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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.

ROCKBRIDGE AREA EVENTS

Tuesday, January 16 – Citizens’ Climate Lobby Meeting, 6:30 p.m. in W&L Commons Building, Room 116.  This is a community group and everyone is welcome to attend.  For those interested in learning more about our organization go to www.citizensclimatelobby.org  or email lexington.va@citizensclimatelobby.org.   For more information about the meeting email Tessa Horan at horant18@mail.wlu.edu.    Come on out and help us plan our outreach and advocacy efforts for a safer climate and better world!
Saturday, January 20 – BoxerWorld Concert, 6:00 p.m. at Salerno’s, 115 South Jefferson Street, Lexington.  This is the first of three concerts with proceeds to benefit Boxerwood Nature Center and Woodland Garden.   The other two concert dates will be Saturdays, February 10 and March 17, same time and place.   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.

Monday, January 22 – Friends of the Chessie Trail (FOCT) Annual Meeting and Coffeehouse, 7:00 p.m. in the Piovano Room, Rockbridge Regional Library, Lexington.  The January coffeehouse has been a great way to help kick off the FOCT year ahead, so save the date!   Plan to come enjoy hot chocolate/tea/coffee and desserts and a chance to chat with friends. We'll have a brief business meeting during which we'll elect board members and officers, hear highlights of the past year, and get a financial update. Following this we’ll hear a bit about our new Trail counters, which are measuring Trail use at three key spots. Board member, cyclist and Trail counter extraordinaire Paul Low will report on the counters and offer a quick “virtual bike tour” with tips on Trail use and bike etiquette.   Should you wish to become an FOCT member for 2018, we will have membership forms available at this meeting. You may also join and find more information on our website: www.friendsofthechessietrail.org.  Contact us at chessietrail@gmail.com or call 461-0419.  Come join us on January 22 to munch, sip, and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 23 – 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 (*). 

  • Tuesday, January 23, 7:00 pm: Film “Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time”, presented by Genevieve Goss, Upper James Program Manager for the Valley Conservation Council.
  • Tuesday, February 6, 7 pm: “Present Day Issues Plaguing Native Americans”, presented by Victoria Ferguson, manager of the Monacan Exhibit at Natural Bridge State Park.
  • Tuesday, March 13, 7:00 pm: Film “Murder Hole Cave”, presented by author and owner of Murder Hole Cave, Marion McConnell.
  • 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.

Thursday, January 25 – Presentation by the Steel Interstate Coalition, 4:30 p.m. in Kendal Hall 160 Kendal Drive, Lexington. Most of us are painfully aware of the negative effects of the heavy truck traffic on I-81 and wish there were ways to improve the situation. Several years ago there was a proposal to widen I-81 to 4 lanes each way throughout all of Virginia to cope with this. But there was also an innovative, safer, less costly, and more quickly implemented alternative proposed that involved an interesting mix of rail and truck technologies. The group behind this, The Steel Interstate Coalition, has grown to have a national presence.  Coalition member Michael Testerman from Richmond will share the details, history and future prospects and challenges of this initiative. Come to this presentation and learn more.  Free and open to the public.  Co-sponsored by Kendal's Sustainability Committee and RACC, this presentation promises to be both informative and engaging.  For more information call 461-8121 or email tedburrva@gmail.com.

EVENTS BEYOND ROCKBRIDGE (BUT NOT TOO FAR):

Monday, January 22 – Conservation Lobby Day, 7:30 a.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 815 East Grace Street, Richmond.  Virginia Conservation Network organizes Conservation Lobby Day each year to ensure a strong conservation voice is heard early in the legislative session. Volunteer advocates are invited to join professional staff of Network Partners as we meet with state legislators and encourage them to support environmental policy advancements. Tickets are $25 with student discount available.  For more information contact Sheri Wood at admin@vcnva.org.  To register go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/conservation-lobby-day-tickets-41053844153.

January 22-24 - 19th annual Virginia Biological Farming Conference, at the Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, VA. This is Virginia’s premier gathering of organic farmers, gardeners and supporters.  There will be practical learning and insights from over 30 speakers, an exhibit hall packed with useful tools and services, delicious locally sourced meals, and the very best in networking – all at a luxurious and historic resort.  Visit www.vabf.org for more information on preconference workshops, conference sessions, exhibiting in the tradeshow, and online registration.  For more information contact coordinator@vabf.org or registrar@vabf.org.

Friday, March 16 – 7th Annual Shenandoah Valley Plant Symposium “A Gardener’s Palette”, 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. at the Best Western Inn & Conference Center, 109 Apple Tree Lane, Waynesboro.  Sponsored by the Waynesboro Parks and Recreation Department. Join us as we present “A Gardener's Palette”.  Dip your brush in a variety of topics offering something for everyone from garden hobbyist to experienced landscape architect. In the end, we'll have a canvas filled with colors and perspectives to consider and put in practice.  Proceeds from the event support our horticulture department's Bloom Program.  Regular Registration is $90 per person.  Early Registration (before January 15) is $80 per person; Late Registration (after February 26) is $100 per person.  For more information contact Parks and Recreation at 540-942-6735 or email events@ci.waynesboro.va.us.   To learn more about the conference go to
http://www.waynesboro.va.us/971/Shenandoah-Valley-Plant-Symposium-2018.

ONGOING:
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.

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND FYI:

Virginia Master Naturalists 2018 Training Registration Now Open: The Virginia Master Naturalist Alleghany Highlands chapter (which includes members of the former Rockbridge chapter) is now accepting applications for the 2018 Basic Training course. Classes will be hosted Thursdays from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College in Clifton Forge, Virginia from February 22nd through May 24th. Two Saturday field trips are also required. Additional information on the program is at www.virginiamasternaturalist.org/ (on the Chapter Tab select Alleghany Highlands) or from Christine Hodges at (540) 862-0369.

Rockbridge Area Master Gardener 2018 Training Registration Now Open:  For anyone interested in becoming part of RAMGA, the 2018 class will begin in January with graduation in June.  The course is available as a computer, self-paced study course accessed via a flash drive.  This new learning model lets participants complete most course work at home.  In addition to the self-paced course, students will participate in labs which are interactive learning experiences. 
As a public service to the Rockbridge area, master gardeners assist the Virginia Cooperative Extension agents in educating and informing the public.  Prior to fully qualifying, each student must complete 50 volunteer hours within a year of graduation.  The cost of the class is $135.  More information is available by calling the Extension Office at 463-4734 or go to www.mgclass.org.

Petition for Clean Water:  A student that I, Sam Stoner, have worked with through the Office of Sustainability at Mary Baldwin University has been working on an international peace and conflict resolution project to protect clean water in the Staunton area. Her name is Jessa and she is extremely committed to the environment and highly motivated to create change. She has helped create a petition to be sent to Governor-elect Ralph Northam, asking to have the waters surrounding the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline to be properly tested and certified. Please consider signing this petition and giving her the support for all of her hard work and dedication to bringing good to the community. Again, here is the link to sign your name and feel free to pass this information on to anyone you think may be interested.  For more information contact Sam Stoner, Sustainability Coordinator, Mary Baldwin University at 540-887-7207.

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.

Take Action on Climate in Virginia Petition Drive - The Virginia Conservation Network (VCN), a coalition of conservation groups in Virginia, is seeking signatures for a petition to Governor McAuliffe to take the lead on climate change in Virginia.  According to VCN, “Last week, President Trump signed a broad sweeping Executive Order attempting to cancel the U.S. Climate Action Plan, dismantle the Clean Power Plan, and reverse significant policies on coal mining natural on public lands. These latest environmental attacks pose a significant threat to our public health and safety. Blocking the Clean Power Plan will cause 3,600 additional premature deaths, 90,000 more asthma attacks in children, and 300,000 more missed work and school days by 2030. Fortunately, Virginia has the authority to address climate on its own. Governor McAuliffe can start the process to reduce carbon pollution from power plants and protect communities across the Commonwealth. We can’t wait on Washington. Sign the petition at http://www.cleanpowerva.org/ to ask Governor McAuliffe to reduce carbon pollution by 30% by 2030.”

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.”