From our February 11th meeting:
YOUTH CONSERVATION CORPS: is making a lot of headway including writing grants and finding sponsorship under Haywood Waterways. This project aims to develop youth conservationists who will assist in mitigating some of the effects of a warming climate including: restoration and stabilization of stream banks, planting of native trees, shrubs, and plants. Outreach is happening to church and school youth groups and teachers. 1st grant has been submitted. We discussed outreach to HCC and WCU students thru possible summer internships with this group. Several members will be pursuing this with service coordinator at WCU. It was also discussed to do work in communities with low availability of resources to investigate environmental needs there including stream stabilization, plantings and perhaps also home refitting for greater energy efficiency. Several members will approach DownHome about this idea.
RECYCLING: Presentation given on current rules of re-cycling in Haywood County; some of the rules are clear, some need more clarification both to us and to the public in general. In addition, the use of plastics in our community for packaging needs to be reduced. It was pointed out that the first step of recycling is to reduce waste, then to reuse any packaging or containers, and then to recycle. A committee formed to work on these 3R's in our community.
CREATION CARE: Two churches in our community Grace Episcopal and First United Methodist Church have formed Creation Care committees, and there is an Earth Care committee at Lake Junaluska as well. Other churches may also be initiating conversations about the care for God's creation as well. We have members from these committees attending our meetings, and suggestion that we approach others with a presentation/video to launch more discussion.
BROADING OUR COALITION: We will investigate the possibility of meeting in Cherokee with the Just Transitions folks on possible joint projects. There was also enthusiasm for meeting with the Hendersonville C4 group (Citizens Concerned with Climate Crisis) to talk about regional efforts.
WEBSITE: We are gradually expanding the website. If you have items to add, please bring them to the meeting. Each team will have a blog soon about its work and activities. We will be expanding our bulletin board, and links to resources including movies, trainings, books are being added. Mass transit schedules are also posted there for your information, so we can use and support this effort in our community. Transportation continues to add 1/3 of all carbon emissions in North Carolina. Mass transit will help with this problem, even in a spread out rural area like ours. There are talks continuing on linking Asheville west thru some mass transit initiatives. Still in the very early stages. Web "masters" in our group ask for continued ideas about things to include.
TRAINING: Many folks who attend our meetings have requested training on climate change and how to talk about it. We will launch the course entitled, " Making Sense of Climate Science Denial on EdX at gatherings in the next few months. It is 14 hours total, but is presented in small "bites", so trainees can do it in segments. For those who want to gather together and get the training, we will have day time and evening times and locale plus times for the next meeting. It can also be downloaded in the convenience of your own home. Here is the link: Courses