Capital Campaign – (Environmental Initiative)
To reduce our impact on the Earth's natural resources we are continually greening the Folk School campus. To ensure this commitment, an Environmental Sustainability Initiative is a component of Forging the Future: The Capital Campaign for the John C. Campbell Folk School.
From this campaign $220,000 will go toward:
- Replacing older heating and cooling units with new, energy efficient models
- Installing solar hot water systems
- Replacing older fixtures with newer ones to conserve water
- Enlarging and upgrading a major septic system
Our new energy-efficient solar student house
- Energy Star construction with a HERS rating of around 50; expected to use half the energy of a comparable code-compliant, conventionally built house
- Structural insulated panel walls
- Passive solar design
- Active solar hot water heater
- High efficiency mini-split heat pumps with separate thermostats per room
- Conditioned crawl space and attic to improve heating and cooling efficiency and reduce moisture
- Marvin Integrity windows
- Timbertech composite decking
The John C. Campbell Folk School was presented with the Stewardship Award from the North Carolina Center for Non-Profits in 2004. This highest honor was based on good management, community service and sustainable environmental practices.
Little Brasstown Creek
An ecological restoration project with the Hiwassee River Watershed Coalition, Inc.
- Restored The Folk School's reach of Little Brasstown Creek by replacing meanders removed by channelization and restoring falls and weirs to the creek
- Restored and agreed to protect a vegetative buffer zone along the creek, and we established footpaths now included in the North Carolina Birdwatching Trails
- Organized a public education program on Rivercane and its roll in the health of stream and river banks
Appalachian Native Botanical Sanctuary
Preservation site with Georgia Mountain Research and Education Center
- The Folk School has set aside an 8.80 acre parcel of land now registered as part of the Appalachian Native Botanical Sanctuary network.
- Native plants are being identified and labeled. Plans to run our Nature Studies classes from this tract are underway.
- We're clearing non-native invasive plants and creating safe areas for rescued native species.
Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Project
Ecological program partnered with Young Harris College
- Instituted a biological control program for the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid which threatens Eastern Hemlock trees throughout the Appalachian region
- We use Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper for our printed course catalogs and fundraising correspondence.
- We use linseed/soy based inks in all our printed publications.
- We urge recipients to pass catalogs to friends and recycle them when they reach the end of the line.
- All our commercial printers are FSC certified.
- The Folk School recycles cardboard, plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and glass through Cherokee County, as well as scrap metal when not usable on campus.
Vegetable and Fruit Gardens
- Our organic garden produces heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables served in our dining hall and used by our cooking classes.
- We buy locally, purchasing produce from local grower Francis Juhlin and beef and pork from Ridgefield farms in Brasstown.
- We respect a natural food cycle systematically composting cooking class and kitchen waste for our campus garden.
- We offer two weeks per year that encourage green living and crafting: Earth Week in April and Recycle It Week in November.
- We offer classes throughout the year that inspire green living and nature appreciation: Organic Gardening and Cooking, Native Plant Preservation, Nature Photography, and many are taught by knowledgeable professionals dedicated to sustainable living.