Conscious Party: Asheville GreenWorks’ Root Ball

ROOT DOWN: Asheville GreenWorks' numerous conservation efforts include tree plantings, urban agriculture and river cleanups. The organization's annual fundraiser party, the Root Ball, takes place Sept. 23 at 14 Riverside Drive, the City of Asheville’s new Arts & Culture Center. Photo by Pat Barcas

WHAT: A Dance Party by the River fundraiser for Asheville GreenWorks

WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 23, 6:30-10 p.m.

WHERE: 14 Riverside Drive

WHY: While coordinating more than 200 projects with over 3,000 volunteers each year, the Asheville GreenWorks staff rarely takes time to relax, reflect and enjoy themselves — which makes the annual Root Ball all the more special.

“This is one of the few times each year that we get to hang out with GreenWorks volunteers when we’re not getting dirty planting trees or hauling tires out of the river,” says Executive Director Dawn Chávez. “The popularity of the event year after year shows that volunteers and supporters enjoy this opportunity as well.”
Now in its fifth year, the casual, fun, family event is set for Saturday, Sept. 23 at 14 Riverside, the city of Asheville’s new Arts & Culture Center. Locals who are passionate about caring for their community are invited to spend a warm, early autumn evening dancing under the stars to live music by Randy Flack.

Other activities include a silent auction for outdoor gear and trips — such as a Navitat canopy tour, passes to the U.S. National Whitewater Center and a seven-day trip to anywhere Resort, Travel & Exchange goes — and a raffle for plants and trees from from GreenWorks new tree nursery and Southeastern Native Nursery for winners to take home.

Food donated by Hickory Nut Gap Farm and Smiling Hara Tempeh will be prepared by Clarence Robinson of Cooking with Comedy, while Oskar Blues Brewery and New Belgium Brewing — noted supporters of keeping local rivers clean — are providing beer that will be served from a “beer canoe.” But while the Root Ball serves as a fundraiser for the nonprofit, Chávez is quick to also call it a friend-raiser.

“It’s important to build relationships with individuals and celebrate all the hard work of taking care of the environment,” she says. “We’re especially excited to raise funding and support for the Trash Trout project, which traps litter floating down Mud Creek, so we can expand this innovative pollution control device to other rivers and streams. We also are raising funds to provide ongoing maintenance of the eight community orchards we’ve installed throughout the county as part of our Food Tree Project. In addition to funding, we’re cultivating interest among volunteers to take an active role in these projects.”

The fifth annual Root Ball takes place from 6:30 – 10 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23, at 14 Riverside Drive. $25.

About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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