Value You, Value Me, and Together We Value Earth.

With the stark realities of the Climate Crisis weighing on the planet, we are acutely aware that communities of color have historically and continue to bear the brunt of the negative impacts of climate change – often referred to as Environmental Justice Communities. In fact, with the pending widening of Interstate 26 through the neighborhood, the Burton Street Community has been designated by NCDOT as an environmental justice population.

One of our mottos at HHI is “Focus not on your barriers, but your creative maneuvers around them!” So we’re cultivating and creating pipelines of support and platforms of practice that lift individuals and communities while remaining environmentally aligned and conscious. HHI is building out the CAP Framework by partnering with local universities (UNCA, Warren Wilson, & NC State), local organizations (Mountain True, Asheville Greenworks, AIRE, & Solarize Asheville), and countless individuals to create youth-centered community initiatives, activities and field-trips that deepen our understanding of and lessen our negative impacts on the environment. We’re making restoring the planet a universal sport!

The Spaces

  • Smith Mill Creek Greenway – In 2010, the Burton Street Community identified the opportunity to create the Smith Mill Creek Greenway. Located parallel to Patton Avenue in West Asheville, Smith Mill Creek connects the Burton St., Brucemont and Falconhurst neighborhoods. Though not yet constructed, it is currently included in the City of Asheville’s Greenway Masterplan.
  • Neighborhood community garden network including Peace Gardens & Market, Martha Jane’s Garden, and The Vine Community Garden.
  • Various residents’ homes that have been a part of the Solarize Asheville initiative.

Educational Opportunities

HHI-Under Instruction: a neighborhood youth program based on experiential learning that engages youth in identifying, restoring, and maintaining important community infrastructure, as well as providing hands-on learning and skill building that prepare youth to enter the workforce or launch their own entrepreneurial venture.

Peace Garden Learning Curriculum: a collaboration between Asheville Creative Arts & Hood Huggers International, this living curriculum utilizes the art installations within the gardens to deepen youths connections to themselves, each other, and our planet. Educators & parents may learn more about and purchase the curriculum here

The Policies

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