Sustainable Greenville

Celebrating Quality of Life, Environment and Health in the Upstate

Please click on name of organization to see their website.


Carolinas' Nature Photographers Association - Upstate The Upstate Region is located in the northwestern corner of South Carolina. The cities near the boundaries of the region include Gaffney, Union, Clinton, and Abbeville. Other major cites in the region are Anderson, Spartanburg , and Greenville.  Monthly meetings are held at the Westend Darkroom located at 640 S Main Street in Greenville. CNPA has an ongoing effort to preserve the environment of the Carolinas through our photography. We sponsor and are involved in many projects that promote protection and appreciation of the environment.

The Conestee Foundation, a non-profit conservation organization, was established in 2000 to spearhead the revitalization of the Reedy River properties and surrounding community directly downstream of the City of Greenville. One of the first Foundation actions was the acquisition of Lake Conestee, which has long served vital functions in the health of the Reedy River. The 145 acre Lake Conestee property is comprised of the former lakebed, which is now approximately 90 percent silted in. It contains wetlands, sloughs, bottomland forests, and 1.5 miles of the Reedy River, and provides a natural wonderland of wildlife habitat.

Friends of the Reedy River has made it their mission to improve and protect water quality and habitat along the Reedy River by conserving natural buffers along the river and its tributaries, to protect the river from pollution and sedimentation and champion the concepts and principles of responsible development, and to help us understand how to live and work and play in a watershed.

Foothills Animal Rescue Founded in 1991, they are a state and federally permitted volunteer group dedicated to the rehabilitation and release of injured and orphaned wildlife encompassing upstate South Carolina to Columbia to the GA state line and Hendersonville, North Carolina. Foothills Animal Rescue is the ONLY local group offering a manned, 24 hour hotline as well as a total commitment to wildlife and exotic animals. They work very closely in conjunction with local D.N.R. officers exclusively.

Green Drinks Greenville is an hour of networking, socializing and learning for anyone concerned with environmental issues and sustainability. Every 2nd Wednesday from 6:00-7:30pm, order dinner or get a drink or two. Meets at Coffee Underground on the lower level. Green Drinks Greenville is a part of Green Drinks International.

Greenville County Bird Club was founded in February, 2000 by a group of people from varied walks of life with one thing in common: a love of birds and a desire to know more about these fascinating and beautiful creatures. We have joined together to provide opportunities for learning about and protecting wild birds and their habitats for future generations. The club hosts an outing to Lake Conestee the third Saturday of every month at 8am.

Greenville Forward has a mission to enhance the quality of life for greater Greenville by engaging citizens in continually updating, promoting, and facilitating a community vision for 2025 and beyond. Vision 2025 dares to imagine a community whose growth is fueled by creativity, ignited by the power of ideas, and fired by the goal of excellence. Vision 2025 is just a glimpse into the future of Greenville. It's a commitment to improving our community to match the changing times around us.

Greenville Tech Recycling Coalition is a diverse collection of faculty, staff and students. The goal of this coalition is to establish continuing resource reduction programs at all campuses of Greenville Technical College in an effort to reduce our ecological imprint on the Earth. It is the mission of the GTC Recycling Coalition to: establish a sustainable recycling program at Greenville Tech, educate faculty, staff, students and the community about the need for recycling and encourage active participation by providing easy access to recycling facilities.

Keep Greenville County Beautiful (KGCB) is a non-profit whose mission is to engage citizens in litter reduction and beautification through public awareness, education and special events. KGCB shall confine its activities to the boundaries of Greenville County but shall operate throughout all of Greenville County including all cities, municipalities, and communities.

Mountain Bridge Trout Unlimited Chapter meets at the Sears Shelter at 100 E. Park Avenue in Greenville. Trout Unlimited's mission is to help conserve, protect and restore our nation's coldwater rivers and streams and the great fishing they provide.

Nature Conservancy - Greenville Office The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Greenville office is strengthening its conservation focus in the Southern Blue Ridge region of South Carolina.

The Palmetto Conservation Foundation's mission is to conserve South Carolina's natural and cultural resources, preserve historic buildings and landmarks, and promote outdoor recreation with trails and greenways.

Paris Mountain State Park Friends was formed to utilize the park for educational programs, to help improve the park's physical attributes and to help the park rangers as requested. The organization is intended as a way for the general public to participate in helping the park.  Involvement is open to all.

Save Our Saluda (SOS) is a newly organized Citizens Action Group whose mission is to protect and preserve the headwaters of the Saluda watershed through concerned citizen action. S.O.S. is dedicated to monitor the aggressive development in the Foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the effects of development that causes degradation to our fragile and diverse ecosystems and pristine rivers.

South Carolina Upstate Mycological Society (SCUMS), the mushroom club of South Carolina’s ‘Upstate’ region. The goals of the South Carolina Upstate Mycological Society are to bring people together who share a common interest in mushrooms and other fungi, and to facilitate an appreciation and understanding of fungi.

Sierra Club - William Bartram Group The Sierra club is America's oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization. The William Bartram Group includes Greenville, Spartanburg and Union Counties. There are about a thousand members in the group. The group hosts monthly meetings, outings and continues to fight for the environment here in the Upstate.

Sustaining Way works to find and proliferate affordable ways to care for people while caring for the environment. We do this by setting up interfaith missions that strengthen the surrounding community through sustainable practices. These missions are created through partnerships with faith-based organization(s) to sponsor a missionary and an affordable housing provider to purchase a property and sustainably remodel/rebuild it for rent to the missionary. With over 25 partners, our initial project, Annie's House is located just off the Swamp Rabbit Trail in the historic downtown Greenville neighborhood of Nicholtown.

The South Carolina Native Plant Society is a non-profit organization committed to the preservation and protection of native plant communities in South Carolina. We work to make this happen by providing programs and activities designed to educate and inform members and the general public about the importance of native plants, support efforts by government agencies to protect habitats and endangered species, encourage the use of native plant materials in public and private landscaping, and promote the commercial availability of native plant materials. The Upstate Chapter meets twice a month, alternating between Central and Greenville.

Tenders of the Earth originated from a desire to share with others in a means that improves the sustainability of communities and individuals. The initial concept for Tenders of the Earth originated as an outgrowth of the Treehouse project. The originators wanted a forum in which they could actively assist other communities in their efforts to become more sustainable.

TreesGreenville was formed in 2005 to help preserve the quality of life that has attracted many residents and businesses to the upstate. Recognizing that Greenville’s future depends on maintaining the beauty of our land, TreesGreenville embraces its mission to plant, promote, and protect trees for all of us to enjoy where we work, live and play.

Tricounty Transition's mission is to create awareness about community resilience and foster a sustainable living environment. By creating connections between already existing groups working on these issues, our goal is to transform and transition Upstate South Carolina to a thriving and low-carbon future. We have created this Facebook Page to create a knowledge hub for everyone who is interested in this subject to participate and collaborate together.

Upstate Forever promotes sensible growth and the protection of special places in the Upstate region of South Carolina.  The membership-based, nonprofit organization covers nine counties (Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, Oconee, Pickens, Spartanburg, and Union), and we have three main programs: Land Trust, Sustainable Communities, and Clean Air and Water.

U.S. Endowment for Forestry & Communities has been chartered with two purposes: educational and charitable causes in timber-reliant communities; and educational and public-interest projects addressing forest management issues that affect timber-reliant communities, or the sustainability of forests as sources of building materials, wildlife habitat, bio-energy, recreation, and other values. Mission: The Endowment works collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors to advance systemic, transformative and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests and forest-reliant communities.

US Green Building Council, South Carolina Chapter, Upstate Branch The USGBC's mission is to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmently and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life.



Food and Agriculture 

Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) has a mission to promote local and organic agriculture in the Carolinas by inspiring, educating and organizing farmers and consumers.The South Carolina Upstate Chapter includes Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Spartanburg, Laurens, Pickens, Oconee, Greenwood, Union counties. Contact: Brandon Grace, 864-934-2737

Gardening for Good is a network of local community gardens that utilizes of the energy of the community garden movement to coordinate neighborhood redevelopment efforts, improve the health of residents and neighborhoods, and transform Greenville through gardening. Gardening for Good is creating gardening partnerships throughout Greenville County to create a healthier, more sustainable and socially just local food system.

At the Generous Garden Project, our mission is to help fight hunger by growing, harvesting, training and coordinating delivery of fresh fruits and vegetables around the Greenville, South Carolina area. We provide lovingly grown, locally grown fresh produce to local food banks, shelters and ministries. We also partner with organizations and communities to teach hands-on gardening methods so they can become more self-sustainable.

The Greater Greenville Master Gardeners is an educational, nonprofit, adult volunteer group that provides non-biased, research-based horticultural information to the community. Greenville Master Gardeners work in partnership with the Clemson University Extension Office as a service arm of Extension Horticulture. Members of the Association are residents of Greenville County who are willing to learn and share gardening knowledge with diverse groups of people. What really sets Master Gardeners apart from other home gardeners is their special training in horticulture and their work in the community.

Greenville Organic Foods Organization (GOFO) The organization aims to encourage, motivate and educate the public about the consumption of organic food products (free of toxic chemicals) and sustainable agriculture. Its objective is to influence the community on issues of nutrition, health, wellness and the environment through awareness of sustainable and organic agriculture practices as well as healthy eating habits.

Harvest Hope Food Bank - Greater Greenville Chapter serves both Greenville and Laurens County. The mission of Harvest Hope Food Bank is to provide for the needs of hungry people by gathering and sharing quality food with dignity, compassion and education. 

Lighthouse Food Farm has a mission to eradicate hunger, alleviate poverty and green our environment. We also bring together children, adults and seniors in urban areas to plant food gardens on unused land and space throughout America. Community members are given the tools and education to create a lasting sustainable solution to these issues and receive hope for a better future. Neighbors share their fresh, healthy, organic produce with local food banks to help others in need. This system of working together for a common cause while increasing diversity builds safer cities. Planting beautiful food gardens helps to lower the heat index in urban areas, aiding the fight against global warming.

Loaves & Fishes is the only mobile food rescue organization in Greenville County, South Carolina. We provide hunger solutions with food that would otherwise be wasted in our community. Our method is simple: rescue perishable and prepared food and deliver it to organizations that feed the hungry.

At Mill Village Farms we are transforming vacant properties into bountiful gardens to grow locally-sourced produce for communities that often have limited access to fresh and local foods. While we grow fresh produce, we are also growing employment opportunities for neighborhood youth. Our goal is to train up youth to have experience in agriculture, entrepreneurship, and basic job skills.

Slow Food Upstate is the local chapter of Slow Food USA which envisions a future food system that is based on the principles of high quality and taste, environmental sustainability, and social justice – in essence, a food system that is good, clean and fair. The upstate chapter will help identify upstate food systems as well as promote and educate the public on the wealth of food here in the upstate.

South Carolina Society of St. Andrew, Greenville Chapter's mission is to introduce people to God's grace in Jesus Christ through meeting their hungers: Food for the body, God's word for the spirit, Community of love for the heart, and Opportunity for those who desire action. The South Carolina Society of Saint Andrew is part of the nationwide organization The Society of Saint Andrew ( They recover food that would otherwise be wasted and get it to the hungry via local relief organizations. A network of volunteers, farmers, and emergency food relief agencies, working to bring fresh, nutritious produce to people in need within our communities.

Trusted Farms is a nonprofit organization based in Greenville, South Carolina, that is working to preserve local farms. Our mission is to stop local farms from closing by helping farmers develop strategies to earn more and keep farming, educating smaller farmers about how to improve their farms, and educating communities about eating fresh, local and safe.

Health and Wellness 

Activate Greenville is a FREEyear-round healthy living awareness program that targets youth and adult obesity and related diseases encourages participants to accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five days per week provides Healthy Living information about nutrition, exercise and health education weekly sponsors regular weigh-ins and counseling presents "Health Talks," a series of lectures by wellness and medical experts challenges everyone, young and old, to begin healthy eating and regular moderate-intensity exercise. Regular physical activity reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. It helps control weight and contributes to healthy bones, muscles, and joints. It helps relieve the pain of arthritis and reduces the symptoms of anxiety and depression. People of all ages who are generally inactive can improve their health and well being by becoming active at a moderate-intensity on a regular basis.

Cancer Crackdown started as a small group on Facebook in January 2012 with a few people that wanted to share some information on tips and best practices during chemo. It's Mission is to be the trusted source for information regarding integration of alternative therapies with current cancer treatments as well as a resource for overall health. Our Resource Coordinator program is in development and will provide patients with a partner for their fight with cancer. Cancer Crackdown is for those interested in cancer prevention and cancer fighters that are interested in pursuing better overall health during treatment. We welcome caregivers, grievers, family members and practitioners.

LiveWell Greenville is a partnership of dozens of public and private organizations that aims to make Greenville County a healthier place to live, work, and play.  Formed three years ago by the Piedmont Health Care Foundation, the coalition has engaged more than 100 key partners in crafting plans to create policies, systems, and environments in our community to make living well easier.  Safe places to walk and bike, healthier foods in schools and workplaces, nutritious snacks in child care centers, better access to parks – these and other positive initiatives will be shepherded by the partners of LiveWell Greenville.

The Greenville (upstate) Holistic Health Meetup Group wants to gather together those who are interested in learning about and discussing Alternative Medicine and its advances. They offer people the opportunity to explore and learn about advances in medicine which focus on healing a person of diseases and ailments with comprehensive, holistic approaches. They meet the third monday of each month. Anybody can attend, but must registar ahead of time. 

The Iron Disorders Institute is a national health agency and public interest organization. They develop educational materials on the benefits and dangers of iron. Their mission is to reduce pain, suffering and unnecessary death due to disorders of iron through education, awareness and facilitating research.

The mission of mentalfitness, inc. is to build mental fitness in all youth through arts-based awareness and prevention programs. We collaborate with national experts in medicine, nutrition

The mission of mentalfitness, inc. is to build mental fitness in all youth through arts-based awareness and prevention programs. We collaborate with national experts in medicine, nutrition and mental health to bring together (and create new) evidence-based programs that improve the seven protective categories of mental fitness; community connections, self-esteem, media literacy, mindfulness, body image, stress-management, nourishing body & mind.

Zest Quest is a not-for-profit children's health initiative that promotes physical activity, healthy eating habits, and improved health literacy. Zest Quest has helped over 6500 students in the upstate to become more aware of their lifestyle choices through curriculum-based educational and mentorship programs.


Bikeville is the City of Greenville's bicycle friendly community initiative. The goal of Bikeville is to increase ridership, encourage bicycle use, expand bicycling facilities, and provide useful educational resources to cyclists and motorists to share the road. The City of Greenville, SC in conjunction with the Greenville Pickens Area Transportation Study (GPATS) is developing a Bicycle Master Plan for the City of Greenville. The plan will include detailed strategies and measurable goals for improving bicyclists' access and safety throughout Greenville.

City of Greenville's Green Ribbon Committee shall promote a culture of stewardship within City government and our community to preserve and enhance our natural resources, economic needs and opportunities while addressing quality of life for present and future generations in the City of Greenville. To this end the committee shall recommend and comment upon programs and initiatives which will reduce the City’s environmental impact and distinguish Greenville as a leader in sustainability. In short, the committee’s goal is to “Keep the Green in Greenville.”

Clemson Area Transit (CAT) is dedicated to excellence in serving everyone with safe, friendly, and reliable public transportation. CAT is housed in a solar facility.

Connections for Sustainability: Linking Greenville's Neighborhoods to Jobs and Open Space will work to deliver all the benefits of a livable community - multi-modal access, affordable housing, and increase green space- to low-income residents most in need of those benefits by undertaking a comprehensive planning effort that values community input.

Greater Greenville Sanitation's Mission is to maintain the highest level of both Residential and Commercial Sanitation Service, as well as providing Recycling and Greenwaste Service for the property owners of our service district. The following tax districts are served by the Greater Greenville Sanitation Commission: 101, 153, 155, 156, 186, 187, 225, 230, 233, 234, 235, 236, 237, 238, 260, 269, 271, 274, 277, 297, 308, 309 and 311. Providing Our Customers With Quality Service Employing Ethical and Sound Business Practices.

Greenville County Soil and Water Conservation District is a local subdivision of state government coordinating assistance from its own county and the federal government, through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, to assist farmers, city dwellers, school teachers, students, concerned citizens and other agricultural agencies as land and water are protected and managed. The District education staff also provides community outreach and education on stormwater pollution and prevention. For more information and upcoming events please visit

Greenville Hospital System Swamp Rabbit Tram Trail is a 13.55 (Northern end – across from North Greenville Medical campus of the Greenville Hospital  System to  the Southern end at Greenville Tech in the City of Greenville) mile walking/biking trail that runs along the Reedy River connecting Travelers Rest with the City of Greenville.

Spare The Air Greenville County's program: Spare The Air. It all Adds Up to Cleaner Air. Carpool whenever possible. Avoid idling your vehicle. Consolidate errands, make one trip. Take your lunch to work. Replace incandescent lights with compact flourescent light bulbs (CFLs). Recycle or compost, don't burn it. For air quality forecast: call 1-866-238-4973 or go to under "County Highlights: Air Quality"

Quality of Life

The mission of Bike Walk Greenville is to increase the quality of life and economic vitality of Greenville County by advocating for the improvement of pedestrian and bicycling opportunities and promoting the importance of health, safety, recreation and equitable transportation options.

The Mission of Blue Wall Group is to diversify and expand the availability of the Arts in Northern Greenville and Pickens Counties. Blue Wall Group envisions an association of arts centers along the northern Pickens and Greenville Counties, with the possibility of expanding into Spartanburg and Oconee. In 2009, Blue Wall Group was offered the old New Horizons Medical Clinic for the use as an arts center. Since that time BWG has worked to refurbish the center, formally called the Slater-Marietta Arts Center. Although much work has been done on the facility, refurbishments are ongoing.

Caleb Groub. Since January of 1996 The Caleb Group, non-profit organization, has been offering the Greenville community forums for exploring intellectual, moral and ethical issues, often – but not always – using tools of contemporary culture including film, literary works and live theatre. The perspective we bring to the discussion is that, as best we can tell, the universe really does operate in the manner documented in the Christian Scriptures. A number of folks who join us have different perspectives. You can reach them at 864-787-4566. Or receive event announcements by sending an email to

Carolina Singles Hiking and Adventure Club forms friendships and lasting relationships through hiking adventures and social activities in the Upstate area of South Carolina & beyond. They welcome adults of all ages, whether single, separated, widowed or divorced.

Concerned Citizens For Animals (CCA) is a local, non-profit organization founded in 1980.  CCA is dedicated to helping animals and educating the public about their humane treatment. CCA shall not destroy any animal unless it is beyond medical care, and suffering would be the permanent result of medical treatment. CCA shall operate an animal shelter for abandoned, sick, injured or otherwise homeless animals. CCA shall maintain an adoption program to permanently place homeless animals in qualified homes. CCA shall maintain a low-cost spay/neuter program for the community. CCA shall strive to prevent or stop any abuse, neglect, or otherwise inhumane treatment of any animal.

Drinking Liberally in Greenville is an informal, inclusive progressive social group. Raise your spirits while you raise your glass, and share ideas while you share a pitcher. Drinking Liberally gives like-minded, left-leaning individuals a place to talk politics. You don't need to be a policy expert and this isn't a book club - just come and learn from peers, trade jokes, vent frustration and hang out in an environment where it's not taboo to talk politics. They meet every Thursday at 6:00pm at The Handlebar (304 E Stone Ave) out on the patio to the right of the main entrance, or inside in the "cave" area if the weather is bad.

GOAT is a non-profit ministry in Greenville, SC. GOAT takes under-resourced and at-risk kids on awesome outdoor trips and provide group mentoring. GOAT stands for Great Outdoor Adventure Trips.

Greenville Natural History Association a non-profit volunteer-run group who welcomes newcomers to join them on all hikes. The aim is “to promote the enjoyment of the outdoors, teach outdoor ethics, and encourage the conservation of air, woods, waters and wildlife in general.

Habitat For Humanity of Greenville County Shelter from rain, wind and sun is a basic human need. With your help, more deserving families can have decent places to call home. Give families in need shelter, self-respect and the hope of a better life. Now that better life also includes a green certified home. Working with local architects, Habit For Humanity is working on making future homes green. 

Homes For Hope believes the simple act of meeting a need is only the beginning. Their desire is to help others change their lives. Their vision is to touch these lives through affordable housing and job training for men. The LOCAL (Long-term Compact Affordable LEED) Program is designed to create their vision by building LEED Certified Homes.

International Center of the Upstate Their mission is to welcome people of all nations into this region to gain knowledge, establish friendships and share their culture and talents; to provide information, programs and services to benefit and promote residents and international businesses in our region; and to foster cultural diversity and harmony in our growing community. The ICU provides a wide range of programs and services that support and promote the image of the Upstate as an important hub for international investment and trade.

Music in the Woods Music Series 2012 takes place at the amphitheater located in Paris Mountain State Park and is powered by Sunstore Solar Energy. Concerts are free with regular park admission. Concerts run from 3:00 to 6:00 PM at the Amphitheater.

Roper Mountain Science Center's mission is to educate and inspire learners of all ages to explore and investigate the world of science and technology. From the planetarium to the living history farm to the hall of science, RMSC has something for everyone. With events throughout each month, there is something always to do.

Save Our Sons (SOS), a non-profit organization located in Greenville, SC is a mentoring and advocacy organization for minority and disadvantage males ages 10 through 18. Save Our Sons works with the schools, court system, churches, and community businesses and organizations to provide alternatives to imprisonment. Additional SOS opportunities are providing mentors to serve as positive role models to help reduce the school dropout rates and to provide pre-college enrollment services to increase the number of minority and disadvantage males entering into higher education.

Speak For Animals SFA's mission is to enhance the lives of animals in South Carolina and beyond by, speaking out through humane education when an animal is being mistreated, educating the community that companion animals require not only the necessities of life, but also respect, love and affection, working within the community to facilitate change in the laws to provide a better life for animals and working with people to provide a better life for their companion animals.

The Sterling Land Trust. The Sterling Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative was established to explore and utilize community development techniques that can aid in the transformation of Sterling. We wish to expand and utilize urban farming on a small scale. Farms can provide healthy, affordable food and are a source of beauty in the neighborhood. Sterling has a wealth of vacant lots that can be utilized. By building the foundation of this initiative, Sterling will possess a powerful development tool for the community.

The Upcountry History Museum promotes historical preservation, research and education for the 15 counties in the northwest corner of South Carolina (Upcountry South Carolina). They are an innovative, interactive 50,000 square-foot facility on Heritage Green, the region's art and culture center located in Downtown Greenville, SC. Their mission is to promote, present and preserve the history of Upcountry South Carolina through education, research and service.

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, May 23 at 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Tuesday, May 30 at 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Friday, Jun 2 at 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday, Jun 6 at 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM

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