Archive for the ‘Pollinate Collaborations Project’ Category

Two cool programs are happening in WNC schools: Asheville Community Design Lab (ACDL)  After-School and Mother Earth Produce’s Support Our Schools (SOS) Fundraising program.

Sponsor an ACDL Scholarship for one of 15 Students who need them

“For $130 per month, I’ve been able to sponsor a local student in a meaningful after-school program with artists, design professionals and others who are improving our neighborhoods…and teaching the next generation how to contribute.”

–Local small business owner who lives near a partnering school

Create a custom logo while learning the basics of marketing. Design shoes from concept to creation. Learn first-hand from an architect to design a home or bus shelter. Model a dream playground then bring it to fruition with professional designers, artists and builders.  A project of Roots + Wings School of Art, ACDL is an after-school program that engages students in critical thinking and innovation through principles of art and design for community reinvention.

Asheville Community Design Lab is devoted to programming focused on art and design for community reinvention. ACDL is a project-driven, after-school program that addresses what a typical school curriculum does not.  The ACDL works with students to learn about what’s beyond the walls of their schools, and teaches students how to fail in order to find better collective solutions to community problems. They believe problem-solving starts with listening and understanding.  They create symbiotic relationships with local schools, giving back to school art programs and offering scholarships to create inclusive spaces and collective voice.

Support Our Schools Fundraising Program

Rather than selling cookie dough and candy to raise funds for schools, Support Our Schools (SOS) enables schools to raise funds, while supporting local farms and local businesses, as well as health in our communities.  Schools can sign up with Mother Earth Produce, a farm to front door delivery service of organic produce and local edibles, to raise funds for their schools by selling bins of local produce and edibles. Co-owner Andrea DuVall is a former 6th grade teacher and is passionate about giving back to local schools.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Go to the School Fundraising page on www.MotherEarthProduce.com (click the purple button)
  2. Fill out the SOS Registration Form.
  3. Mother Earth Produce assigns your school an SOS code and sends you an outreach packet (with draft emails and outreach materials).
  4. Your school reaches out to your networks with the SOS code.
  5. The first 100 veggie bins sold with you school SOS code earns your school $4/bin, or $400.
  6. Bin Benchmarks: You can continue to earn additional funding throughout the year for selling additional bins. Your school will earn $2 for any number of bins sold over 100 through May 31 of the following year!

Any parents or teachers from participating ACDL schools want to raise some scholarship funds by selling local, organic produce and edibles?


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Dynamite Roasting Company (based in Black Mountain) is celebrating their 4th anniversary with new local and global partnerships, and a unique opportunity for the community—a new line of micro-lot coffees. To kick off the release of their new, rare coffee line, Dynamite is hosting a free public Micro-Lot Coffee Tasting on Thursday, September 27 from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. at City Bakery’s Biltmore Ave. location in Asheville. The event also celebrates Dynamite’s new availability at City Bakery.  Dynamite Roasting Company is an artisan roaster of exceptional Certified Organic and Fair Trade coffee.

What the heck is Micro-lot Coffee?  Let’s just say that having it available to us in WNC is a testament to our amazing food community.  Micro-lot is a specifically selected portion of a farm’s harvest that is separated from a larger lot to preserve the coffee’s unique and special characteristics. Typical lots of coffee are blends of beans from multiple farms, often sacrificing quality for consistency. Micro-lots showcase the highest quality selections of a grower’s harvest.

What to Expect if you Go: Local is global when you are selling a food product like coffee.  Dynamite is ensuring that global stays local by connecting with farmers in Honduras to bring a fine micro-lot line to Western North Carolina.  At the Micro-Lot Coffee Tasting, Dynamite will offer tasting stations for each of their four micro-lot varietals where tasters will learn about the farms and farmers, as well as nuances of each coffee.  Tasters will be guided through the process by Dynamite coffee experts, including roaster, Thomas Lussier.  City Bakery will offer small bite food pairings with each varietal.  Think of it like “a gallery opening for coffee.

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Asheville Community Design Lab-After School  (a project of Roots + Wings School of Art and Asheville Design Center) kicks off this school year with elementary programs offered daily from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Claxton, Hall Fletcher, and Vance elementary schools.  They are in need of scholarships for 15 students.

ACDL-AS is an interdisciplinary, project-driven curriculum that provides a unique, creative alternative to conventional after-school care for elementary students. The ACDL-AS works with students to learn about what’s beyond the walls of their schools, and teaches students how to find better, collective solutions to community problems through creative experimentation.

The ACDL-AS program pays artists and support it’s host schools, as well as provides scholarships for students in need.  Currently, the program has 15 students on a waiting list for scholarships, and some local businesses have stepped up to make $130/month donations, but more are needed.  Donate a tax deductible scholarship.

Enroll or find out how your school can become a host school.

Elementary school students connect with community mentors such as artists, designers, and engineers during “Innovation Hour,” and students work on hands-on projects often connected back with a larger community problem. Recently ACDL-AS added a new non-profit partner, Asheville Design Center (ADC). Through their partnership, the ADC will sponsor donations through their 501c3 status, offer mentor/volunteers for after-school, as well as and connect students with real life projects going on in and around the Asheville community.

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Last night the Buncombe County Commissioners unanimously approved the Buncombe County Greenways + Trails Master Plan.  The commissioners are investing in our economy, our health, and our safety.  Thank you commissioners!

New Belgium Brewing is jump starting the process with $50,000 to Connect Buncombe to support partnership development and fundraising plans around the system.

Here are just a few numbers that might be interesting in terms of what to expect from economic development impacts.  And if you need more, here’s a study with amazing numbers.

Trails in Teton County, Wyoming create an annual economic impact of $18,000,000.

The market for residences near trails is growing. It was estimated that property values along the Cardinal Greenway in Muncie, Indiana, increased 9% shortly after its opening.

“The next generation is very savvy about choosing where they’ll live.  They look carefully at quality of life factors like how much time they’re going to spend in traffic commuting, if they can live near a park or hike and bike trail, and whether a city’s downtown stays awake after five.”

— Rebecca Ryan, Founder of Next Generation Consulting, discussing
traits of great cities (2009)

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In March, I started personal training, after many years of thinking about it, taking boot camps and fit camps and belonging to a gym, I wanted to take it to the next level.  I wanted to get strong, build confidence and be able to lift our new canoe (my b-day gift) over my head to get it on the top of the truck with no problem.  :)  I’m working with Samantha Stone of Functional Fitness Asheville at O3 Health + Fitness.  I started with 03’s 45-minute Fit Camps last fall, and then started working with Sam in a small group.  Both are wonderful.

In April, I started helping Mother Earth Produce with outreach around their local produce and edibles delivery service–think of it like the milkman but with veggies and edibles and soon to be more local goodies.  Having a bin of fresh produce show up on your doorstep each weeks demands a certain amount of healthy eating, learning and food preparation (rather than the frozen pizza or going out for a quick bite–which is tempting when you live one block from The Admiral and The Walk!).  Nope, gotta eat that produce before it goes bad friends. A local farmer grew that for me, and I can let it go to compost!

And, I’ve started acupuncture for a chronic athletic injury with Chad Johnson.  In my opinion, he’s THE Acupuncturist for Athletes in Asheville.  His approach is like nothing I’ve experienced and includes massage, acupuncture, and education–a totally integrative approach and a completely different experience than I’ve had anywhere else.  He uses relaxing techniques as well as more aggressive, active techniques that pretty much took my tight hamstrings and immediately softened them to relieve the pain on my knee tendon.  And, he also adds in some massage, which I adore.

I’m grateful to these folks for helping me put together a system that works for me.  I’m feeling full and loved, content and driven, and thankful for a community of people willing to share their gifts!

What wellness routine works for you?

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