Altamont has a longstanding relationship with Asheville GreenWorks, supporting its environmental and community enhancement efforts. We were approached by Asheville GreenWorks about providing week-long internships to several young adults in Asheville, and we were pleased to assist in offering this opportunity for its Youth Environmental Leadership Program (aka YELP).
We wanted to give the students insight into the many service areas Altamont provides, and we were encouraged by the enthusiasm and interest the interns had in these career fields.
“This really builds them up, empowers them, and allows them to make important decisions about their communities that they never have before,” says Greenworks Community Engagement Coordinator Dewana Little. “They’re building so many skills—lifelong skills. This program is making a difference for them personally. I love opening their eyes to community issues that impact the environment, like litter and how it gets from the streets to our waterways and the stormwater system.”
The interns learned about brownfields redevelopment from Adam Tripp, P.G. and visited New Belgium‘s brewery, a brownfields site located along the French Broad River. They learned about solid waste management from Brian Gant and visited the Buncombe County Solid Waste Management Facility, which is a landfill.
I spoke with the interns about stormwater management. We visited the Botanical Gardens at Asheville, adjacent to UNC Asheville, and the Reed Creek Greenway. Altamont prepared the design of Reed Creek Greenway Phase 3 to connect the end of the Glen Creek Greenway, located at the Asheville Botanical Gardens, to the original phase of Reed Creek Greenway that begins at Catawba Street. The design includes detention and treatment of stormwater runoff through the use of constructed wetlands that serve the dual purpose of water treatment and habitat creation.
We talked about stream restoration and visited Anderson Farm, a Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy tract with multiple streams that were restored by Altamont several years ago.
The experience gave the interns insight into the daily life of engineers, geologists, and environmental scientists, and we hope it helped them understand the purpose of what we do—including the lasting impact our work can have on our community and environment.
Submitted by Altamont’s Wyatt Edsel, E.I. (with photos from Asheville GreenWorks and Altamont)