Our mission guides our work.
Explore our achievements over the past few years in Western North Carolina.
1. 3 R'S: REDUCE • REUSE • RECYCLE
A. Approached the Town of Waynesville Board to include recycling pick-up. The town reacted positively and purchased bins for all town residents, and a weekly pick up of trash that can be recycled began. Instructions about what you should recycle and what you shouldn't was distributed to residents as well.
B. On Earth Day 2022, the Bring Your Own Bag Haywood project (BYOBH) distributed over 2,000 reusable bags at 14 different store sites. We had over 50 volunteers for distribution and over 50 volunteers in the making of these bags. Both the Town of Waynesville and the Town of Canton passed proclamations declaring Earth Day 2022 a day to reduce the use of single use plastic bags, and other single use plastics to reduce plastic pollution affecting our community.
C. BYOBH has continued to distribute reusable bags at many stores, farmers’ markets, schools, distributing numerous of bags including recently 80 bags to school age children with an educational program
2. WRITERS GROUP
This talented group have placed monthly columns in the local newspapers, the Mountaineer, Smoky Mountain News, and Positively Haywood. Consistent articles have appeared in the past 3 years educating citizens about steps that can be taken to protect the health of our mountain environment and people, and mitigate the effects of a changing climate
Youth Climate Conservation Corps (YC3), features youth from around the region have worked with adult volunteers and local experts on important restorations of land and streams through removal of invasive species, installation of native plants, repairing breaches in our creeks and rivers involving over 100 of youth and community volunteers.
4. POLLINATOR GARDENS
EAC, working with local experts Haywood Waterways and Spriggly's Beescaping, have installed pollinator gardens with/at Frog Level Brewery along Richland Creek, with the Haywood County Arts Council on Wall St., and at BearWaters Brewery on Richland Creek/S. Main St. Rainwater mitigation and stream restoration were also improved in these projects.
5. SUSTAINABILITY BOARD
Assisting local municipal government in the Town of Waynesville on setting up a Sustainability Board focussing on clean, renewable, and efficient energy solutions for the town to reach the town’s goal of Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050.
6. SUMMER CAMPS
In 2022 and now in 2023 organized summer day camp for students in Haywood County, featuring environmental adventures and education. Camp was made accessible to all students through a partial grant from TVA making it free of charge including transportation to and from camp for families.
7. LAKE CLEAN-UPS
Thanks to a generous grant from TVA, EAC joined with 35 students and 30 volunteers over two days cleaning informal campsites and coves at Fontana Lake. The 2023 project, “Returning Campsites to the Wild I and II” netted a whopping 7200 pounds of trash including giant pieces of Styrofoam, old tires, broken & discarded items, plastic, plastic, plastic, and all manner of trash. After Leave No Trace and safety trainings, workers set out in pontoon boats alongside trash hauling boats and dug in. Comments like, “How disgusting” and “Why would anyone leave this mess?” were heard. Students and adults alike reported a new commitment to keeping our wild areas clean and natural wherever they go.
8. ENERGY EFFICIENCY EDUCATION
Sponsored a 3 Part Energy Efficiency series which was attended by over 350 people over the 3 sessions.
9. EV SHOW
Sponsored the first Electric Vehicle event in the county, featuring over 25 vehicles, attended by over 130 people, and supported by Land of Sky and Blue Ridge EV Club.
10. STRENGTH IN NUMBERS
Through the merging of two like-minded organizations in 2022, we strengthened our commitment to the environment across the Western North Carolina region.