Get Involved: Off Campus


The SEC strongly believes in taking initiative in the community. Volunteering off campus is an excellent way of supporting the environment and the Asheville community as a whole. See below for several local companies and organizations to help you get started!

Green Opportunities logoAsheville Green Opportunity Corps

The Asheville Green Opportunity Corps (Asheville GO) is a paid training and leadership program designed to prepare under-served young adults (ages 18-25) for living wage jobs in the rapidly expanding Green Economy. Our hands-on curriculum combines community service projects, life skills training, and on-the-job experience in promising fields like green construction, clean energy, recycling, ecological landscaping and restoration, and sustainable agriculture.


Bountiful Cities Project

The vision of Bountiful Cities Project is to enliven and empower self-reliance, cooperation, and a stronger sense of community through providing an opportunity to grow, harvest and eat fresh, local produce. They envision community spaces that serve as models for sustainability through organic food production, water conservation, ecological building, community celebration, and cooperative economics.

This vision is becoming a reality at our two flagship gardens: a permaculture-based vegetable garden on Pearson Drive in Montford and the Dr. George Washington Carver Edible Park at Stevens Lee Community Center which is home to over 30 varieties of fruit trees and an under story of berries and medicinal herbs.

Asheville GreenWorks

Asheville GreenWorks, an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, is a volunteer-based organization working to achieve a Clean and Green Asheville and Buncombe County through community organizing, educating and environmental stewardship.

North Carolina Arboretum

The North Carolina Arboretum is a 434-acre public garden located within the Bent Creek Experimental Forest of the Pisgah National Forest. Surrounded by the dense folds of the botanically diverse Southern Appalachian Mountains, the Arboretum is nestled in one of the most beautiful natural garden settings in America.

Dogwood Alliance

Dogwood Alliance brings together the voices of thousands of individuals, local and regional grassroots partners, and national and international organizations. They create powerful leverage on companies whose practices destroy millions of acres of Southern forests every year. They bring skilled negotiators into corporate boardrooms to pursue win-win solutions that ensure the future of natural and native Southern forests. They also work to create financial incentives for positive change by creating market demand for environmentally sound paper products.

They are looking for interns and volunteers on a rolling basis. They request that interns maintain a regular weekly schedule and commit to at least 4 hours per week. Dogwood Alliance will provide the needed training and resources, such as phone and computer, to complete the internship objectives. We will also provide an internship evaluation for hours completed as part of an academic program.

You may email for more information.


RiverLink is a regional non-profit spearheading the economic and environmental revitalization of the French Broad River and its tributaries as a place to work, live and play. RiverLink was born in 1987 of simultaneous efforts to address water quality concerns throughout the French Broad River basin, expand public opportunities for access and recreation, and spearhead the economic revitalization of Asheville’s dilapidated riverfront district. As expressed in our mission statement, we focus on related issues that directly impact the environmental health of our region’s rivers and streams and the growth and sustainability of our economy.

Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy

Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy helps landowners protect local land and water resources vital to our natural heritage and quality of life. As a local nonprofit organization dedicated to saving the places you love, CMLC is helping to create a regional network of more than 12,800 acres of protected farm, forest, park and natural lands in Henderson, Transylvania, and neighboring parts of Buncombe, Polk, Rutherford and Jackson counties.


Mountaintrue aims to protect and preserve our natural land, water, and air resources through education and public participation in policy decisions at all levels of business and government. Task Forces include: Mountain Lands Conservation, Forest Management, Public Parks, DENR Enforcement, and Mountain Clean Air.

Volunteer today to help protect and preserve our natural land, water and air resources! Call the office at 828.258.8737 for more information.

Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition

The Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition (SAFC) is a regional non-profit organization whose mission is to protect and restore the wildlands, waters, native forests and ecosystems of the Southern Appalachian landscape.

Through SAFC’s Conservation Vision, and with their growing list of members and partners, they work to:

  • Improve management of the 4.6 million acres of public land in the region especially roadless areas, old growth forests, and key habitats;
  • Add acres to our protected landscape through public and voluntary private actions;
  • Strengthen grassroots organizations and citizen leadership in the region.

Mountain Voices Alliance

Mountain Voices Alliance advocates to control overdevelopment; regulate steep slope construction; end ridgetop development; work to create a sustainable land use plan, including a Mountain Protection Act; and demand strict enforcement of environmental and development ordinances.

Volunteers are needed to attend various city/county meetings and report back, research projects, e-newsletter, and database entry. Call 828.255.8537 for more information.

Clean Water for North Carolina

Since 1984 Clean Water for North Carolina (CWFNC, formerly the Clean Water Fund of North Carolina) has worked for clean, safe communities and workplaces with hundreds of communities and thousands of North Carolinians.

They are always looking for volunteers, and welcome any help. CWFNC is dedicated to pursuing environmental justice, as well as securing safe surfance and drinking water that is free from pollution.

Appalachian Voices

Appalachian Voices needs your help fighting for clean air, promoting sustainable forestry and ending mountaintop removal in central and southern Appalachia. Volunteers are needed to help with a variety of tasks in the office. Volunteers are welcome during business hours, Monday through Friday. We also have a once a week volunteer night to coincide with the ASU academic calendar.

The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy

The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy is one of the country’s oldest and most respected land trusts. They need energetic volunteers for:

  • Leading guided hikes on protected properties
  • Recruiting new members
  • Planning and hosting special events
  • Walking property boundaries
  • Taking photographs of properties
  • Public and community outreach
  • General office work

If you are interested in helping SAHC protect this region we call home, contact Cheryl Fowler at or 828.253.0095, ext. 209.