Enviromingle draws crowd

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 16, 2011

Center for the Environment at Catawba College
KANNAPOLIS — Sharon Baker read about the Center for the Environment’s EnviroMingle at the Old Cabarrus Bank Building in Kannapolis and traveled from Richmond, Va., Thursday to attend.
“It’s wonderful that there is an organization working to make people aware of the importance of supporting our local farmers and clean air and organic gardening,” she said. “We should all be working together to do what we can to make people aware of what’s happening with our earth and what we can do to live sustainably.”
Baker, who works for a company that helps local farmers, did her part to help improve air quality by riding a train to the event. “It’s very affordable,” she said, “and you can work and read, and I know I’m doing it for the environment.”
Dr. John Wear, director of the Center for the Environment at Catawba College, welcomed everyone to the eco-friendly mingling and networking event and thanked them for their support of the Center. Wear spoke highly of Kannapolis.
“There’s so much going on here,” he said. “Every one of us in here shares common values.”
Other staff members were on hand to talk about the Center’s programs, causes and events.
Many of the people at the EnviroMingle had a specific interest in the environment.
Others were there to learn more.
Tamera Ann Waller-Drye, a licensed massage/bodywork therapist, heard about the EnviroMingle through her membership with the Kannapolis Business Alliance. She picked up some Center for the Environment newsletters to take home and read, saying “I want to learn more about what I can do to help.”
David Cooper of Harrisburg said the EnviroMingle was right up his alley as he’s an organic farmer.
“I hate pesticides,” he said, adding that he even refuses to walk down aisles with pesticides at stores.
Cooper said he was excited to learn about the Center for the Environment. “I didn’t know there was anything like it out there,” he said. “I’m going to stay in touch with this group.”
Shannon Johnson, sustainable local economy project manager for Concord, said she was pleased to see such a diverse group turn out for the EnviroMingle.
“That’s always refreshing at this type of event,” she said.
After reading about how the Center for the Environment helped with China Grove Middle School’s successful no idling project for parents dropping off and picking up children, Johnson said she helped get one started at her child’s charter school in Harrisburg.
David Miller, president of the Kannapolis Business Alliance, said last year’s EnviroMingle was also well attended.
“A lot of it has to do with the impact the Center for the Environment has in our community,” he said. “They do such a phenomenal job at what they do. When they show up, people show up because they are respected by the community, especially the business community.”
Miller said the alliance plans to hold its third EnviroMingle next year.
Miller said there is a lot of concern about the environment in Kannapolis, particularly the area’s poor air quality.