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As a nonprofit working hard to promote environmental preservation since 1973, Asheville GreenWorks has been making the city of Asheville green, beautiful, and full of life. With the help of thousands of volunteers, Asheville GreenWorks engages the community in grassroots projects such as tree planting, urban agriculture, environmental cleanups, anti-litter and waste reduction education, youth development, pollinator habitat development, neighborhood beautification and care and preservation of Asheville’s rivers and trees.
With a variety of programs and initiatives to keep their city beautiful, Asheville GreenWorks has been working for almost 50 years to ensure that Asheville is as environmentally sustained as possible. Formally known as Quality Forward, Asheville GreenWorks began with the initiative to clean up for the nation’s Bicentennial in 1976. Since then, they have had many impactful projects for environmental work, clean-up, planting and growing trees, and more.
The variety of projects that GreenWorks has conducted over the last few decades has impacted the city of Asheville in the best way. While there are smaller projects, there are year-round programs that they hold for everyone in Asheville to participate in. One of the most notable that helps with Waste Reduction is “Hard 2 Recycle.” This program gives residents the opportunity to recycle items like styrofoam and TVs so they won’t overflow a landfill or cause damage to the environment. In 2020 alone, volunteers and staff together collected over 105,000 pounds of material.
The Urban Forestry program focuses on the growing and planting of trees. During the Fall and Spring seasons, GreenWorks holds a tree giveaway and every year just over 1,000 trees are given to plant around the city and residential areas.
In partnership with the City of Asheville, GreenWorks had launched a program for its residents to “adopt-a-spot” of public lands, such as a small area of a park, a sidewalk “bulb out” or a section of the greenway to maintain for three years.
GreenWorks provides guidance and support for volunteers willing to put in the effort for taking care of a part of their city.
They take pride in everything they and their thousands of volunteers do, every program they run and initiative they take, to better the environment and everyone in the city.
For Dawn Chavez, the executive director of the nonprofit, these programs are a vital part of her life as well as the life of the residents in Asheville. “We’re doing so much not only for the environment but for the people too,” Chavez said. Much like the many trees they plant, GreenWorks contributes to the greater well-being and the quality of life so the ever-expanding community can continue to grow.
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