When we envision the long-term future of Blue Star and imagine our footprint for the next generations, we remain focused on doing our part to help heal the planet. Being kind to the planet is a deeply held value we actively seek to teach and model to our campers and staff. One of the most beautiful aspects of the Blue Star experience is connecting with the natural world; our lush 500 acre campus is truly one of nature’s gems. We are committed to preserving this natural beauty and instilling a sense of environmental stewardship in all members of our camp community.
Since we launched our Conservation Generation initiative several seasons ago with one of our long-time camp alums, we have evolved our approach to modeling behavioral change and making environmentally friendly updates to camp. As always, our philosophy remains child-centered and camper led. To recap some of what our campers and staff have accomplished over the past five seasons:
We conserve over 300,000 gallons of water each summer as our campers and staff more mindfully engage in their shower and faucet usage, making use of our eco-friendly low flow shower heads and sinks in every cabin. Each session our camp community comes together to actively compost our food waste in our dining halls, diverting over 15,000 tons of food waste from the landfill. In more creative arts-based applications, our campers have led the construction of a greenhouse made solely of recycled bottles as well as several beautifully decorated rain barrels. We are so proud of our campers for their ongoing efforts to realize one of our core camper outcomes of “doing good.” Our individual actions have a direct impact on the environment, and our collective community efforts absolutely make a positive difference.
How wonderful that our Blue Star campers and staff realize the potential they have to create positive change! With them as our inspiration, we are excited to officially announce our newest conservation initiative to be completed in 2020.
Putting a down payment on the environment, we have begun the process of turning part of our land where the Top Lake used to be into a Conservation Easement. In short, the portion of this space that will be under easement will be preserved through the state of North Carolina to remain in its natural state in perpetuity. A national leader in stream mitigation and forest rehabilitation, our partner in this long-term project, Restoration Systems, will restore this space to its original natural form. Two beautiful streams will be reformed and buffered on either side by native trees, plants, and other forest elements. Our camp community will be able to access, explore, and learn even more about nature as we expand our outdoor educational programming around our restored streams and forest. One hundred years from now this natural area will still be untouched and be an integral part of Blue Star.
Concurrent with this project we will bring to life the center portion (intentionally kept out of the easement) of this space between the two streams as a newly imagined Eco Park. Over several years we plan to build up our Eco Park to incorporate environmental and outdoor adventure programming such as the following:
- “Glamping” style Unit Campsite & Outdoor classroom
- Canopy Zip Line
- Large outdoor pavilion as shelter for overnights with special campfire area
- Sheltered cooking area with adjacent organic garden
- Solidified trails surrounding the entire space to continue growing our Mountain Biking, HorseBack, and Hiking outdoor adventure programs
In summer 2020 we will unveil phase one of this project. Over time we will devote ourselves to building our innovative Blue Star Eco Park, a unique and special future camp offering for our campers and staff. In the meantime our campers will be able to enjoy all of our current outdoor adventure and horseback trails as we always have. All of our programs will be moving full speed ahead this summer and next summer. For the time being, we ask that you “pardon our dust” (if you plan to visit us when it’s not the summer time)!
As always, we so appreciate you joining and supporting our efforts to help heal the planet…Choose kindness Share peace!