Sustainable Midlands is a local nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to encourage responsible growth, ensure access to local food and establish a healthy environment for all Midlands communities, according to its website.
As a grassroots, membership-based organization, Sustainable Midlands relies on support from dedicated individuals within the community. One of its core beliefs is that the key to strong communities is citizen partnership; everyone is invited to participate in the future sustainability of our region by working to build a healthier environment and a stronger local economy.
Working to find a balance between the needs of the people, planet and economy, Sustainable Midlands organizes a number of programs and a calendar of annual events. Wine for Water is an Earth Day event that benefits Rocky Branch and Smith Branch watershed alliances and Gills Creek Watershed Association, as well as environmental nonprofits dedicated to restoring the Midlands’ watersheds through education, grassroots action and public and private partnerships.
Sustainable Midlands also has a hand in the recycling efforts of various events and festivals across the city, serving as a recycling and sustainability consultant. The Sustainable Holiday Celebration helps raise awareness for local businesses, artisans, food producers, schools and nonprofits, as these groups are the foundation of the community and what shape its identity.
Sustainable Midlands is best known for its Tasty Tomato Festival, Columbia’s signature summer local food event. Named to Southern Living’s Best in the South list of things to do, the Tasty Tomato Festival annually welcomes thousands of patrons to a local farm for a day of food, music, family-friendly activities and more. This festival is all about celebrating locally grown food, the people who grow it, the restaurants that serve it and the markets that sell it.
To learn more about how you can support the mission, visit Sustainable Midlands website, sustainablemidlands.org.
Story by Jonathan Sears, Board Chair