Green Scene

Green living is healthy living

Last year’s Asheville Earth Day was a busy, community-oriented shindig that packed Martin Luther King Jr. Park. This year will be even bigger, with the party moving to Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville and organizers teaming up with the YMCA and its Healthy Kids Day. The combined forces promise an action-packed, family-friendly affair.

It’s an all day event on Saturday, April 16, set against a backdrop of some stellar live music. There will be activities for the kids, including seed-planting exhibitions, performances, face painting and the ever-popular inflatable jump house. Plenty of fun, with an educational component as well: Look for demos and learning opportunities throughout the park, as the YMCA continues its mission of helping teach good health and fostering connections through games, sports, fun and shared interests.

Back to that live-music lineup: It’s a doozy. For starters, there’s the fun of the Asheville Middle School of Rock. Next up? The powerful Belle Afrique African Drum and Dance Collective. Then the Asheville-by-way-of-Brooklyn rock-soul outfit The Broadcast performs. A special treat for the families? Agent 23 Skidoo takes the stage with his homegrown brand of kid-hop, which has been a crowd-pleaser from the Orange Peel to national radio.

Next up, catch Americana up-and-comers the Black Lillies, who’ve been featured on National Public Radio and played quite a few bigtime festivals (including, oh, Bonnaroo). The highest energy could come from the Lee Boys, that sacred-steel ensemble that has a way of inspiring crowds to serious boogie.

The event scores quite the coup with Asheville-based world-music heroes Toubab Krewe. TK played a Bele Chere show last year that had the crowd climbing a nearby parking deck for a better view they’re hometown favorites and renowned abroad as well.
For more information on Asheville Earth Day, visit avlearthday.org.

Take me to the river

RiverLink, the regional organization working to improve life and the environment along the French Broad River, will offer its Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, April 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the organization's Sculpture and Performance Plaza (119 Riverside Drive in Asheville's River Arts District).

Event highlights include a Make Your Own Rain Barrel clinic that will provide everything needed to assemble your own rain barrel (the cost is $30 for the clinic; there were also be rain barrels for sale at $50 and unfinished barrels to take homefor $10). For those unfamiliar, rain barrels capture the rain and store it for use in gardens.

Check out the event’s Swap Meet too: Bring your unwanted stuff to reduce clutter at home and trade with others. It’s a novel idea that encourages sharing and discourages waste, but don’t get crazy — Riverlink isn’t providing dumpster service, so be prepared to haul away what you don’t swap, says the group’s Dave Russell. Display tables will be provided.

Other activities include:
• A demo on creating cool things out of recycled materials;
• A Neighborhood Big Draw (with art supplies, canvas and paper available for anyone to create a scene of the river or the River Arts District);
• Computer and electronics recycling (bring old computer equipment and cell phones, but no TVs);
• Free hot dogs for kids
• White-pine seedlings for the first 50 kids who show up.
For more information, call 252-8474 or visit riverlink.org.

Planet your garden

Hickory Nut Forest, an emerging eco-community aiming to be net zero for energy consumption (that is, through renewable sources, creating more energy than it uses), will celebrate spring and educate participants about organic gardening on Saturday, April 23, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at its garden, heirloom orchard and vineyard.

Visitors can tour and ask questions about the group’s 200-acre nature preserve, part of a larger land conservation effort in the Hickory Nut Gorge area south of Asheville. “We don’t feel we own this land, rather, we feel more aligned as stewards here to protect it,” says John Myers, community co-founder. After the garden party, there will be a celebration potluck and bonfire.
For more information, visit LaughingWatersNC.com.

Averting the crisis

The Affording Hope Project and Jubilee! Community (46 Wall St.) will present Leaps and Bounds, a one-woman theatrical production performed by Tevyn East on Friday, April 22, at 7:30 p.m. (Tickets are $10-$20, but no one will be turned away, organizers say ). Written in collaboration with Ched Myers, a renowned biblical scholar and teacher, the show explores the interconnection of faith, ecology and the global economy.

The production “goes beyond the science of environmentalism to its very heart … this aspect offers every discouraged or burned-out activist a recharging of commitment,” says press for the event.
For more information and to watch a video clip, visit affordinghopeproject.org.

Ongoing green gala

In Henderson County, celebrate our natural heritage at a Saturday, April 30, Earth Day Festival organized by the Environmental and Conservation Organization.

The festival features an outdoor stage for local musicians, storytellers and performance artists, workshops on sustainable gardening and green energy, a water festival, art projects and a green Olympics for kids, an exchange station for energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs and a tailgate market with healthy food and more.

The festival takes place in the field at Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock. ECO director David Weintraub says his group issued a set of Earth Day challenges to the community this year, including one that urges 100 small businesses to “go green,” and asks 1,000 people to commit to patronize the businesses who have taken those green steps.
For more information, visit eco-wnc.org.

— Send your environmental news to sandrew@mountainx.com, or call 251-1333, ext. 153.

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