WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The Dogwood Alliance held a Forest Festival Sunday in Hugh MacRae Park.
This festival gave the community a chance to come together to celebrate North Carolina's forests, as well as learn about the growing impact of the biomass industry.
Biomass industries use organic materials such as lumber scraps, forest debris and manure to make fuel used for electricity and other forms of renewable energy.
However, with Southern forests being cleared, the Dogwood Alliance is worried about the direct impacts this will have on the Port City.
"Right now, a lot of forests here in North Carolina and here in the South are being clear cut, made into wood pallets, and being shipped to Europe to be made into fuel," explained John Qua, an environmental activist and event coordinator of the festival.
The group's main concern is a new biomass company coming to downtown.
"It will bring a ton of truck traffic to the area, noise and air pollution particularly to the Sunset Park community, which we don't want to see for that neighborhood," Qua said.
Organizers of the Dogwood Alliance used Sunday's Festival as a local platform to advocate for protection of the state's forests, despite the demand for a growing biomass industry.
The festival was not only focused on the adults. Arts and crafts were set up for the kids to help jumpstart their knowledge on our local environment.
"The kids are the future," said one local resident. "We have to teach them so they will be able to continue to care, and not be disconnected from the environment and think it's someone else's responsibility."
The new wood pallet company coming to the Port City is currently being built downtown.
Several Sunset Park Homeowners tried talking to the new company about changing their location but those requests were denied.