Intern Guest Post by Audrey Howarth
This summer I had the opportunity to interning at Dogwood Alliance as Asheville’s Outreach Intern. I worked closely with Dogwood’s Campaign Organizer Emily Zucchino to organize events in Asheville and engage locals in meaningful discussion about biomass, the burning of wood for electricity, and how it affects our Southern forests. This summer we were fortunate enough to partner with The River Arts District Farmers Market, The French Broad Co-op as well as LEAF Downtown Festival. We collected lots of photo petitions and talked to many folks who were passionate about protecting our forests.
Tabling at these events around Asheville was a wonderful way to raise awareness about biomass energy as well as have fun and engage in conversation with locals.
I had a great time talking with the various farmers and artists participating in the farmers market. While I learned about foraging for mushrooms and making goat cheese and balsamic vinegar, I was also able to share my knowledge about biomass and how it is destroying many ecologically significant forests. So many people who visited the farmers market came over to my booth with questions and concerns about the large clear-cut photos I was displaying.
The LEAF Downtown Festival was another way Dogwood was able to reach out to the Asheville community. We set up a booth close to the main stage and outfitted it with signs, postcard petitions, banners, t-shirts as well as many wonderful Dogwood staff and volunteers. In between acts such as Bootsy Funk Dynasty and Sister Sparrow, Dogwood talked to hundreds of festival goers about the threats facing our Southern Forests.
Along with many powerful conversations, we also collected over two hundred photo petitions!
I found it very rewarding to work with so many dedicated environmentalists this summer.
I was able to learn more about how non-profits function as well as be an instrumental part in Dogwood’s local outreach. Through establishing a volunteer base here in Asheville, Dogwood will be able to more effectively advocate for our forests here in the South. As my final semester in college begins, I hope to stay in touch with the people here at Dogwood and continue protect our Southern Forests!