UNC Asheville to hold Spring Greenfest March 25-April 1

A UNC Asheville student plants a tree during the Greenfest campus service day. Photo courtesy of UNC Asheville
A UNC Asheville student plants a tree during the Greenfest campus service day. Photo courtesy of UNC Asheville

Press release from UNC Asheville:

UNC Asheville’s Spring Greenfest 2017 begins March 25 and will feature a walking tour of a wildfire site, workshops on rain gardens, on electric vehicles, and on mushrooms as medicine, in addition to many more events celebrating spring planting and sustainability.

Carolyn Finney, author of Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors, will deliver the Greenfest keynote talk on March 30. UNC Asheville’s Brown Hall will feature a Meet Your Farmer Lunch on March 31. UNC Asheville also will partner with RiverLink for a river cleanup and invasive species workshop on April 1.

The following Greenfest activities are free and open to everyone:

Saturday, March 25
Rain Garden Workshop, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Meet at UNC Asheville’s Owen Hall, room 229
Rain gardens are attractive landscape features that also treat storm water. This free one-day workshop, co-hosted by RiverLink and NC Cooperative Extension, will cover rain garden design and installation. A morning classroom session will be followed by a hands-on rain garden installation. For a $100 fee, participants can take an exam to become certified by NC Cooperative Extension as a Residential Rain Garden Professional. Online pre-registration is required – see sustainability.unca.edu/spring-greenfest-2017.

Sunday, March 26
Wildfire Walk, 1-4 p.m., Transportation details available with registration
UNC Asheville Professor of Biology Jonathan Horton discuss the ecological role and impact of fire in Western North Carolina forests while leading a short walking tour of a wildfire site off Pisgah Highway near Upper Hominy. Rides to and from the site will be provided by a caravan of electric vehicles, courtesy of volunteers from the Blue Ridge Electric Vehicle Club. Online pre-registration is required – see sustainability.unca.edu/spring-greenfest-2017. Also, see the After the Wildfires event on March 28.

Movie Screening: Seed: The Untold Story, 6-8 p.m., UNC Asheville’s Highsmith Union Grotto
This film, a winner of awards at U.S. and European festivals, “is a gorgeously made film, put together with as much care as its subjects devote to saving the remaining varieties of seeds,” according to the Los Angeles Times. “Though Seed: The Untold Story, spends some of its short running time on the dangers of genetically modified foods, biotech giants and the growing lack of biodiversity, it’s ultimately hopeful.” This screening is presented by the student organizations, Student Environmental Center and ASHE (Active Students for a Healthy Environment).

Monday, March 27
Seed Giveaway, 7:45 a.m.-1 a.m., UNC Asheville’s Ramsey Library 
Beginning on Monday and continuing during regular library hours throughout the remainder of the week while supplies last, free packets of different flower, herbs and vegetable seeds will be available.

Spring Sustainability Fair, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., UNC Asheville Quad
More than 30 local environmental businesses and organizations, including Neo Burrito, the Sierra Club and Mountain Foods will share samples and information about how individuals and businesses can help create a more sustainable community.

S’mores and Campfire, 6-8 p.m., UNC Asheville’s Mullen Park
This event will feature “leave no trace” safe campfire education and information about burn bans, in addition to s’mores.

Tuesday, March 28
After the Wildfires – Panel Presentation, 6-7:30 p.m., UNC Asheville’s Highsmith Union rooms 221-222
UNC Asheville Professor of Biology Jonathon Horton will lead a panel discussion about the wildfires in the fall of 2016 and what they mean for area forests and communities.

The Mathematics of EVs, 7-8 p.m., UNC Asheville’s Karpen Hall, Laurel Forum
This presentation about electric vehicles by Rudy Beharrysingh, director of UNC Asheville’s Parsons Math Lab, will use mathematics to explain the energy efficiency and inner workings of EVs, covering battery life and mileage range. Beharrysingh, who drives a Nissan Leaf, is president of the Blue Ridge Electric Vehicle Club.

Wednesday, March 29
Recycling Facility Tour, 10-11:15 a.m., Transportation details available with registration
This short field trip to the Curbie recycling processing facility will provide a view of the tumblers, staffed conveyor belts, charged currents, and magnets that separate cardboard, metal, glass, and plastics. This is a great opportunity to have your recycling questions answered by the experts. Transportation for students will be provided to and from UNC Asheville. Online pre-registration is required and spaces are limited – see sustainability.unca.edu/spring-greenfest-2017.

Mushrooms as Medicine: A Closer Look at the Healing Powers of Fungi in People and Environment, 6-7:30 p.m., UNC Asheville’s Highsmith Union rooms 221-222
Laura Sexton, registered dietitian with Chartwells, UNC Asheville Dining Services, will discuss edible mushroom species from the region and how they can serve as sustainable food and medicine sources for humans, animals and forests.

Thursday, March 30

Campus Service Day, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Community residents are invited to join with students, faculty and staff to plant milkweed, manage invasive species, redecorate the Bee Hotel and perform other tasks. Free Greenfest t-shirts will be given to all participants. Work will be ongoing all day and online pre-registration is required with hour-long shifts available.

Keynote Talk by Carolyn Finney: Radical Presence: Black Faces, White Spaces & Other Stories of Possibility, 6 p.m. in UNC Asheville’s Humanities Lecture Hall
Finney, author of Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors, is one of 12 members of the congressionally chartered National Park System Advisory Board, working to assist the National Park Service in engaging relations of reciprocity with diverse communities. She also is an assistant professor of geography at the University of Kentucky.

Friday, March 31
Meet Your Farmer Lunch, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., UNC Asheville’s Brown Hall

Area farmers will be on hand to discuss their work and their produce which will be featured in this all-you-care-to-eat buffet lunch for $8.28 per person plus tax.

Electric Car Show, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., University Heights in front of UNC Asheville’s Highsmith Union
Members of the Blue Ridge Electric Vehicle Club will display and share information about the plug-in cars they use for pleasure and commuting without need for gasoline. With a new generation of EVs expected from three car makers next year, this Electric Car Show provides a way to learn more about what’s coming down the road.

Saturday, April 1
Off-Campus Service Day, 9:30 a.m.-noon
Community residents are invited to join with students, faculty and staff take part in a river cleanup and invasive species workshop, presented in partnership with RiverLink. Online pre-registration required.

For Greenfest events requiring registration, and for information updates visit sustainability.unca.edu/spring-greenfest-2017.

Limited free visitor parking is available on campus, with visitor lots listed at maps.unca.edu.

For more information, visit sustainability.unca.edu or contact Sonia Marcus, director of sustainability at UNC Asheville, at 828.251.6627.

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