UNC Asheville Celebrates Sustainability with Annual Greenfest


UNC Asheville will celebrate its annual Greenfest with spring activities and programs focused on environmental sustainability. On Saturday, April 5, members of the UNC Asheville community will participate in the Greenfest Day of Service, landscaping and planting gardens at 525 Broadway near the Reed Creek Greenway site. More details on the Greenfest Day of Service are included in the summary that follows.

Greenfest is sponsored by UNC Asheville’s Student Government Association, the Student Environmental Center, and Office of Sustainability.  All event listed are free and open to the public:

March 31

  • Backyard Bash—Greenfest kicks off with the second annual Backyard Bash, featuring a live drumming performance, DJs from UNC Asheville’s Blue Echo student-run internet radio station and vegan snacks from Rosetta’s Kitchenette. Attendees can decorate their own reusable shopping bags and repurpose t-shirts. The Bash takes place from 12 – 3 p.m. at Overlook Hall, and is cosponsored by Blue Echo and the university’s African Drum Ensemble.
  • Rhoades Garden Work Day—UNC Asheville is home to several student-run gardens. Located at the corner of W.T. Weaver Boulevard and Merrimon Avenue, the ROOTS Garden includes vegetables, herbs, fruiting shrubs and more. All volunteers are welcome regardless of prior gardening experience. Tools and instruction will be provided. The workday lasts from 1:30 - 4:30 p.m. at UNC Asheville’s Rhoades property.
  • Food Security Panel—Local food organizers will discuss hunger and food insecurity issues in Asheville, and possible solutions. Speakers will include Olufemi Lewis of Ujamaa Freedom Market; Susan Sides of The Lord's Acre garden; Sir Charles Gardner of Gardens United; Randal Pfleger of Bountiful Cities; Brandee Boggs of the Asheville Buncombe Food Policy Council; and Allison Casparian of Bounty and Soul market in Black Mountain. The panel discussion is from 6-8 p.m. in Highsmith University Union, room 223.

April 1

  • Campus Sustainability Update—UNC Asheville students and staff will discuss the latest topics in campus sustainability in three "PechaKucha" style presentations, in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each. Topics include the “Real Food Challenge,” an update on UNC Asheville's work toward a greenhouse gas emissions inventory, and what makes for a "shareable" campus. The presentations will be followed by an open Q-and-A session. The event begins at 12:15 p.m. in Ramsey Library, Glass House.

April 3

  • Taste of the Earth—Local food-based businesses will provide samples at this environmental fair and music performance. UNC Asheville’s bike shop will be on hand to showcase the latest rentals and provide tune-ups, and the Student Environmental Center will host a recycled art contest. The fair runs from 12 – 3 p.m. on the main quad.

April 5

  • Greenfest Day of Service–On April 5, university staff, faculty, students and Montford neighbors will roll up their sleeves to plant trees and shrubs and add mulch along Reed Creek, and create a pollinator/edible garden on the green space at street level. Please bring appropriate work clothes, boots, and if you have them, shovels and pitchforks. This is part of the effort to develop and beautify the green space at 525 Broadway which will become part of the Reed Creek Greenway linking UNC Asheville and Montford with downtown. Work will be ongoing from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. and a noon lunch will be provided by the university. All volunteers will receive a free Greenfest 2114 T-shirt.

Other green-related events taking place on campus include:

April 2

  • Food Policy Council “Meeting of the Whole”—The Asheville Buncombe Food Policy Council (ABFPC) will celebrate progress made in the community over the past year working toward policies that support a “healthy food friendly” region. Participants will learn more about the council’s work and help set priorities for the next year. An orientation for new members will be held at 5:30 p.m. prior to the start of the meeting for those unfamiliar with the council. Please RSVP on the Facebook event page or contact info@abfoodpolicy.com. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the Sherrill Center.

April 5

  • North Asheville Tailgate Market Opening Day UNC Asheville's campus hosts the weekly North Asheville Tailgate Market, Asheville's oldest producer-only farmers' market. More than 60-percent of the vendors earn their primary income from farming. The market begins its 32nd year of operation with more than 40 vendors selling locally produced products. The market is open from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. in lot P28.

For more information, contact Sonia Marcus, UNC Asheville’s director of sustainability, at smarcus@unca.edu or 828.251.6627.