Research & Outreach

Community engagement is a core element of the Sustainable Development Department. We encourage students and faculty to combine theory and practice by collaborating with other organizations and communities to support and promote sustainable activities in the High Country. Community engagement activities utilize expertise from ASU, other organizations and community members to enable communities to identify key concerns and address them.

Sustainable Development Civic Garden

 The SD Garden is a shared use garden at the LLC that grows ecological food and builds equitable community.

Sustainable Poultry Production

Sustainable poultry production does not focus solely on maximum productivity but rather includes bird welfare and protecting the environment. Consumers have additional concerns about pesticides residues, additives, antibiotics residue/resistance, nutritional content, flavor, traceability, regional production, GMO, social justice, etc.

The High Country Local Food Summit

The High Country Local Food Summit is coordinated annually by the Goodnight Family Sustainable Development Department at ASU. Strategic outreach efforts such as this demonstrate the Sustainable Development Department's commitment to collaborating with and supporting local community efforts. The Summit is not possible without the generous financial support of the Harold and Mazie J. Levenson Fund for the Environment.

Outreach Archives

Community and regional engagement-- locally and internationally-- has been part of the original design of the Sustainable Development Department from its inception in 1991. Learn about some of the first outreach projects taken on by the department.

Partner Organizations & Projects

Lettuce Learn: Farm-to-School Support Network

Lettuce Learn strives to build the physical, environmental, and socio-economic health of communities by using agricultural knowledge and outdoor classrooms to inspire and educate children. They work with schools and organizations to create and support learning gardens in the High Country of North Carolina. The Sustainable Development Department offers support for their programs in various ways including volunteer recruitment and providing grant writing and research as a class project in summer 2014.

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Southern Appalachian Environmental Research and Education Center

SAEREC is the newest addition to the Research Institute for the Environment, Economics and Energy (RIEEE) and is one of three Centers located within the Institute. SAEREC addresses a broad range of research issues concerned with environmental issues facing the Southern Appalachian Mountains, ranging from biodiversity and conservation, ecological restoration, air quality, land use change, and regional climate change impacts. SD Faculty member, Laura England, is the outreach coordinator for the center. Laura is highly involved with environmental education on campus including: K-12 outreach on watershed science and stream ecology, hosting environmental education workshop series for educators, and advising ASU undergrads who want to do environmental education with local youth.

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Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture

Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture (BRWIA) is dedicated to strengthening the High Country's local food system by supporting women and their families with resources, education, and skills related to sustainable food and agriculture. Assistant Professor Jacqui Ignatova serves on the board, and numerous SD students have engaged with this meaningful organization.

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High Country Farm Tour

The High Country Farm Tour aims to educate consumers about the importance of sustainable agriculture and local food while also increasing income through on-the-farm sales and advertising.The SD Department has been a long time supporter of the Farm Tour by providing volunteers, financial support, and promotion. And of course, the SD Teaching & Research Farm is always a featured farm on the tour!

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The FARM Cafe - Feed All Regardless of Means

Sustainable Development was a member of the Planning Committee for FARM Cafe. This restaurant will provide a free space where people of all social and economic groups can gather to eat a healthy meal, and since there are no set prices, customers will pay what they can. This endeavor is providing many internships, service-learning, and employment for many ASU students.

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Cove Creek Community

Preserving Heritage through Community Development

Sustainable Development Outreach was instrumental in revitalizing the historic WPA-built Cove Creek School to promote sustainable and economic development in this area. The refurbished school generated 40 jobs and now houses several business and non-profits.

Music Fest 'n Sugar Grove

The school is also the site for the annual Music Fest n' Sugar Grove, a combined effort between Sustainable Development and the Cove Creek Preservation and Development, a non-profict dedicted to preserving the school. The Music Fest continues to raise community awareness as well as funds for the community of Cove Creek, the Micro Business Incubation Center at the Old Cove Creek School, and the Doc and Rosa Lee Scholarship fund for students majoring in Sustainable Developmet at ASU.

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