Earth Week 2022
7 Ways to Join Our Sustainability Journey

1. GET OUTDOORS: Grand Opening of Two New Parks

Celebrate Earth Week by visiting two of our community's newest parks: Woodfin's Silver-Line Park and Buncombe County's first dog park, located within the Enka Recreation Destination at the Buncombe County Sports Park. Both parks received major financial support from Buncombe County TDA with grants from the Tourism Product Development Fund. We're excited to celebrate these new venues that both residents and visitors can enjoy.

The grand opening of Silver-Line Park is April 21, where park-goers can find boat ramp access to the French Broad River, picnic shelters, a playground, greenway and other walking trails, and connection to the Craggy Mountain Rail Line. The park is a major milestone in the Woodfin Greenway & Blueway project. The opening of the dog park is April 22 to which Buncombe County invites "hot dogs and cool people."

2. PROTECT: Reminders to #RecreateResponsibly

As part of Explore Asheville's strategic imperative to Encourage Safe & Responsible Travel, we've updated kiosks across the county to remind visitors and residents to recreate responsibly. The signage bears a QR code linking to the Leave No Trace section of

Want to do help educate your guests and visitors about the seven principles of Leave No Trace? Check out the LNT toolkit for partners here >>

3. PARTICIPATE: Community-Wide Cleanups 

It's time for spring cleaning and there are plenty of opportunities to lend a hand, including the Asheville Spring Sweep (happening through April 23), Earth Day Haywood Road Cleanup (April 23), and Earth Day Cleanup with AB Tech (April 26). Last spring, the Explore Asheville team spent an afternoon cleaning up litter in the River Arts District (pictured above). This year, we're participating in the Downtown Clean Up Day (April 19). Find more opportunities here >>

4. LEARN: New Ethical Travel Feature in AFAR

Explore Asheville is the exclusive sponsor of AFAR magazine's new Ethical Travel editorial column and podcast. The column debuted in the Spring 2022 Earth issue, now on stands, and focuses on the tension between exploring our planet and wanting to protect it. The podcast will launch this summer, offering clear, thoughtful tools for travelers who want to make a positive impact on the world. Here's a quote: Is there an ethical way to travel the Earth and not cause it harm? I believe so. But it takes planning, deliberate choices, and respect for the people and places we have the privilege of visiting.

Other recent paid media efforts related to Explore Asheville's strategic imperative to Encourage Safe & Responsible Travel include custom content with Outside magazine, to include email, print and a social media campaign. (Asheville Is for Green Adventures is the first of several pieces.) In the coming weeks, there'll also be a giveaway featuring products from local outdoor gear builders Astral, ENO, Kitsbow, Liquidlogic, Rockgeist, and SylvanSport.

5. SHARE: Ideas & Ops for Group Service Projects 

Explore Asheville's Group Sales & Services team provides meeting planners with information on group service projects and donation opportunities that will make a difference for our community and enhance a meeting attendee’s experience. If you have turnkey, group-ready project ideas or donations to share with the team, let us know. We're also seeking local experts who could speak to conference groups about sustainability.

6. SUPPORT: Local Outdoor Businesses at Upcoming Event

Explore Asheville is a sponsor of the Get in Gear Fest, an event in Black Mountain on April 23 showcasing the "Outdoor Industry Hub of the East." This family friendly event features local outdoor experience businesses and gear manufactured here in WNC. Learn more >>

7. PLEDGE: Support Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation through Charitable Platform

As announced last year and recently featured in The Laurel of Asheville, Asheville is the first destination on the East coast to join other mountain locations in the U.S. in signing onto the Pledge for the Wild platform that not only educates visitors about responsible tourism in wild places but provides a direct channel for supporting those places financially. The recipient of donations in Asheville through Pledge for the Wild is the nonprofit Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. Give now >>


Application Period for COVID Relief Fund Reopens May 2

The Business Recovery Grant program administered by the NC Dept. of Revenue has expanded eligibility for Phase 2, to include service providers such as tour guides, massage therapists, and farmers, in addition to those in hospitality, arts, entertainment, retail, and recreation. Businesses that suffered economic loss of at least 20% during the pandemic may be eligible for a one-time payment of up to $500,000. Apply starting May 2; deadline is June 1. More about the fund here >>


  • WHAT: Buncombe County TDA: Monthly Meeting
  • WHEN: 9:00–11:00 a.m.
  • WHERE: Explore Asheville | 27 College Place | Asheville
  • MORE INFO: Details to come here
  • WHAT: Info Session: Tourism Product Development Fund 2022 Grant Cycle
  • WHEN: 3:00–4:30 p.m.
  • WHERE: Explore Asheville | 27 College Place | Asheville
  • MORE: Register here to attend
  • WHAT: SAVE THE DATE! 2022 Tourism Summit
  • WHEN: 12:00–5:00 p.m.
  • WHERE: Omni Grove Park Inn
  • MORE INFO: Watch here for details!


Upcoming Local Events Supported by Buncombe County TDA

In alignment with Explore Asheville's strategic imperatives (see below), Buncombe County TDA is a supporter of the following upcoming events:

- Connect Beyond Festival | April 22-23*

- ALT ASO at Orange Peel | April 26 [sold out]

- HardLox Jewish Food & Heritage Festival | May 1

- Asheville Maker Faire | May 7

Sponsorship Application Deadline: May 15

Funding for sponsorships and grants for local events comes from revenue earned through initiatives such as advertising by partners on The next deadline for sponsorship applications is May 15. Learn more here >>

*Special Offer to Partners

The Connect Beyond Festival, dubbed "Asheville's version of SXSW," is two days of powerful storytelling that inspires personal growth, cultivates creativity and collaboration, and drives social change. The event features film screenings, music performances, book readings, and panel discussions. Single day and weekend passes are now available. Explore Asheville partners can get a 25% discount. Order discount tickets here >>


Legendary Tennis Great Billie Jean King Reflects on Asheville

Asheville, the local people. It's so important. The way you respond to the Billie Jean King Cup is amazing. Those were the words of the legendary tennis great as Asheville successfully hosted the event that bears her name – one of the world’s largest annual international team competitions in women’s sports. Previously known as the Fed Cup, Asheville played host city for the third time, welcoming the US and Ukraine teams. Explore Asheville was pleased to support the event through sponsorship. ICYMI, here's some of the media coverage of the event:

- Billie Jean King on BJK Cup in Asheville: 'We should have all of them here'

- $8 million impact expected from Billie Jean King Cup in Asheville

- From Kyiv to Flat Rock, Ukrainians from far and wide unite in Asheville for BJK Cup

- Tennis has power to unite both globally and locally, says Billie Jean King in Asheville

- BJK Cup: Language, crowds and food are 3 reasons Team USA is happy to be back in Asheville

- 'Two different realities': For Ukrainian tennis players, Asheville is the latest sanctuary

Deliver Balanced Recovery & Sustainable Growth | Encourage Safe & Responsible Travel |
Engage & Invite More Diverse Audiences | Promote & Support Asheville's Creative Spirit

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