Sustainable Organizations

the Boone area is full of businesses taking huge steps toward a sustainable future - here are just a few:


  • Town of Boone Sustainability Department

    • The town of Boone has committed to addressing climate change by reducing its carbon footprint in a variety of ways.
    • As of January 2022, the town's municipal operations have completely transitioned to 100% renewable energy sources. 
    • Also in 2022, the town partnered with the Watauga County Transportation Authority, and Appalachian State University to acquire Boone's first Electric Bus for the free-to-ride AppalCART transit system.
    • By 2050, the town hopes to be completely transitioned to renewable energy in all buildings. 
      • Tree City USA since 1994 (Blowing Rock & Seven Devils are also Tree City USA recipients)
      • Bee City USA Affiliate since 2019
      • Bronze Bike Friendly Community in 2016 from the League of American Bicyclists


  •  Appalachian State University

    • Appalachian State University has a multifaceted approach to sustainability in higher education and within the Boone community.
      • As of 2022, the University sources 18% of its energy from renewables. It has also implemented and is regularly improving recycling and composting programs, increasing energy efficiency, and requiring new buildings to follow Green Built Alliance construction standards.
    • Appalachian's Sustainable Development department is the oldest Sustainable Development program in the United States.
    • The University's Sustainable Technology department is also the oldest continuously operating program of its kind in the country.
      • The department's Team Sunergy Solar Car (pictured above) represents the university in the American Solar Challenge race each year, often taking home a prize. 


A sign reads "Payne Branch Park," which is in front of a gravel trail, a bench, and a river and rolling hills behind that.

  • Blue Ridge Conservancy

    • Blue Ridge Conservancy (BRC) is a private non-profit that has permanently protected over 22,000 acres of land in the region. 
    • Protected areas include preserved farmland, state and local parks, state natural areas, state game areas, and river accesses.
    • The Middle Fork Greenway is a multi-use recreational trail created by BRC connecting the towns of Boone & Blowing Rock.


  • Watauga Riverkeeper

    • MountainTrue's High Country Office protects the Elk, Watauga, and New River watersheds. This office oversees important waterway restoration, invasive species removal, and dam removal. The organization also hosts educational events at area river accesses.
    • Conducts regular testing of local waters for harmful bacteria to be uploaded onto the Swim Guide app, allowing the public to search to see if waterways are safe to swim in.
    • Installs and empties "Trash Trout" devices that capture water pollution on the surface of local rivers.


  • Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

    • A non-profit organization that operates the scenic attraction atop Grandfather Mountain
    • Hosts annual events and daily educational nature programing at the nature preserve


  • Blue Ridge Parkway (National Park)

    • "America's Favorite Drive" stretches across 469 miles of the Appalachian Mountain range in Virginia and North Carolina.
    • Provides access to picnic areas, outdoor recreation, camping, historic sites, and scenic overlooks. The flora and fauna throughout the park are protected. Park rangers provide a variety of educational programming in the park.



Farmers Markets

  • The Watauga County Farmers' Market

    • The Watauga County Farmers Market has been operating since 1974, allowing local farmers, artists, and other vendors to sell their goods in Boone's Town Square - Daniel Boone Park. The market is 100% producer-only and runs from April through November each year.


  • Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture

    • Helps build an equitable and sustainable local food system by supporting area producers and creating more opportunities for industry education, connection, and inspiration. 
    • Hosts Winter King Street Market in the cold months, and the King Street Market during the warmer months, and operates the High Country Food Hub all year long.


  • F.A.R.M. Cafe

    • F.A.R.M. stands for "Feed All Regardless of Means," and that is exactly the mission of this pay-what-you-can cafe in downtown Boone. This nonprofit restaurant strengthens the local food system by sourcing all ingredients locally and by providing equitable access to that healthy food. 


  • High Country Grown

    • The Watauga Food Council's High Country Grown program recognizes restaurants and caterers in the Boone area that source ingredients locally. Restaurants and caterers are ranked gold, silver, and bronze depending on how many locally-sourced products they use.



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