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**PLEASE NOTE*** Images and functionality have been update for the GIS system.


Have you ever wanted more information about your property or any other property located in the Bowing Green/Warren County area?  Are you interested in buying or renting a new home?

The City of Bowling Green GIS online mapping application may be just what you need to obtain valuable information. To increase the usability of the online mapping services that the City offers, we offer a streamlined application at http://www.bgky.org/gis/.

There are many things that the average person may want to use this service for. The GIS application can be used to determine who owns a property, what police or fire district you are in, where to vote, what the acreage is on a property or what school district you are in.

In order to access information on a certain address you will click on the new GIS Application link, click search, and enter the address. Please note that all street names are abbreviated and you will not use a period (i.e. St, Dr, Ave). For example, if you are looking up City Hall you would type the address as follow: 1001 College St – the system will not recognize “St. or Street.” Doing this will show you a view of the property and also allow you to access general property information.

If you experience any issues or have any questions, you can email us at gis@bgky.org with a detailed account of your problem.


Many things come to mind when thinking about the 4th of July: freedom, summer, BBQ’s, pool parties and of course, fireworks!


This season will be slightly different due to COVID-19. There will be no large scale fireworks event as the local Thunderfest Celebration has been canceled for 2020. We are asking that those gathering to celebrate please follow all of the state guidelines when they do so. You can visit https://govstatus.egov.com/kycovid19 to learn what protocols are currently in place.

There are those who love fireworks and those who loathe them. To help make sure that everyone has a great 4th of July holiday, the City of Bowling Green has offered some good neighbor courtesies as well as some safety guideline and regulations to keep in mind for the 2020 season.

Because not everyone is excited about the loud bangs and bright lights, notify your neighbors before using any large fireworks near your home and never put other people or their property at risk.

Fireworks are NOT permitted on public streets, and any debris left by fireworks should be picked up and disposed of properly. Never point or throw fireworks at another person, and always keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of a fire or other mishap. Consumer fireworks may only be used by individuals at least 18 years of age.

The city DOES NOT require a permit to discharge fireworks from June 27th through July 5th from noon until 10 p.m., and on July 4th from noon until 11 p.m. All other dates require a Special Fireworks Discharge Permit from the Bowling Green Fire Department.

Keep in mind that enforcement of firework guidelines is a complaint driven process. Please call the Bowling Green Police Department non-emergency line at 270-393-4244 to file a complaint regarding fireworks. For more safety guidelines or to obtain a Special Fireworks Discharge Permit, contact the Bowling Green Fire Department at 270-393-3702, or visit their website at www.bgky.org/fire.

For all fireworks details and ordinance information, visit http://www.bgky.org/policies/firework-ordinance.

Most importantly, have a safe and Happy 4th of July!



SNAP Grant Changes!

As many folks in Bowling Green know (and for those who don’t), since the City’s first year of Select Neighborhood Action Program (SNAP) grant cycle in 1999, we have been careful to monitor the progress of the grants along with their effectiveness for neighborhood groups.  This has meant adjusting the budget and/or program guidelines from time to time to reflect the timely needs of the City’s own budgetary pressures, along with the evolving needs of neighborhood groups themselves.

The last half of the 2019-2020 fiscal year has presented unique challenges for SNAP, including the unique demands of social distancing on everyone.  For this reason, we have decided to SUSPEND SNAP for the 2020-2021 grant year, while REPLACING it with a Flexible Neighborhood Grant program.  As the name implies, this replacement program is meant to offer flexibility to organizations to be able to address timely needs and opportunities reflective of the times we find ourselves in today.  The program guidelines and application are greatly streamlined, and each application will be evaluated on its own merit during this time frame. Virtually any project that would have been eligible under SNAP remains eligible under this replacement program.

A key value of the Flexible Neighborhood Grant program is the idea of pilot projects and/or temporary projects.  In acknowledging the importance of short term and/or temporary projects, we are promoting some of the “testing” ideas that may be more impactful now than ever, as promoted by such leading organizations as the following:

None of us know how COVID-19 will continue to influence our public life into next fiscal year, but we am certain that a flexible approach to supporting our neighbors will be necessary.  The replacement guidelines and an online application process can be found on our website here:  https://www.bgky.org/neighborhoods/flexible-neighborhood-grant.   We anticipate that anyone awarded a Flexible Neighborhood Grant will sign a grant agreement with conditions specific to their particular request. The link is currently Featured Link #5 at www.bgky.org and applications are open immediate with no current deadline.  Reviews of applications will occur on a rolling basis.

If you have additional questions you can reach out to Karen Foley at karen.foley@bgky.org.

The Bowling Green Fire Department is a fully paid department that achieved national accreditation in 2008 and re-accreditation in 2014 and 2018 through the Commission on Fire Accreditation International, also known as the Center for Public Safety Excellence. This accreditation gives BGFD a rare achievement within the fire service in that only 3 fire departments in Kentucky and only 279 fire departments in the United States & Canada have this distinction.

Recently, BGFD has also achieved their highest Insurance Services Office Public Protection Classification rating as well. The recent rating was a Class 01/1X Public Protection Classification (PPC) from the Insurance Services Office (ISO), which is the highest rating BGFD has achieved in their history. ISO collects and evaluates four primary categories of fire suppression – the fire department, water supply, emergency communications and community risk reduction. This accomplishment has only been achieved by 3 Ac88 fire departments in the nation.

Most insurance companies use ISO’s PPC when calculating residential, commercial and industrial property premiums and an improved rating can lead to a reduction in insurance premiums. ISO analyzes data and assigns the PPC grade a number from 1 to 10. Class 1 represents an exemplary fire suppression program, and Class 10 indicates that the area’s fire suppression program does not meet ISO’s minimum criteria. The new rating will become effective on September 1, 2020.

BGFD has a total of 138 employees working out of 6 stations and 1 administrative office building. A 7th station is currently under construction and should open in early 2021. The department has the following divisions: administration, suppression, prevention/inspection and training. BGFD invites you to follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

In order to further improve services, various customer service surveys were created for citizens to fill out. Please visit https://www.bgky.org/fire/survey if you would like to provide feedback.

The City of Bowling Green “We are Bowling Green” fourth annual photo contest has come to a close. The Judges reviewed all photos submitted and the top three winners will receive a $100 (1st place), $75 (2nd place) and $25 (3rd place) gift card to Amazon.

We asked folks to take and submit pictures of what they love about Bowling Green and we received over 100 fantastic entries. Pictures were taken of downtown, rivers, people, animals, social distancing, nature and so much more. We look forward to using the photos online, in print and in our 2020 Annual report/2021 Calendar port/2021 Calendar.

320 votes were cast for the People’s Choice Award, and with 14.06% of the vote, we had a clear winner. People’s Choice winner will also receive a $100 gift card to Amazon.

Judges Choice
1st – City in Quarantine by Eric Denton

2nd – Worry Less, Paddle More by Lilly Van Wyk

3rd – Beautiful Bowling Green by Wayne Garmon

People’s Choice
1st – Stunning Silence by Anne Massey

A special thank you to all who participated by submitting photos, voting online and those who judged! All winners will receive recognition during the June 16th Board of Commissioners meeting and the winning photos will be displayed.

Landscape Division (Part 2)

In addition to the flowers and plants mentioned last week, the Landscape Division plants many trees and shrubs each year and also oversees various programs and projects.


In an average year, the Landscape Division will often plant hundreds of trees and shrubs for special projects, along with their regular program of replanting trees and shrubs that have been removed because of death, disease, or other damage. For instance, last year roughly 100 trees were planted at Hobson Golf Course due to expansion of the driving range and re-alignment of the course. The year before, hundreds of trees and shrubs were planted at Preston Miller Park due to the addition of the soccer fields and the creation of new parking areas.

During the renovations at Fountain Square Park and the Greenways trail down Center Street, Landscape assisted with plant selection, design and layout of all trees and shrubs. Many of the landscapes throughout the City and the Parks are designed by the Landscape Division.

Another recent project included creating multiple perennial gardens at Fairview Cemetery so that Bowling Green could be registered as part of the National Monarch Butterfly Waystation Program. Due to substantial loss of habitat, this program strives to re-introduce food and reproductive plant sources for migrating Monarch butterflies. All of the plants are specifically chosen for this purpose. Bowling Green is now listed on their website and received a sign to put up at the site about the program.

The Landscape Division is also responsible for organizing the annual Arbor Day Celebration for Bowling Green. City Arborist Jared Weaver works with the Bowling Green Tree Advisory Board to plan this event which is filled with entertainment, educational programs and the handing out of hundreds of free tree saplings to residents to plant at their homes. This event draws hundreds to Kerieakes Park each spring.

A new project this year will take place at Hobson Golf Course. Due to the re-alignment of the course, there is now a large floodplain/wetland area that has a small stream coming from the Barren River. In this land, the Landscape Division will recreate a wetland area using specific trees and plants that will provide habitat, food-sources and shelter for wildlife. Along with this specific wetland area, other natural areas will be reintroduced throughout the course. Native tree and plant species will be planted and allowed to become naturalized to provide food, shelter, and habitat for birds and other wildlife. This will serve as a wildlife habitat that co-mingles with and enhances the golf course.

Another program that is overseen by the City’s Landscape Division is the Memorial tree Program. The Memorial Tree Program offers families the opportunity to remember their loved ones while enhancing the beauty of Bowling Green parks and cemeteries. By participating in this special program, family members will help designate a memorial planting to honor their loved one and support the beautification of our parks and green spaces.

The Christmas lights and lighting of Fountain Square Park is one of the biggest projects for Landscape each year. The lights encompass a significant amount of time, planning and prep work. Almost three full months are spent between putting up lights, maintaining them, and taking them down and organizing them for storage for the following year.

Finally, one of the most fun projects that the Landscape Division is responsible for is the operation and maintenance of the fountain at Fountain Square Park. Not only does this include care of the fountain itself, but also the care of the koi fish: Fin Diesel, Peanut Butter and Jelly, and the 4 Rachels (named by our Landscape Division Manager’s daughters when they were young).

As you can see, our City of Bowling Green Landscape Division is more than just flowers and plants. This group of employees works hard to care for and beautify our City in so many ways.

Landscape Division (Part 1)

Spring is the time of year for new growth, green grasses and blooming flowers. The Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Landscape Division plays a large role in making sure that our City, our Parks and our green spaces around our buildings look beautiful this time of year.

The Landscape Division provides the citizens of Bowling Green with a unique Landscape Program that includes the beautification of our parks and public spaces as well as educational programming that promotes the importance of green spaces in our urban areas. The Landscape Division is Managed by our Landscape Manager and includes five full-time, 2 part time and 3 seasonal employees.

Landscape employees have offices located in our Kaz Abe Facility on Brookwood Drive out Morgantown Road. This facility boasts a greenhouse where both annual and perennial flowering and foliage plants are grown. The annual plant program consists of a group of plant varieties that have been proven to be successful in our region. This group consists of the following:


Flowering – Angelonia, Ageratum, Begonia, Celosia, Geranium, Marigold, Vinca, Zinnia.


Foliage – Coleus, Colocasia, Ipomea, Alternanthera, Pennisetum (annual rubrum),

Beyond those that are grown each year, there are a group of flowering and foliage annual plants that are rotated from year to year. The City doesn’t grow these every year, but changes them around to give different looks to the landscape.


Examples of these would be: Cuphea, Dianthus, Dusty Miller, Gazinia, Gomphrena, Impatiens, Lobelia, New Guinea Impatiens, Ornamental Millet, Ornamental Peppers, Petunias, Pentas, Ptilotus, Salvia, Scaevola, Thunbegria, Tuberous Begonia, Verbena.


Also, typically the Landscape Division will grow a few varieties of plants they have never grown before to see if they will be successful in this region, an example of that for this year would be Mandevilla.

The Landscape Manager evaluates all of the landscapes annually and any new plant that proves successful is added to the rotation, while any poor quality plant is, after environmental conditions are taken into consideration, is either given a second try or discarded from the growing program.

Next, the Landscape Division grows both flowering and foliage perennial plants. These plant varieties are not grown every year but on an as needed basis for new park locations or improvements to existing landscapes. For example last year, several flowering perennials were grown to add to the improved landscape beds at Fountain Square Park and the Butterfly Gardens at Fairview cemetery. This year several hostas were grown for a project at Fairview.


Examples of these perennials would be:
Flowering – Allium, Asclepias, Canna, Coreopsis, Echinacea, Eupatorium, Glandularia, Helenium, Hemerocalis, Kniphofia, Lavender, Liatris, Lilium, Monarda, Rudbeckia, Salvia, Sedum, Solidago, Veronica.


Foliage – Calamagrostis, Erianthus, Heuchera, Heucherella, Hosta, Liriope.

All of these plants arrive at the Kaz Abe greenhouse as either plugs, cuttings, or bareroot. They are transplanted into trays or pint and gallon pots and grown until they are ready for planting in the landscape. It is estimated that the City plants around 7,000 annual and perennial plants per year.

The last part of the annual color program consists of spring tulip bulbs. These bulbs are shipped to the City in late fall and planted immediately so they will emerge from the soil in spring. The tulip varieties normally planted are both Darwin and Triumph, of varying color. Both of these varieties are strong single bloomers that bloom in mid spring which works well with our region. Typically, the Landscape Division plants around 5,000 tulip bulbs per year in various parks and building fronts.

While growing and planting a wide variety of plants, trees, shrubs and flowers is a large part of what the Landscape Division does, there is much more to this dedicated Division. Stay tuned next week for more.

Fire trucks today are an iconic symbol of the brave men and women who risk their lives to protect others. Their ladders, sirens and bright red color are a fixture in our society. But the fire truck has evolved over the last 100 plus years and there is no doubt that it will continue to as technologies grow and innovations continue.

This is the evolution of our fire truck.

From 1831 to 1898 the Bowling Green Fire Department fought fires with hand-pulled hose carts. These carts were used across the country and were transported by manpower. To deploy, the ropes on the front of the cart would be unwound, and 10 or more men would run out in front to pull the hose cart to the fire scene. Two men would hold onto the tongue to steer and/or attempt to brake the cart. At the scene, the hose was unwound from the cart, laid out and connected to a hand pumper to move water from a cistern or pond to the source of the fire.

In 1898, the Bowling Green Fire Department brought a new employee on board that revolutionized the game of firefighting – the horse. As paid firefighters and fire departments became more common around the country, horses were introduced and used to pull the fire pumps. This new change greatly improved response times and allowed firefighters to do their job much more efficiently. During this time, the main fire station was located behind current day City Hall on East 10th Street.

While horses were a big improvement to the Fire Department, they weren’t around for long. In the early 1920’s the BGFD saw its first engine powered fire truck. These open cab trucks with no roof were the first of their kind and remained a constant through the 1960’s. “Pumper 2” is a 1931 truck that has been remodeled and is now displayed at Headquarters.

The 1960’s brought with it roofs and doors for the driver and passengers but still lacked doors for the rear jump seats. From this point until the 90’s, small changes continued such as the trucks getting bigger, more pumping capabilities, larger water tanks, hydraulic aerial ladders, hydraulic rescue tools, sirens, rotating lights, air conditioning and more.

DCF 1.0

Around the year 2000, trucks were again revolutionized with computer technology to make them safer and more user friendly through advanced software, communication, visibility, and warning systems. Fire trucks in general have also become more specific to the need of the department. Today, the BGFD has 9 front-line fire trucks: 3 engines (pumpers), 3 rescue pumpers, 2 aerial platforms (w/95’ and 100’ aerials), and 1 quint (w/75’ aerial).

Over the years the fire department has expanded into much more than fighting fires; it has progressed into an agency tasked with mediating virtually any type of emergency situation. Due to this change, the BGFD fleet today also includes: 1 command vehicle, 3 Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting apparatus, 1 brush truck, 1 Hazardous Materials truck, 1 HazMat Decontamination trailer, 1 trench rescue trailer, 1 loss control trailer, 1 arson investigation trailer, and 1 rescue boat and raft w/trailer.

As times change, so will our equipment and our abilities. The Bowling Green Fire Department will always strive to be one of the best departments in the country with top of the line equipment and firefighters.




May 4th, 2020 is International Firefighters day. Firefighters dedicate their lives to the protection of life and property. Sometimes that dedication is in the form of countless hours volunteered over many years, in others it is many selfless years working in the industry. In all cases it risks the ultimate sacrifice of a firefighter’s life.
International Firefighters’ Day (IFFD) is a time where the world’s community can recognize and honor the sacrifices that firefighters make to ensure that their communities and environment are as safe as possible. It is also a day in which current and past firefighters can be thanked for their contributions.

The Bowling Green Fire Department is a fully paid department that achieved national accreditation in 2008 and reaccreditation in 2014 and 2018 through the Commission on Fire Accreditation International, also known as the Center for Public Safety Excellence. This accreditation gives us a rare achievement within the fire service in that only 3 fire departments in Kentucky and only 279 fire departments in the United States & Canada have this distinction.

BGFD has a total of 138 employees working out of 6 stations and 1 administrative office building. The 7th station is currently under construction and should open in early 2021. The department has the following divisions: administration, suppression, prevention/inspection and training.

BGFD Mission Statement
Our mission is to protect lives, property, and environment by providing a high level of professional fire and rescue services to the Bowling Green Community.
Supporting Values:
• Service to the community – this is our purpose.
• Professional Competence – we will train for improvement, proficiency and effectiveness on the job.
• Teamwork – teamwork is essential to the effective delivery of our service. Each member’s contribution is important.
• Our people are our most important resource. Develop this resource.
• Integrity – we will treat our customers and co-workers with honesty and respect at all times.
• Accountability – my competence, my attitude, my actions reflect on every member of the workforce.
Our responsibilities include a broad Scope of Services including:
• Fire Prevention/Code Enforcement/Plan review
• Fire Safety Education
• Fire Suppression-Incident Mitigation-Loss Control
• Emergency Medical Response
• Fire Cause Investigation/Arson Prosecution
• Hazardous Material Incident Mitigation
• Auto Accident Extrication/Heavy Rescue
• Industrial Accident Rescue/Extrication
• Confined Space Rescue
• Water Rescue
• High Angle Rescue
• Trench Rescue

The Bowling Green Fire Department – “Professionals at your service”

International Firefighters’ Day is observed each year on 4th May. On this date you are invited to remember the past firefighters who have died while serving our community or dedicated their lives to protecting the safety of us all. At the same time, we can show our support and appreciation to the firefighters worldwide who continue to protect us so well throughout the year.

Stormwater Quality Testing

One thing that Bowling Green Public Works Staff has been able to safely do while social distancing, is water quality sampling. Water quality sampling and testing is an important part of environmental monitoring.  When water quality is poor, it affects not only aquatic life but the surrounding ecosystem as well.

The majority of the human body is comprised of water. Quality drinking water is important to our health and well-being. We use water daily throughout our homes for cooking, cleaning, bathing, laundry and a host of other purposes. Water is critical to most items we purchase and consume in one way or another which is why we regularly test samples locally in the Bowling Green area. Sampling is completed quarterly and then as needed.  The Environmental Compliance Division staff will use the results of this testing to monitor the water for changes or problems. Below are pictures and descriptions from staff members Matt Powell, Nick Lawhon, and Courtenay Howell as they sampled water in various locations over the last several days, by both land and water.

The first photo shows Howell reading the water quality meter and recording measurements for ph, dissolved oxygen, temp, specific conductance, and NTUs or the measurement of turbidity/suspended solids in the water. This documentation follows along with the sample when it is delivered to WKU’s laboratory facility.  These measurements are logged for every test site.

This photo shows the confluence of Barren River and Drakes creek.  Sampling sites are on each side, just upstream from where these two come together.

This picture shows silt on the boat ramp at Boatlanding Road.  Silt is fine sand, clay, or other material carried by running water and deposited as a sediment, especially in a channel or harbor. Periodically, parks maintenance scrapes silt that accumulates to help with safety as it can become very slick. Seen below, Powell is scraping the silt with a shovel for the tire path so the boat could be launched.

See below, the boat is headed to a sampling site called Wilkin Blue Hole. Wilkin Blue Hole is a  spring that feeds into Barren River.

In this photo, Powell is collecting a sample at Wilkin Blue Hole. Staff had to get out of the boat and sample from land because the water was high and a log over the water blocked the boat from getting to the site.

This next photo shows the sample bottles and water quality meter that is used by City staff.

One of the things that makes Bowling Green’s stormwater unique is the direct injection of runoff into our underground cave system.  Sample results that come back elevated may be red flags of illicit discharges or a direct pollutant source in the watershed.   Below, Powell labels a sample taken in Bypass Cave.

Carver Well, an injection well located off of Scottsville Road, is not accessible for direct sampling.  Nick Lawhon prepares a bailer which he will lower into the well to collect the samples.

Lawhon samples a surfacing stream at Church Karst Window.

One sampling site is a blue hole located in the Lost River Valley.

Lost River Rise, pictured below, is where the water flowing through Lost River Cave returns to the surface.  It flows from under a stone ledge, joins Jennings Creek which then flows into the Barren River.

Visit www.underbgky.org for real time water quality data and more info about what is under BG!

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