Asheville, North Carolina – 2017 Annual Report

Enhancing Pollinator Health & Habitat

In 2017, GreenWorks hosted 32 plantings with 568 volunteers totaling over 1,700 hours of volunteer time.

The Pollinator Meadow Pilot at Lake Julian Park in Arden, NC was a large project that engaged a local McCoullogh Fellow from UNCA in partnership with Buncombe County Parks & Recreation. To determine best practices, GreenWorks is testing four methods of large scale grass removal on a 5,000 square foot section of the Park. In the spring of 2018, GreenWorks will evaluate the success of the grass removal methods and plant native pollinators. The second phase of the project will test various methods including planting seeds, plugs and established shrubs.

GreenWorks partnered with Buncombe County Soil and Water to provide and install plants at Rainbow Community School’s new rain garden. In addition, throughout the year we removed invasive plants including kudzu, bittersweet and privet from areas such as Haw Creek Park and the Hominy Creek Greenway.

GreenWorks helped organize a  kid powered planting project at Claxton Elementary School with their librarian to install a pollinator garden outside and within view of the media center to support their “The Bee Cause Project” observation bee hive. Check out the coverage from WLOS news!

Policies & Practices

GreenWorks continues its policy of planting only native plants, using permaculture best practices instead of pesticides and only working with nurseries that sell plants without neonicotinoids.

GreenWorks’ Executive Director is working on a long-term project with the City of Asheville to develop an Urban Forest Master Plan to ensure no net tree canopy loss. Dovetail Partners conducted a gap-analysis to evaluate the city’s programs and policies. The next phase is to conduct a canopy analysis that will determine the canopy cover, allowing the city to set goals for the Master Plan.

Education & Outreach

Thanks to a generous grant from Project Learning Tree , GreenWorks was able to complete the largest education project of the year installing the Glen Arden Elementary Pollinator Garden. A once grassy, monoculture space was transformed into a productive, thriving native pollinator habitat that is now used as a learning space by the entire school.

The project based approach allowed students to be part of the entire process, from planning to installing. Students voted on the native plants that were planted in the garden using a pre-approved plant list. The students voted on three categories: vines, perennials and shrubs, and counted and graphed their results, integrating math into the project. With the guidance of GreenWorks, they also removed the sod and planted the plants themselves. It was exciting for the students to be digging in the soil, planting the plants and accepting ownership of their garden.

Students saw direct application to teachings that too often stay inside and in textbooks. They were able to, not just hear about and see, but actually research, design, and dig their hands in the soil in order to create the pollinator garden. They know all the work that it takes. They have a sense of pride in the garden and want to keep it maintained.

GreenWorks also taught students about honeybees at Claxton Elementary before they planted their pollinator garden. In preparation for their “Black and Yellow” day, students acted out the different roles of a worker bee and learned how honeybees and apple orchards depend on each other. Finally, we taught pollinator lessons at Estes Elementary and Asheville Middle School’s after school program.

In addition to the regular education programs, GreenWorks hosted the 5th Annual Pollination Celebration Month in partnership with Bee City Hendersonville to advertise 27 Western North Carolina community events offered throughout June. Some Pollination Celebration highlights include screening the movies, “Wings of Life” at the Collider and “Hometown Habitat” at the Renaissance Hotel.

We partnered with Bee City USA and Bee City Hendersonville at Blue Ghost Brewing to provide monarch masks and bee wine cork crafts during the educational presentations.

We finished the summer with tabling events at the West Asheville Garden Stroll and Organicfest. At both events, we provided pollinator-related information and the Bee City USA Antennae crafts.

Local Website & Contact Information

GreenWorks continues to maintain the Bee City Asheville website and actively posted on social media through the Bee City Asheville Facebook.

For Bee City Asheville Education, contact Joele Emma at joele@ashevillegreenworks.org or Christine Brown at christine@ashevillegreenworks.org

For Bee City Asheville Pollinator Garden Plantings, contact Eric Bradford at eric@ashevillegreenworks.org