City of Asheville Public Works hosts Carolina Day students

The City of Asheville’s Public Works Department hosted a visiting class of pre-kindergarten students from Carolina Day School at its South Charlotte Street Facility Feb. 15, showing the children and some parents around the big trucks and equipment the department uses.

Teacher Cathy Walters says that the field trip is part of the school’s curriculum focusing on the seasons of the year, and the children get to learn about how Public Works crews salt and plow the streets during winter weather storms. “They’ve been very excited,” she said.

The visit is an annual tradition, and the department has been hosting the groups for some time.

“We’ve been doing this for years,” says Streets and Engineering Manager Greg Shuler. “The kids really love this stuff.”

The tour isn’t limited to snow and ice removal. The children get to learn about equipment that keeps the city’s storm drains clear, the trucks that pick up trash every week, and see the tall bucket truck city arborist Mark Foster uses to trim trees.

The Public Works Department takes on projects throughout the City of Asheville such as sidewalk construction and roadway improvements, maintains the city’s fleet of vehicles and operates stormwater and sanitation services.

But Walters says the big finale is the gigantic pile of salt and sand Public Works keeps on hand in the shed for winter weather. It’s such a big deal, the Carolina Day School children even sang a song written just for the occasion, which ends in a refrain about the Public Works crews who drive salt-spreading trucks when snow and ice threaten roads:

“Salt and sand go out and get spread about
City workers spring into action
Salt melts the snow and helps us go
By giving wheels some traction.”

The City of Asheville Public Works Department is pleased to accommodate schools and groups interested in visiting its facility. Anyone who would like to arrange a field trip can contact Greg Shuler at (828) 271-6146 or