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Frequently Asked Questions

30th Annual Spring Conference // February 24-26, 2023

What is the Spring Conference and where is it held?

The Spring Conference is a one-of-a-kind event that offers regionally specific workshops on organic growing and sustainable living. Our mission is to provide down-to-earth, practical advice while remaining affordable and accessible to anyone who wants to participate. For 30 years, the Spring Conference has brought together environmentally minded folks from 18 states and Canada.

We’re thrilled to be hosting the 30th Annual Spring Conference at Mars Hill University, 100 Athletic Street, Mars Hill, NC 28754. The venue is just 20 minutes north of downtown Asheville, with easy access off of Exit 11 from 26. Benefits of this campus include:
  • FREE and easy parking
  • Larger classroom sizes
  • More centralized indoor location for exhibitors and registration
  • More food vendor options
  • And best of all, MORE AFFORDABLE (which as a non-profit really helps keep our expenses down and registration costs low.)

We look forward to see you all at Mars Hill University. For extended details and a campus map, including building locations and parking lots, click here.

Click here for a Google Maps link to Mars Hill University. 

 

How do I get to the venue and where do I park?

We’re thrilled to be hosting the 30th Annual Spring Conference at Mars Hill University, 100 Athletic Street, Mars Hill, NC 28754. The venue is just 20 minutes north of downtown Asheville, with easy access off of Exit 11 from 26. Click here for a Google Maps link to Mars Hill University. 
 
From Asheville – Approximately 25 min.
  • Take Highway 19-23 (Future Interstate 26) north approximately 18 miles to Mars Hill.
  • Take Exit 11 and turn left off the on-ramp onto NC Hwy 213/Carl Eller Road.
  • Travel approximately 1 mile onto the campus of Mars Hill University.

From Johnson City – Approximately 45 min.

  • Take Interstate 26 south approximately 42 miles to Mars Hill. (At the North Carolina line, Interstate 26 becomes Hwy 19-23/Future I-26).
  • Take Exit 11 and turn left off the on-ramp onto NC Hwy 213/Carl Eller Road.
  • Travel approximately 1 mile onto the campus of Mars Hill University.

Parking at MHU

MHU has many parking areas which are spread out around the campus and include on-street options. Give yourself some extra time to navigate parking and walking to Chambers Gymnasium for check-in. Attendees may park anywhere in the immediate campus area except in lots otherwise marked as Reserved.

OGS staff and volunteers will be on site to help direct you to available parking in an easy, efficient way.  There are a number of (FREE!!) parking options on campus, but they are spread out, so we’re asking folks to be patient and leave time to navigate parking and walking to Chambers Gymnasium for registration.  Attendees may park anywhere in the immediate campus area except in lots otherwise marked as Private or for Conference Reserved spaces. There is on-street parking in downtown Mars Hill on Main Street, College Street, Athletic Street, and Bailey Street. Along with Hwy 213, these streets form the perimeter of the campus. (There is no on-street parking on Hwy 213.)

At the traffic light at Main Street and Hwy 213, you may turn right for on-street parking on Main Street or on to Bailey Street which is a left turn off of Main Street behind Day Hall. In addition to on-street parking on Bailey Street, there is access to dormitory parking lots which may be used.

Or, you can continue through the light at Main Street and look for spots to the left behind the Wells Fargo building or the lot adjacent to Moore Auditorium. You can also turn right onto College Street (across from Wells Fargo) for on-street parking on College. Following College Street will take you back around to Main Street right in front of Day Hall.

Continuing further on Hwy 213 after you pass College Street, there are lots to the left in a couple of more places. You can also turn right onto Athletic Street just past Ferguson Hall for more on-street parking. Athletic Street takes you back to Bailey Street from the opposite direction.

 

What is the COVID-19 policy for the 2023 Spring Conference?

COVID Gathering Precautions: We know we live in the time of COVID. To the best of your ability, we ask that you take precautions to protect yourself and other people attending this conference before, while traveling, and during the event. Here are some ways we encourage folks to take precautions:  

  1. Consider Testing yourself at home before departing, regardless of how you feel.

  2. Proactively monitor yourself and stay home if you are experiencing any symptoms associated with COVID-19.

  3. Wear a mask while traveling in public places, like airports and airplanes. 

  4. Be an ally and respect your peers and teachers who wear masks. 

  5. Be up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines. 

 

 

 

As of March 3rd, Mars Hill University, where the Spring Conference & Market will be held has updated their policy as follows: 

Mars Hill University has moved to a mask-optional status for all areas outside of instructional spaces. This means that masks will still be required in classrooms and labs, where we most frequently have high concentrations of individuals together for extended periods. 

In order to remain in compliance with our host site’s requirements for the Spring Conference & Market, we will be requiring masks in classroom settings, and strongly recommend that they be worn throughout other indoor spaces. We will have masks available at key locations throughout the conference. Class size limits will also be enforced. If a class is full when you arrive we ask you to find another class to attend for that period. 

While masks will not be required in all spaces, the requirement in classrooms will be particularly enforced for those classrooms where instructors have requested special precautions. If you are not prepared to wear a mask for short periods of time while in classes, please know that you will not be able to attend all classes.

COVID-19 Refund Policy

We are asking all attendees and speakers to exercise caution when attending our events. If you have had a known exposure to COVID-19, test positive, are feeling sick, or have symptoms associated with COVID-19, PLEASE STAY HOME. Please let us know as soon as possible that you were unable to attend due to feeling unwell. We can apply your payment to a future program or issue you a full refund if you submit a positive test within 3 days after the conference (on or by March 24th).

Can I register the day of the event?

Yes! There will be walk-in registrations available for the weekend conference, but NOT for the pre-conference workshops. The walk-in prices will be $160 for the full weekend, $90 for Saturday, and $85 for Sunday. 

Can you help me understand the class schedule?

We are hosting a full weekend of workshops on March 19 & 20 at Mars Hill University. There are 90-minute sessions, which are organized by track, and half-day workshops, which cost an additional $10 on top of your ticket purchase. Almost all workshops (except for 2) will be repeated on both weekend days, so that you have the opportunity to check ones out that you missed.

In the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Market, there will also be author talks and Q&As every hour on the hour!

There are also pre-conference workshops available for purchase. The pre-conference workshops will take place at various locations in Western North Carolina, OFF CAMPUS on Friday, March 18.

What accessibility accommodations are available for the Spring Conference?

We strive to create an inclusive, accessible space that enables all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage and learn fully at Spring Conference. Here are some accommodations we are able to offer this year:

  • Campus map with information about wheelchair accessible routes
  • Golf caddies to transport folks around campus – phone number will be available on campus
  • Lactation room
  • Reserved seats near the speaker (upon request)
  • Free registration for personal interpreter (upon request)
  • Childcare through Kid’s Program (available for purchase)

Please contact Avi Li avi@organicgrowersschool.org to request an accommodation or for inquiries about accessibility.

Can I register for just a class or two, and not the whole day?

We do not offer individual workshops for purchase, but you can purchase a singular Pre-Conference workshop. You can also purchase the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Market access (which includes access to Market, Bookstore, Healing Community Track workshops, and author talks) for $10.

Something’s come up. Can I get a refund?

Registration fees for all Organic Growers School events are non-refundable, unless OGS or MOTHER EARTH NEWS have to cancel the event.

I'm a member of the press. Where can I get a press release and press pass?

PRESS RELEASE

The press release for the 2022 Spring Conference & Market is available here

PRESS PASSES

We make a limited number of Spring Conference press passes available. For more information, please contact our Communications Director, René Foster, at rene@organicgrowersschool.org.

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