the race is $25, or $30 the day of the event, and all entries will receive a goody bag and t-shirt (while supplies last). Winners will be announced for overall male and female, senior male and female and City staff male and female. Registration will begin at 1 p.m. on race day.

Registration is taking place now through March 29 at the Kummer/Little Recreation Center at 333 College Street. Come out to be a part of this great event! The Loops at Lovers Lane are located at 385 Lovers Lane.

Code Enforcement

As spring approaches, staff will start to get numerous calls regarding various code violations that are taking place throughout the City.  As a resident of Bowling Green, it is your responsibility to properly maintain your yard and home.

Neighbors, City staff or the general public may call the Code Enforcement Department to report a violation. Common violations include property that has a vehicle parked in the front yard (on the grass), property covered in debris or yard waste, inoperable vehicles on a driveway, or grass/weeds that are over 10 inches in height.

There are multiple other violations that can result in a citation – for a full list; you can visit the City of Bowling Green website at http://www.bgky.org/ncs/code-enforcement/common-violations.

If you notice a violation, you can contact the City Central Department at 270-393-3641 to report a problem.  If you are tech savvy and would rather use your computer, you can submit a complaint online through the “City of Bowling Green Request for Action” form.  In order to access this easy to use form, log onto www.bgky.org, click on the resident drop down box and select service request form.  Once on the City of Bowling Green Request for Action page, click the request type drop down box, select the category that best fits your needs, and fill out the form.

In the event that you report a violation, or someone reports a violation on your property, there are multiple steps that will take place.  Once the complaint is reported, City Inspectors will have three days to view the property.  If in violation, you will be notified and you will have 10 days to correct a non-structural issue (such as overgrown grass/weeds).  After 10 days, an additional inspection will be conducted and if the property in question is not in compliance, a citation will be issued and action will be taken to bring the issue into compliance.

And always remember, if you feel as though you have received a citation incorrectly, you can appeal the citation to the Code Enforcement Board.  The CEB is made up of five citizens appointed by the Mayor who meet once a month to approve fees and/or citations that Code Enforcement staff has issued.

If you would like more information on the Code Enforcement please contact 270-393-3641.


The City of Bowling Green Premier Grounds at Preston Miller are now open for free play! These four new soccer fields are located at Preston Miller Park at 2303 Tomblinson Way. All four fields are 330’ x 180’ with Bermuda grass and will have multiple uses including free play, practices and tournaments.

In addition to the fields, a new parking lot with approximately 280 spaces, new sidewalks and bleachers were all added to Preston Miller Park.

Preston Miller Park is 55 acres and home to the Russell Sims Aquatic Center. This park also includes a one mile walking/running trail, 18-hole disc golf course, a handicap accessible playground filled with many activities for children of different ages, and a basketball court. Preston Miller Park also has three sand volleyball courts where you kind find league teams playing in the warmer seasons. Along with the many facilities listed, Preston Miller Park also has a picnic shelter.

The total cost for this project was approximately $2.1 million.

As spring approaches and the days are longer we look forward to seeing residents of Bowling Green enjoying these great new fields.

Don’t forget, Preston Miller Park will also see a free outdoor gym coming later this year!

Bowling Green History

In 1792, the Kentucky territory had entered the new United States as the 15th state and in December of 1796, with the assistance of a petition by the new residents, the General Assembly passed an act, effective in March 1797, to establish Warren County; named to honor Dr. Joseph Warren, a hero of the Battle of Bunker Hill. Robert Moore and his brother George donated a two-acre plot on which to build a log county courthouse and jail. (This site is now the location of Fountain Square Park.)

The following year, the Moores offered an additional donation of more than 30 acres for the creation of a town to surround the recently constructed public buildings. At the first county commissioners meeting in early 1798, the pioneers decided that the new town would be “called and known by the name of Bolin Green.” This name was after the Bowling Green Square in New York City, where patriots had pulled down a statue of King George III and used the lead to make bullets during the American Revolution.

Within only a few decades, Bowling Green was established as a commercial and transportation center for the South Central Kentucky area. After a brief competition with the small Jeffersonville and New Town settlements alongside the Barren River, Bowling Green gained the official designation of county seat in 1809 and was incorporated in 1812.

Bowling Green continued to grow throughout the 1800’s and its residents saw the construction of the Mariah Moore House (which still stands today as the oldest building in Bowling Green), churches, a doctor’s office, a private school, a drug store and more.

In 1907, under the guidance of Mayor George T. Wilson (1903-1909), City Hall was built at the corner of 10th and College Streets. Bids went out that July. Several firms submitted bids, but C. H. Smith was selected to complete the job. The original bid came in at $29,000 for the three story building but was reduced to $25,239 after modifications such as not adding a large balcony in the Commission Chambers. The original plans also showed three large interior windows that would have opened views of the Commission Chambers to the hallway. Construction on City Hall was completed in 1908. City Hall has been the seat of city government ever since, with the exception of when the building was vacated during the extensive renovation of 1986-87.

Today, Bowling Green is the third largest City in Kentucky with a population of almost 68,000 and occupying a land area of 38.5 square miles. Our city operates under a City Manager form of government, which was adopted pursuant to a general election held in 1966 and by ordinance in 1968.

This article was in part taken from Lena Sweeten’s article posted on www.bgky.org.

Has this ever happened to you: You’re sitting at an intersection patiently waiting for your turn and here comes the Fire Department with red lights and sirens blaring. They pass through the light and all of the sudden their lights and sirens go off. You’ve missed the light and feel like they have abused their power.

We occasionally have someone stop into Fire Headquarters to complain about this scenario.

But here is the rest of the story.

Whenever the fire department responds and uses lights and sirens, they do so based on the best information they have at that moment. Frequently, all they know is that a fire or a fire alarm has been reported and it is their job to respond as quickly and safely as they possibly can. If it is a multi-truck response, the vehicles try to stay together in a convoy so passing through intersections is done all at once. This is safer for the fire department and the public.

It is not uncommon to receive updated information while in route that causes the truck to downgrade their response.  This information may come from an alarm company, an official already on the scene, or from a BGFD responding unit from a different station. Sometimes these calls are received as an engine passes through a light.

With more than 5,000 emergency responses each year, sometimes it just happens.  When new information leads to a downgrade in response, BGFD turns off their lights and sirens and they either continue with the “flow of traffic” or “cancel and return to the station” depending on the situation.

Now to the point.

Please bear with all of our public safety employees as they respond in the safest way possible even though it may be frustrating to you as a driver.   And rest assured, we never use our emergency lights and sirens to pass through an intersection unless we are actively responding to a reported emergency.  Not only is it against state law, it is against all professional rules for operating an emergency vehicle.

If you have any questions about the travel of BGFD or any of our public safety officers, please feel free to contact us at 270-393-3642.

Historical Marker #2158 in Warren County remembers Shake Rag, an African American community founded in the 1800s.

Shake Rag was added to the National Register of Historic Places in September 2000, becoming Bowling Green’s first National Register district recognized for its importance to African American history. Founded on land donated in 1802 for use as an African American public square, the neighborhood grew steadily following the Civil War and into the twentieth century.

Life in Shake Rag revolved around church, school, and family. The State Street Baptist Church was founded by a group of slaves who were baptized and received membership from Bowling Green Baptist Church. Despite their membership, certain restrictions were placed on them, including not being allowed to participate in decision making and being required to sit in the gallery of the church. A member recalled it being “a main source of the community’s social as well as religious goings on.”

The marker reads:
Shake Rag This African American community was founded in the 1800s. Bordered by the river and High, KY., and 7th Sts, the area grew to include hundreds of residents, two schools, businesses, and churches. The architecture of Shake Rag shows a growing middle-class community.

The marker was dedicated in 2004 through the financial support of the city of Bowling Green.

An open lot owned by the City of Bowling Green at the Corner of 3rd and College Streets in the Shake Rag District is slated to be developed into a green space park. The City of Bowling Green will hold a Project Open House regarding the development of a new Shake Rag Park at the corner of 3rd and College Street.

The open house will take place on February 19, 2019 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the George Washington Carver Center at 201 State Street.

Please stop by at any time to ask questions, review plans and discuss ideas with City staff.


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