Asheville GreenWorks will host its annual Environmental Excellence Awards and Trashion Show on Saturday, April 14. Taking place from 6-9 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Asheville, this truly spectacular event will recognize individuals, businesses, and organizations, and it also showcases local designers presenting sustainable fashions made from repurposed materials.
It’s one of the 250 events organized each year by Asheville GreenWorks, a grassroots nonprofit with a staff of seven. Over 3,400 volunteers logged 11,000 hours assisting with Asheville GreenWorks projects last year.
Executive Director Dawn Chavez explains that the nonprofit’s operations can be split into two categories: trash and trees. The organization’s day-to-day work puts a focus on cleaning pollution and litter, reducing waste, creating and maintaining sustainable practices, and providing education about trees within the community.
The Asheville GreenWorks team is not afraid to get their hands dirty. They help clean rivers and roads, and they organize multiple Hard 2 Recycle and Tire Amnesty Days each year. River cleanups begin in May on Clean Streams Day. In celebration of Clean Streams Day, Asheville GreenWorks organizes teams made up of local volunteers who then chose a section of river that they would like to clean.
Education programs aim to foster environmental literacy throughout the community. This program often leads staff members and volunteers into the community, where they are sharing knowledge about recycling, composting, reducing waste and living sustainably. Asheville GreenWorks’s internship opportunities are also a huge part of their education program.
The Urban Forestry program focuses solely on trees. A few initiatives within this program are tree planting and maintenance, tree advocacy, and the Adopt-a-Spot program.
GreenWorks is also very supportive of student interns. Their eight-week Youth Environmental Leadership Program (YELP) allows students from low-income families to gain practical experience in a natural environment. In addition to YELP, GreenWorks has ample internship and volunteer opportunities for people of all ages.
On April 14, GreenWorks will host two large events and also take part in the Mountain Science Expo at the North Carolina Arboretum. But doing three major events in one day is no small feat.
Christine Brown, an environmental educator at Asheville Greenworks, is in charge of planning for the Mountain Science Expo. This year, GreenWorks will table the event and focus on pollinators and tress. Brown along with two interns will teach participants about different types of pollinators by making pollinator headbands. Each headband will have a unique time of antenna depending on the type of pollinator the person chooses. Brown said that she hopes this will teach the children about different types of pollinators and their antennas.
“Usually people choose the butterfly or the bee,” said Brown. “But I really hope a few people choose the fly. I love the fly.”
Also on April 14, GreenWorks will host its Hard 2 Recycle event from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Hard 2 Recycle is free to the public and will allow people to recycle anything from styrofoam and old computers to scrap metal and toner cartridges. Participating partners include The Open Box Moving Solutions, Biltmore Iron & Metal Co., The Habitat Restore and many more.
Asheville GreenWorks will host its annual Environmental Excellence Awards and Trashion Show. Taking place from 6-9 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Asheville, this truly spectacular event will recognize individuals, businesses, and organizations, and it also showcases local designers presenting sustainable fashions made from repurposed materials.
In addition to a busy April 14, GreenWorks has more events planned this month. On April 18 GreenWorks will host a Downtown Cleanup Day from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Pritchard Park in Asheville. This cleanup is in partnership with the Asheville Downtown Association and will focus on cleaning up trash in downtown Asheville.
On April 21 GreenWorks will host Love Your Trees Asheville in Pack Square Park. The public is invited to come wrap Asheville’s trees in knitted “tree huggies” while taking part in fun activities all centered around trees. Also coming up is Pollination Celebration Week from June 16-24.
For information about GreenWorks and to learn more about getting involved visit their website here.