It’s been a strange year at the North Carolina General Assembly.
There have been lots of votes – and vetoes – on various budget bills, but no final state budget. There was just a smattering of problematic environmental bills, the worst of which either didn’t pass or were defanged before becoming law.
It’s almost December, which means I (along with the rest of the GreenWorks team) take a step back and reflect on exactly what’s been accomplished over the course of the past 12 months. And friends, this year has been next-level. But none of it would have happened without YOU!
At the Fetzer Institute, we believe in the possibility of a loving world: a world where we understand we are all part of one human family and know our lives have purpose. In the world we seek, everyone is committed to courageous compassion and bold love—powerful forces for good in the face of fear, anger, division, and despair.
A new report from Rachel’s Network, a nonprofit that focuses on women and environmental issues, finds that women legislators are far more likely to vote in favor of legislation that protects or preserves the environment. The research, based on an analysis of the League of Conservation Voters scorecards for members of the U.S. House and Senate from 2006–2018, found that the average LCV score for women senators was 71 compared to 46 for their male counterparts. In the House, women on average scored 70 while men scored 43.
The proposal would make dramatic changes to the National Environmental Policy Act, also known as NEPA, which allows the public to have a say about the plans for government projects like new roads and timber sales. By requiring public input and a review of the environmental impacts of government projects, NEPA keeps these decisions from being made behind closed doors.
The City is continuing to implement the River Arts District (RAD) Public Art Plan.
The City of Asheville and the Public Art and Cultural Commission (PACC) seek qualified artists to submit Letters of Interest in becoming one of three artists asked to submit proposals for a project called Playful Art. When complete, Playful Art will provide an interactive and playful experiential installation for all ages.
From this call for artists, the review committee will choose the top three most qualified artists for this project. Those qualified artists will each be provided with a $250 honorarium to develop two project proposals to include a sketch and narrative for a work of art inspired by the theme of “playful art.” The committee is especially interested in work that highlights the location in the River Arts District as well as accessibility, creativity, play, engagement for all ages, and experience. The work could be a sculpture, earth work, or other appropriate and engaging piece to be installed in a park-like setting along the French Broad River East Greenway. It will be visible from public streets and pedestrian walkways, free of any admission fee.
Funding for this project comes from the City’s 1% for Public Art commitment. To learn more and/or to stay up-to-date with the River Arts District Public Art projects, please visit ashevillenc.gov/publicart or click here.
For more information, please contact Stephanie Monson Dahl, Public Art Program Administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-337-4111.
Interested in local energy and climate issues? Come to the City of Asheville’s Climate Resource Guide release and Renewable Energy Initiative community update.
Set for 5 to 7 p.m. June 19 at The Collider, 1 Haywood St., Fourth Floor, the City’s Office of Sustainability and the Sustainability Advisory Committee on Energy and the Environment (SACEE) will share information on how — as a community and individually — we can become better prepared and more resilient to the effects of climate change. The event will feature the release of “Building a Climate-Resilient Asheville — Personal Action Guide.”
Asheville has a history of climate-related impacts — major floods in 1916 and 2004, landslides, nuisance flooding, wildfires, and the record drought of 2007–2008, to name a few. The city is also facing other stressors, like pressures from population growth, increasing demand for city services, economic changes, land use issues, and the desire to preserve a sense of place. Click here to continue reading
City of Asheville earns GIS award for racial equity mapping project
Asheville was recognized during the 2019 N.C. GIS Conference in Winston-Salem. City Council officials received the award during their May 14 meeting.
GIS is a geographic information system used as a framework for gathering, managing and analyzing data.
The GIS team worked with the Equity & Inclusion office to map and record some of Asheville’s history around race. This included mapping out areas where red-lining and urban renewal occurred. They also crowd-sourced African American history, displacement and neighborhood change.
The City of Asheville is a member of the Government Alliance on Racial Equity (GARE) and is able to use its resources and network to continue learning and advancing racial equity goals in Asheville. “In order for transformation to occur, an understanding of our racialized history is required,” said Kimberlee Archie, Director of Equity and Inclusion for the City of Asheville. “There are specific past and current policies, procedures, practices, and budget decisions that result in disparate outcomes by race. A mapping tool such as this is critical for us to use for change to occur.” Click here to continue reading
Asheville GreenWorks is a volunteer based 501(c)(3) working to enhance the environment and quality of life for the citizens of Asheville and Buncombe County through awareness building, community activities and partnership.
We all know that plastic waste is becoming an acute problem on land and in our oceans. While many people aspire to a zero-waste lifestyle, suddenly removing every morsel of single use plastic from your daily routine isn’t easy!
Hi there – it’s me, your Hominy Creek Trash Trout. Some people call me TT for short. My job is to sit in the Hominy Creek and patrol for litter before it can reach the French Broad River. Did you know that I collected over 500 pounds or trash in the first 6 months of my life?
Sent in from Green Corner, the Montford Community Newsletter – Mitch Russell
I don’t usually advocate and try to remain politically neutral in this column, but to shut out our voices in a process isn’t American. There is a potential change in the US Forest Service National Environmental Policy Act, NEPA, that could have catastrophic consequences. The change could include removing public comments and involvement, as well as not utilizing outside scientific analysis. You may comment using any of the methods at the end of this article, but please do so by August 26 @11:59pm
Pisgah National Forest is the closest to Asheville and in its entire range contains roughly 513,000 acres managed by the Forest Service. There is additional acreage managed by other agencies or entities.
Waste reduction is a major component of our work at Asheville GreenWorks. Since 1973, our staff and volunteers have worked to educate and reduce our dependance on one-use, so called “throw-away” items that simply fill up our landfills. Through recycling and compost education, we will reduce our need for landfills and through these innovations support infrastructure for future green industries.
The Energy Innovation Task Force (EITF) is excited to announce that through community collaboration, the gas-fired peaker plant, originally planned for 2023, has been pushed out beyond 2032. “Delaying the need for any additional natural gas-fired generation in Buncombe County beyond 2032 is a big deal. The facility would have cost residential and business ratepayers more than $100 million paid for through higher electricity bills,” notes EITF member and Chair of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners Brownie Newman. The peaker plant would have been used to ensure electricity production during peak demand times such as the coldest winter days. Click here to read more
(Washington, DC, February 25, 2019) Passage of the Natural Resources Management Act (S. 47), expected tomorrow in the U.S. House of Representatives, will signify a bipartisan win for birds and people, and a step in the right direction toward advancing wildlife conservation and recreation initiatives. The bill passed the Senate with a vote of 98-2.