Local nonprofit organizations, universities, and businesses have teamed up to celebrate Earth Month this year through a collective effort — WNC for the Planet. The collective partnership will host a month of environmental service, education opportunities and community events in Asheville and across Western North Carolina. As part of the effort, WNC for the Planet launched an online community calendar at WNCfortheplanet.org where the public can learn about various events and volunteer days inspired by Earth Day 2018. The Asheville Citizen-Times has joined the effort as a community partner and will be publishing a special WNC for the Planet section and features throughout the month of April in the newspaper and online at citizen-times.com.
“Earth Day might fall on April 22nd, but our fellow environmental nonprofits operate as if every day is Earth Day. Because of this, we’ve decided to focus on a month-long endeavor to encourage businesses and individuals alike to give back to our planet,” says Anna Zanetti, North Carolina Director of Friends of the Smokies.
WNC for the Planet features service opportunities and educational programs for people of all ages, and from all walks of life. Events will be offered across Western North Carolina well beyond the City of Asheville, including trail work days in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, French Broad River cleanups, trail building in the Highlands of Roan, native habitat restoration and corporate service challenges.
“We recognized how each group’s values were aligned so we encouraged everyone to get into a room together. We all had so many activities scheduled around Earth Day, we didn’t want to compete when we had the opportunity to collaborate,” says Mike Craft VIPer Ambassador/Community Relations of New Belgium Brewing. “This partnership, enthusiasm for our environment and collaborative spirit is just another reminder of how lucky we are to call Western North Carolina our home.”
WNC for the Planet’s Earth Month will culminate with a weekend of celebrations, including Kids Fest with RiverLink on Saturday, April 21st, and MountainTrue’s annual Earth Day Vigil with faith groups and a tree planting led by GreenWorks on Sunday, April 22nd. New Belgium Brewing Company will celebrate these hard working volunteers, environmental advocates and supporters on Earth Day in the Liquid Center.
Those interested in learning more about Earth Month volunteer opportunities and special events can visit www.WNCforthePlanet.org.
About WNC for the Planet:
WNC for the Planet is a collective made up of local environmental organizations that provides access to service, educational, and recreational opportunities in recognition of Earth Month. We strive to unify our community to encourage and celebrate environmental stewardship for our planet and the region.
Those involved include:
- Appalachian Trail Conservancy
- Asheville GreenWorks
- Bee City USA
- Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation
- Carolina Mountain Club
- Conserving Carolina
- Energy Savers Network
- Everybody’s Environment
- Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- Friends of the Oklawaha Greenway
- Green Opportunities
- Hemlock Restoration Initiative
- National Parks Conservation Association
- Organic Growers School
- Sierra Club (WENOCA Group)
- Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy
- Warren Wilson College
- University of NC Asheville
WNC for the Planet is open to participation from additional organizations. Please contact WNCforthePlanet@gmail.com for more info.