Blake Borwig is an Environmental Scientist for the Kentucky Division for Air Quality, within the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection. He is also pursuing a masters degree in Applied Environmental and Sustainability Studies at the University of Kentucky.
His work focuses on the analysis of state and federal programs and policies developed to help Kentucky attain and maintain national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). His research pertains to environmental issues and their impacts on future decision-making by the U.S. EPA. Blake believes it is important for environmental policy to be implemented successfully, and works to aid in the coordination of policies and exchange of data between Kentucky and other affected entities, such as the general public, facilities, local/state governments and the U.S. EPA.
Born and raised in rural Kentucky, Blake hails from a state reliant on fossil fuels, namely coal. He has actively pursued opportunities to ensure that the Commonwealth of Kentucky is on the forefront of renewable energy efforts. He hopes his legacy is one of tangible change, as he helps Kentucky decarbonize its grid while improving air quality for those who live in Kentucky, as well as for anyone who visits the area to experience its natural beauty.
While living abroad in Brazil, Blake dedicated much of his time to service via various grassroots environmental groups, where he primarily aided conservation efforts to remove invasive species. His efforts helped a local wildlife sanctuary known as “Parque Ecológico do Córrego Grande” create a management plan to ensure conservation of the park, as no legislation or plan existed prior. Currently, the park is working to restore local fauna and planting native tree species to help maintain the biodiversity of the Atlantic Forest.
As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, Blake hopes to make our national parks more inclusive. Throughout his life, Blake has witnessed firsthand both the importance and challenge of creating inclusivity while also reducing discrimination in public spaces, especially public parks. Safety concerns and a sense of not belonging are among many reasons the LGBTQIA+ community may not visit our parks. He recognizes the reality that public lands have not always been equally accessible and programs have not been developed with inclusivity in mind. He hopes that these spaces create or revive narratives of belonging for folks who have often been made to feel that they biologically, culturally, or socially don’t belong. As a member of the NPCA Next Generation Advisory Council, Blake will work to give the LGBTQIA+ community a voice and ensure our parks are a space for everyone.