Waves of green: How Forecastle protects the world’s ‘natural awesome’

In the sea of colors at Forecastle, from the vivid crowds to the vibrant music, one color stands out — green.

Forecastle is about the music, but it’s about the environment, too — protecting the world’s ‘natural awesome.’

Forecastle is one of the leading festivals in the country for the least amount of waste. Sustainability is at the forefront of decision making, organizers said.

That’s evident all over the festival, from on-site composting for vendors, patrons and staff to limiting the number of plastic bottles and providing free water for reusable containers.

The Festival runs on 100 percent pollution-free electricity via a wind partnership with Arcadia Power, a national clean energy provider.


(Source: The Forecastle Foundation)

This year, Forecastle partnered with Sierra Nevada Brewing Company to create Chantey Session IPA, a collaboration brew sold on draft at the festival, as well as locations around Louisville.

A portion of each sale will benefit the Foundation’s efforts to protect Louisville’s Floyds Fork watershed – one of the last remaining natural stream ecosystems in Jefferson County.

Board members and volunteers with the Forecastle Foundation, the nonprofit described as the activist arm of the music festival, work year-round to protect and connect the world’s “natural awesome.”


The Forecastle Foundation works to protect the world’s natural awesome. (Source: The Forecastle Foundation)


“We’re doing things around the clock,” Forecastle Foundation Chair Lauren Hendricks said.

And given the Forecastle Festival’s setting – just at the edge of Waterfront Park in downtown Louisville – it’s fitting that water is Foundation’s focus.

“Water is the most important resource on this earth,” Hendricks said. “Waterways connect all of us.”

Launched in 2010, eight years after the first festival, the Foundation has donated a total of over $400,000 to local and global conservation projects over the past seven years.

A huge chunk of those donations poured in during 2017, when the group’s contributions to philanthropic partners totaled $131,750.


The Forecastle Foundation’s booth at Forecastle. (Source: Forecastle Foundation)


The Forecastle Foundation makes an impact by using funds raised to support and partner with like-minded organizations.

“We tend to focus on land acquisition and waterways protection,” Hendricks said.

One example is the Kentucky Natural Lands Trust, a statewide organization that works to protect and restore Kentucky’s remaining wildlands.

Another is the Nature Conservancy, the world’s leading conservation organization, which works to establish local groups that can “protect land and water in order to help create a world where diversity of life thrives.”


One focus of the Forecastle Foundation is the Floyds Fork watershed – one of the last remaining natural stream ecosystems in Jefferson County. (Source: Forecastle Foundation)


Since inception, the Foundation has helped preserve and protect more than 138,000 acres of land and waterways.

To get involved with the Forecastle Foundation, you can volunteer or donate here, or check out ways to ‘sip ‘n support’ the foundation here.



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