Watering red spruce seedlings at the Southern Highlands Reserve

Kelly Holdbrooks leads plant conservati­on at Southern Highlands Reserve

The reserve’s biggest public-facing project is its red spruce restoration effort, which has planted roughly 4,000 trees on public land since 2009 in conjunction with state, federal and nonprofit partners. “When you get down to it, we’re just little plant nerds, doing the good fight and sharing everything we learn,” Holdbrooks says.

Beyond sustainabi­lity — restoring, repairing and creating resiliency in our community

“We need to have as much say as possible over the decisions that affect our lives, the money that informs our projects, the food that we eat and every system we touch,” writes Lee Warren, executive director of the Organic Growers School. “Relocalizing means taking back our power in every possible way.”

Asheville GreenWorks pruning workshop

Urban forestry proposals aim to save Asheville’­s trees

By adding a dedicated urban forester, crafting an urban forest master plan and strengthening the current municipal tree ordinance, say members of Asheville’s Tree Commission, the city can manage its growth in a greener and more climate-resilient way. “The more hard surface we have, the more green we need to balance it out,” says commission chair Stephen Hendricks.

Electric bus

Electric city buses make public debut

Even accounting for the fossil fuels needed to generate the electricity they will use, said Council member Julie Mayfield, each vehicle will produce 54 fewer tons of annual carbon emissions than one of Asheville’s current buses. Once all five buses hit the streets, the total emissions savings of 270 tons will make up a third of the city’s annual carbon reduction target.

Construction at Duke Energy's Lake Julian facility

2018 in review: 7 Asheville-area climate stories

Twelve years: That’s how long humanity has left to hold global warming below the key level of 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to an October report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In light of that sobering reality, these developments from 2018 had the biggest potential impact on Asheville’s contribution to climate change.

Scott Hardin-Nieri and Steve Norris

Activists, faith leaders hold 10-day fast and prayer for climate change

“We have been shouting about climate change for a long time, but now, we feel like it’s going to take more messaging in a different way,” says Avram Friedman of the Canary Coalition, a Sylva-based environmental activism group. “We’re showing people that we’re so committed to this, it’s so important, that I’m willing to fast for 10 days to get this message across.”

The Collider lobby with people

[Food + Beverage] Collider conference prepares business for climate change

“It’s like the playing field that everyone’s playing on — that the economy’s playing on, that companies are playing on, that the government’s playing on — that playing field is starting to erode,” says Josh Dorfman, CEO of The Collider in downtown Asheville. “I think there’s more on the line than many people understand.”

City Council member Julie Mayfield, top left, poses with members of the Sustainability Advisory Committee on Energy and the Environment as they hold energy-efficient LED light bulbs given away as part of the city's Energy Efficiency Day 2017.

SACEE votes on 100 percent green electricit­y goal for Asheville

The plurality of Asheville city government’s greenhouse gas emissions in fiscal year 2017 — roughly 9,100 tons — came from burning fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas, to create electricity. That number could drop to zero by the end of the next decade, however, should Asheville adopt a resolution currently under development by the city’s Sustainability Advisory Committee on Energy and the Environment.

Dogwood Alliance tour sparks conversati­on on environmen­tal justice

In collaboration with the Sierra Club, New Alpha Community Development Corporation and Kingdom Living Temple, Dogwood Alliance is traveling across eight southern states to engage vulnerable communities and build solidarity around climate crises. Emily Zucchino with Dogwood Alliance says the event will tie the community’s poverty and gentrification issues together with the greater environmental context.

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