Greensboro neighbors helping Sunset Hills go green

Community

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — People in the Sunset Hills neighborhood are coming together, forming a small group to tackle the global problem of climate change.

It all started during the COVID-19 pandemic. Erin Reis saw so many of her neighbors coming together.

“If people came together around that, maybe I can get people to come together around climate change and try to do something in our neighborhood to address it,” Reis said.

She and some other concerned neighbors linked up with the nonprofit Emerging Ecology. They planned the group’s first meeting, and their first event: a walk through the neighborhood.

“Walk around the neighborhood, and take a fresh look,” said Tim Leisman, an Emerging Ecology program associate. “What’s here, what’s great, what’s going well, what do we want to see improved on, and then come back together with this fresh look.”

Emerging Ecology is a nonprofit in Greensboro focused on expanding people’s worldviews. Through their Enlivening Neighborhoods Program, they’re helping places like Sunset Hills go green one step at a time.

After their walk, Sunset Hills neighbors decided they wanted to focus on making homes more energy-efficient, and helping people get more information about solar panels.

They also wanted to keep the area green by focusing on native, non-invasive plants.

“The power of nature to pull us in and uplift us is really powerful for everyone, from small children we have so many of in this neighborhood, to the oldest residents,” said Robin Davis, a member of Sunset Hills Environmental Affairs.

Emerging Ecology is hoping to establish a neighborhood program in every city council district in Greensboro.

“The main thing one person can do is find a friend, and when one person finds a friend other friends come around,” said F. Nelson Stover, chairman of the board for Emerging Ecology. “The hardest job is to be the first person.”

Neighbors in Sunset Hills hope other people will see what they’re doing and get inspired.

“I think there is collective wisdom in our neighborhood that we can all use if we work together and the burden will be lighter if it’s shared by everybody,” Reis said.

Sunset Hills Environmental Affairs will start hosting events in the fall. Their first event is a stream clean-up on Sept. 7. It’s open to all neighbors and anyone living in Greensboro who wants to lend a helping hand.

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