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Because many of these announcements are posted well in advance of the event, please consult the contact person before attending to confirm details.  Please also check the EcoEvents Calendar for additional details, other items, and updates.


Saturday, March 17– Winter Speaker Series at Natural Bridge State Park, at Natural Bridge State Park Visitor’s Center.  Presentations will take place in the Interactive Classroom in the Visitor Center unless otherwise noted (*).  After the talk at 1:00 p.m. enjoy free admission to the Park, giving everyone a chance to explore the Monacan Indian Living History exhibit, along with the springtime growth and geological marvels of the Natural Bridge, itself.

  • Saturday, March 17, 1:00 pm: “Bridging History and Nature: The Forests, Farms, Families, and Flags of Rockbridge County”, presented by Eric Wilson, Executive Director of the Rockbridge Historical Society.
  • Saturday, March 24, 2:00 pm: “Performance: Alphornist Monica Hambrick Under the Bridge”, presented by Monica Hambrick, alphornist and music educator.  *Location: meet on Cedar Creek Trail, under the Bridge. 

For more information call 800-933-7275 or go to www.virginiastateparks.gov.

Saturday, March 17 – BoxerWorld Concert, 6:00 p.m. at Salerno’s, 115 South Jefferson Street, Lexington.  The concert’s proceeds will benefit Boxerwood Nature Center and Woodland Garden.   Among the musical acts slated to perform are Aquatic Lasso, Disposed Kings, Diseased Earth, From the Wild, BlueNX, Debra Guy and Ryan Songbird.  Suggested donation is $8.00.

March 17 – March 25 - 24th Annual Rockbridge Area Community Clean-up, Again this year is a week-long window of opportunity to complete clean-up projects from March 17 through March 25.   This will give groups more flexibility in scheduling and allow for alternate dates in case of bad weather. The clean-up is a volunteer citizen effort to pick up trash along roadsides and in other public areas to beautify the county.  Area residents are being encouraged to gather a group and select a road, trail or river bank to clean up during this year’s clean-up week.  There are two ways to sign up: #1. Mail-in signup forms, bags and vests will be available at the Rockbridge Regional Library and its in-county branches, at the county recycling collection centers and the Office of Community Development located in the Rockbridge County Administration Building starting on or about March 5.  #2. Visit www.rockbridgeconservation.org  and click the green Community Clean-Up button on the main page.  There residents will find an electronic signup form and a map showing roads already selected.  Participants may choose the roads or locations that they wish to clean and can also choose alternate dates and times if needed.  For more information call the RACC office at 463-2330 or go to the RACC website www.rockbridgeconservation.org.

Tuesday, March 20 – Program: Starting Seeds Indoors, 6:00 p.m. in Dunlap Auditorium at Lexington Presbyterian Church, 120 South Main Street, Lexington.  Area residents are invited to celebrate the first day of spring with a gardening talk by Faith Vosburgh, landscape designer and master gardener.  She will discuss how starting seeds indoors allows gardeners to develop healthy seedlings that will be ready to transplant into the garden when the threat of frost has passed.  Learn what to choose for location, timelines for planning and planting, the kind of soil to use, soil temperature and watering for success.  For more information email fvosburgh@gmail.com.

Wednesday, March 21 - RACC Forums which are in support of the city's revisioning of the Comprehensive Plan and are intended to help the community get involved in the process.  The first session will be from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at Lylburn Downing Middle School.

  • Wednesday, March 21 – “Lexington: Boom or Bonsai” with Arthur Bartenstein and others
  • Tuesday, April 24 – topic to be announced
  • Tuesday, May 22 – topic to be announced

The first session features Arthur Bartenstein speaking on “Lexington: Boom or Bonsai.” Since its start, Lexington’s growth has been severely limited by natural and/or either outside-world or self-imposed, manmade conditions - in effect a bonsai town.  There have always been those eager for Lexington to boom and those eager to remain a quiet sanctuary – a constant through time.  The talk addresses this dichotomy.
Arthur’s account will be followed by Lee Merrill highlighting his insights from long familiarity with the city.  In the second hour, Tom Camden will moderate a panel with Rusty Ford, Stephanie Wilkinson, Lee Merrill and Leslie Straughn.  We will solicit questions from the audience in advance and in the moment.   The last part of the forum will be devoted to addressing those questions.  Coffee and cookies will be provided.  A workable plan relies on public participation.  The stronger the attendance, the better for Lexington!  For more information contact the RACC office at 463-2330 or racc@rockbridge.net.  

Thursday, March 22 – Rockbridge Area Forestry and Wildlife Association Meeting, 6:00 p.m. social hour followed by the dinner at 7:00 p.m. to be held at the South River Volunteer Fire Department in Fairfield.  Dr. Cathryn Harbor will speak to the group about Lyme disease.  Reservations for the dinner must be called in by March 16 to 261-3803 or 540-290-0082.  Cost is $11.00.  Anyone is welcome to attend the dinner and talk.  For more information call the phone numbers listed above.

Friday, March 23 – Farm Talk, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Maury River Middle Scholl, 600 Waddell Street, Lexington.  Join a conversation about the future of farming and young farmers in Rockbridge County.  Sponsored by the County Unity Committee of 50 Ways Rockbridge.  Refreshments provided.  Open to the public.  For information, call 540-291-2463.

Saturday, March 24 – Native Plant Society Spring Wildflower Walk Schedule, 9:30 a.m. gather at designated site to start walking at 10:00 a.m. The walks will be a minimum of two hours.  Folks are welcome to return to their cars whenever they need to.  Please dress for the weather that day (we’ll go unless it is pouring rain) and bring water and a snack for yourself.   For more information contact Peggy at cobbking@rockbridge.net or Jan at janhuntersmith@gmail.com or 540-463-1942.  Schedule:

  • Chessie Trail on March 24 and April 28 -- Meet at the Lexington end. To reach the trail from Lexington, take Route 11 North to Old Buena Vista Road (just after the Maury River Bridge), turn right and go 1/2 mile.  Parking is along the road on both sides.  
  • W&L/VMI cross-country trails on March 31 and May 5 – Meet at West Denny Circle, which is west of Lexington.  Park at the lot near the indoor tennis court.
  • Brushy Hills on April 14 and May 12 -- To reach Brushy Hills from Lexington, drive to the end of Ross Road (2.3 miles from city limits) and turn right on Union Run Road.  Continue 0.6 miles to the Brushy Hills Trails sign and Town Spring on the right, with parking lot opposite.  

Sunday, March 25 – Community Hike (rescheduled from February 25), 8:15 a.m. we will meet at the large parking lot behind Hardees, in Lexington with a view to carpooling and leaving by 8:30 a.m. There is very limited parking at the trail head, so carpooling will be very important!  Our hike will take us to explore our very own House Mountains! To do both Little and Big House peaks, it looks to be about 8.75 miles. The hike from the parking to the Saddle is fairly moderate, but both peaks are fairly steep. Nice views and a chance to meet the resident goat!  Here is a link for some details: https://virginiatrailguide.com/2014/07/26/house-mountain-2/Pleasedonot disseminate thisinformationwithout approvalfromthehikeorganizers. For more information please contact Natalie Shulkin atNatalie@RickAlfordTeam.com or 540-570-2000.

Tuesday – Thursday, April 3-5 – VMI’s 29th Annual Environment Virginia Symposium, at the VMI Center for Leadership and Ethics.  Governor Ralph Northam will be the opening speaker on Wednesday, April 4 at 8:45 a.m.  The conference includes more that forty breakout sessions on topics including restoring the Chesapeake Bay, solar and wind energy, air permitting and regulation, land conservation, recycling and waste management, and improving the state of the James River.  Registration is now open.  To register or to find more information go to www.Conferences.vmi.edu/eva

Saturday, April 14 – Friends of the Chessie Trail (FOCT) bicycling event, 9:00 a.m. Bring the family and bike the Chessie Trail!  At 9:00 a.m., we will meet at the parking area along Old Buena Vista Road. We will have snacks and water available at South River and at the Buena Vista end of the trail. You can bike a portion of the trail, to the BV end (about 7 miles), or do a whole round trip (about 14 miles). The purpose of the event is to encourage biking along the trail and celebrate replacement of the last gate near the BV end. Come join us on this fun outing for the whole family. Registration for this free event is not required but is appreciated.  Contact runthechessie@gmail.com to register or for more details.


Saturday & Sunday, March 24 & 25 - Citizens’ Climate Lobby Southeast Regional Conference, at The Collider, 1 Haywood Street, Ashville, NC.   Calling all climate advocates across the Southeast and beyond to converge in Asheville for the first greater Southeast Regional Conference! We will have a weekend full of education, skill-building and strategy and you will leave encouraged and inspired to advance federal climate legislation.  The theme for the conference is “Walk a mile in their shoes.”   Early Bird Registration for $55 is open through March 11th and Standard Registration for $75 is open until March 21st.   For more details and to register for the event click here. Please email donald.addu@citizensclimate.org  with any questions.

Thursday, April 19 – Blue Ridge PRISM Spring Quarterly Meeting, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, 1500 Remount Road, Front Royal, VA.  The Blue Ridge PRISM's (Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management) April 19 Quarterly Meeting, “Invasive Plant Control and Restoration: What Do I Do Next?” will focus on natural lands restoration following invasive plant treatment.  Many of us have wondered “What?”, if anything, should I do next to continue or improve the health of my land?  In focused presentations followed by extensive audience Q&A, two highly experienced natural lands managers will address:

  • Realistic goals for restoration efforts.
  • Planning methodologies for achieving chosen goals.
  • Examples of functional and dysfunctional restoration projects.
  • Should I plant something or leave it alone?
  • If I plant something, what should be my guide?

Our quarterly meeting is free and open to the public; registration is required for SCBI events. Please register here.  For more information info@blueridgeprism.org>

April 23 – 25 – VaULT Land Conservation and Greenways Conference, at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center.  Since 2007, Virginia’s United Land Trusts (VaULT) has organized this annual conference to assist land-conservation professionals and volunteers in the important work of saving Virginia’s extraordinary natural heritage and open spaces.  We are thrilled to announce Governor Northam will be speaking at the VaULT conference! Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring and Secretary of Natural Resources Matt Strickler will join the Governor.  This year, we will continue to broaden the conversations about community and connection.  Join us for field trips, keynote speakers, workshops and opportunities for networking.  For more information contact eshepard@vaunitedandtrusts.org or 540-529-1595 or go to the website www.vaunitedandtrusts.org.   Hotel and Conference Registration is now LIVE:  Conference registration is $175.  Hotel and conference registration rates go up after March 15 so sign up now.

Wednesdays - Lexington Farmers Market, winter location, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in Dunlap Auditorium.  Dunlap Auditorium is located in Murray Hall adjacent to Lexington Presbyterian Church and is best entered in the rear of the building off Randolph Street.  Parking is available at the Rockbridge County Courthouse parking garage and the parking lot behind the county administration building.  For more information contact Mitch Wapner at mitch@paradoxfarm.org.


Southern Environmental Law Center’s video stories “In The Path”, SELC is launching a site that they hope will bring more attention to the fight to help stop the AC Pipeline.  Recently they have been documenting the profound human costs of building the ACP and sharing videos of people in the path of this pipeline. Today, with the launch of this video, their stories are presented in a storytelling narrative that SELC hopes will bring together all the issues and problems of this pipeline and put a human face on this threat.
            Each story has a pivotal moment of recognition that may well be familiar to you. For the Harrises, it was when Dominion told them they would be bulldozing just behind their kids swing set, despite the parents’ objections. For Hazel Palmer, it was when she realized Dominion could sue her for not letting them survey her property, but she couldn’t sue them for taking land she wasn’t interested in giving up.
SELC asks that everyone please view and share InThePath.org so that people can learn more about the Harrises, the Palmers, and other local families fighting to protect their lives and livelihoods from the ACP.
For more information contact Claudine Ebeid McElwain, Program Communications Manager, Southern Environmental Law Center at 434-977-4090 or go to www.SouthernEnvironment.org.

Recycling Containers Available through RACC RACC and the City of Lexington recently received a Keep Virginia Beautiful grant of $1000 to buy 15 portable Clearstream containers designed for recycling trash at public events. The special program, called 30 Grants in 30 Days”, was designed to address issues related to litter prevention, recycling, waste reduction, beautification and education of the public. The grants this year were sponsored by Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation and MeadWestvaco. RACC will facilitate this loan program and track the quantity of recyclables collected. Call RACC at 463- 2330 to reserve containers for your event.

“Please note that events listed on this calendar are sponsored by a variety of organizations, and are provided as a service to members of RACC and the community.  Listing on this calendar does not imply connection with or endorsement by RACC.  If your organization has a conservation-related event that you would like to submit for inclusion on the calendar, please send the announcement by e-mail, formatted as the examples in this calendar, to: Barbara Walsh at racc@rockbridge.net.  Please also include in the announcement: the name of the sponsoring organization, contact person, and phone number and e-mail address for further information, along with the words “Calendar Request” in the subject line of the e-mail.”