Warren Wilson College News

WWC Environmental Leadership Center receives Quality Forward award

By: Ben Anderson

Quality Forward, the longtime Keep America Beautiful affiliate in Asheville and Buncombe County, has presented its Hall of Fame Award 2008 to the Environmental Leadership Center of Warren Wilson College. Quality Forward’s board of directors determined that the ELC has done “more for the environment than anyone else in Buncombe County in 2008.”

In announcing the award, Quality Forward specifically cited the ELC’s efforts in “insulating homes, teaching children [and] reducing waste and energy use.” And, said Quality Forward Director Susan Roderick, “By reaching out to include so many people in its many initiatives, the Environmental Leadership Center is an outstanding example of hands-on environmental improvement in the community.”

Since its founding in 1996, the Environmental Leadership Center has launched numerous programs on and off campus to support its mission, which is “to raise awareness of local, national and global environmental realities and to inspire caring citizens – especially our youth – to reflect, to communicate, and to act as responsible caretakers of the earth.”

That mission is reflected in longtime successful programs such as EcoTeam, an environmental education program for third-grade classrooms that connects students to the natural world using fundamental ecological concepts. It also can be seen in the recently launched INSULATE! program, which reaches out to homeowners below the poverty level and insulates their homes free of charge, thus reducing utility bills and carbon footprints.

First presented in 1986, Quality Forward’s annual Hall of Fame Award has now been given to two divisions of Warren Wilson College. The college’s Service-Learning Office, which has been involved in numerous environmental projects in the community over the years including INSULATE!, is a past recipient of the award.

Known during its 35-year history as Quality Forward, the local environmental organization is changing its identity to Asheville GreenWorks as it continues to work for “a clean and green Buncombe County.” Click here for more information.

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