As part of OMS’s commitment to green initiatives, OM Sanctuary has partnered with renowned environmental institutions such as The Nature Conservancy, Waste Reduction Partners, Catawba College Center for the Environment, and the Environmental Leadership Center of Warren Wilson College. OM Sanctuary was selected to receive one of a select number of Hospitality Greening Assessments from the Waste Reduction Partners, which included an energy, water, solid waste, and recycling audit.
Invasive Species Analysis
February 9, 2012 Mike Horak and Fred Annand of The Nature Conservancy joined Brad Stanback, an OMS Advisory Board Member, and Shelli Stanback, OMS President, for an in-depth look at the different species thriving on the OM Sanctuary grounds. Most of their time was spent on the property’s hiking trails that have become overrun by invasive species, primarily multiflora rose.
Energy Audit Organizational Meeting
February 21, 2012 Representatives from Warren Wilson College, Catawba College, and other environmental institutions discussed how OM Sanctuary could become a model for sustainable educational retreats. The diverse backgrounds of the attendees demonstrated how holistic principles apply to a variety of fields. We enjoyed an evening of impressive knowledge sharing and creative brainstorming.
February 22, 2012 Waste Reduction Partners (WRP) selected OM Sanctuary to participate in their initiative to green the hospitality sector. Since 1992, Waste Reduction Partners has assisted more than 1,300 clients across North Carolina.
On January 22, 2012, six interns from Catawba College’s Center for the Environment joined Marshall Goers from Waste Reduction Partners to methodically record the current energy use of each room and hallway in the existing OM Sanctuary buildings. Craig Midgett, a fellow at the Catawba Center for the environment shared his thoughts on the event, “Energy audits allow people to see where the energy they purchase is being wasted and may guide the user to modify their practices or equipment in order to conserve our environment and a few of their dollars. OM Sanctuary’s decision to have an energy audit is evidence of their dedication to preserve our natural resources.”
Marshall Goers submitted the energy audit report on April 5, 2012 highlighting several opportunities for improved resource management. Special thanks to John Wear, Catawba Center’s director, who connected Marshall with six fellows and interns: Andrew Plummer, Mike Smith, Craig Midgett, Rachel McInturff, Rebecca Hunter, and Kevin Quinn.
Invasive Species Follow-Up
March 12, 2012 Mike Horak and Megan Sutton of The Nature Conservancy returned to the OM Sanctuary grounds to discuss a more detailed plan for invasive species clean-up. Sutton has long supported the use of goats for cleaning up infested areas and connected us with Wells Farm.
Environmental Leadership Center of Warren Wilson College Collaboration
March 22, 2012 John Brock and Stan Cross of the Environmental Leadership Center met with Shelli Stanback to discuss the potential for partnerships between the two educational institutions. Several Warren Wilson students have a deep understanding of the connection between sustainable individual lifestyles and the protection of the planet. OM Sanctuary looks forward to incorporating the students in different service and internship capacities. Warren Wilson is considering using OM Sanctuary as a teaching ground for demonstrating innovative methods for native landscaping and other green initiatives.
Wells Farm Goats Analysis
March 22, 2012 Ron Searcy of Wells Farm joined Shelli Stanback for a tour of the Tranquility Trail and was impressed by the density of the multiflora rose. He reassured us that while the infestation was widespread, the plants were still young and could easily be eradicated by the goats. He suggested three visits of 50 goats on around 20 acres to ensure success. We would like to start in the spring of 2013 with the support of generous donors ready to adopt a goat.