Haywood Community College hosts WNC Environmental Summit on March 23

Press release from Haywood Community College:

Haywood Community College will welcome multiple speakers, guests, and partners to campus on Saturday, March 23rd for the WNC Environmental Summit.

The WNC Environmental Summit will provide educational opportunities for regional groups to come together, share ideas, encourage each other, and take action to make a difference. Community leaders, Indigenous experts, agencies, and partners will share expertise related to WNC environmental topics. The conference is designed for adults and youth with opportunities for everyone to share ideas and connect.

This conference will inspire hope, equity, and action through a variety of presentations and workshops from local experts. Special youth-led sessions will allow middle and high school students to collaborate and find ways to step up as leaders. Students will also have the opportunity to share information through poster presentations for all conference attendees to view and learn. Presentations and panel discussions are available for all attendees but there are also special action labs designed for the youth in attendance.

Topics at the conference include but are not limited to:
·         Environmental hope, health, and well-being
·         Backyard forestry/invasives/sustainable gardens
·         Impact of wildfires on WNC
·         Wildlife corridors and Bearwise
·         Sustainable development
·         Energy conservation
·         Culture, equity, and community

The event will start with two impactful keynote speakers. Dr. Lisa Lefler, Associate Professor of Anthropology from Western Carolina University and Director of the Culturally Based Native Health Program will share a message of climate change and hope. Mr. Tommy Cabe, HCC Alum and first Tribal Forest Resource Specialist for the Cherokee Tribe will engage with attendees about how connecting to Place is vital to conserve biodiverse ecosystems and how equity is critical for working across communities.

This event will be held on the campus of Haywood Community College from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 23. The conference is free to attend and lunches for the youth are included. Pre-registration is required. For full details and the conference schedule, please visit haywood.edu/events/summit. This event could not be possible without the generous support of the community, the HCC Foundation, Environmental Action Community of WNC, and the STEM Collaborative.

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