Sustainable Organizations

the Boone area is full of organizations 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. 
    • SUSTAINABILITY ACCOLADES AND AWARDS:
      • Tree City USA since 1994
      • 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. 

 

Middle Fork Greenway Bridge

  • 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. Check the Swim Guide app to see if water is 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.

 

 

  • 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 Boone's Winter 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. 

 

  • Watauga Food Council 

    • 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.

 

  • Appalachian Voices

    • Appalachian Voices is a regional environmental advocacy group that publishes The Appalachian Voice, a publication that seeks to inform the public about environmental issues, potential solutions, grassroots community organizing efforts, and how to get involved. 

 

Local NC Green Travel Awards

 

The following Boone area businesses have received state recognition for their exceptional stewardship of the environment. These businesses have been evaluated by NCDEQ sustainability specialists, earning points towards recognition for implementing recycling programs, increasing energy efficiency, and much more. Depending on the sustainable practices employed at the business, it may be awarded up to three dogwood blossoms - the state flower of North Carolina. 

 

Lodging

A four petal flower with two green leaves and a green center.A four petal flower with two green leaves and a green center.A four petal flower with two green leaves and a green center.  Lovill House Inn 

 

Dining

A four petal flower with two green leaves and a green center. Casa Rustica 

A four petal flower with two green leaves and a green center.A four petal flower with two green leaves and a green center.  Makoto's Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar 

A four petal flower with two green leaves and a green center.  Pepper's Restaurant & Bar 

 

Attractions

A four petal flower with two green leaves and a green center.A four petal flower with two green leaves and a green center.A four petal flower with two green leaves and a green center.  Grandfather Mountain 

 

Parks

A four petal flower with two green leaves and a green center.A four petal flower with two green leaves and a green center.  Elk Knob State Park 

A four petal flower with two green leaves and a green center.  Grandfather Mountain State Park 

 

Breweries

A four petal flower with two green leaves and a green center.A four petal flower with two green leaves and a green center.A four petal flower with two green leaves and a green center.  Appalachian Mountain Brewery