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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, September 23 - An Autumn Bird Walk on the Chessie Trail, 8:00 a.m. meet at the Mill Creek entrance to the Trail. Sponsored by Friends of the Chessie Trail, the walk will be guided by Wendy Richards of the Rockbridge Bird Club. Birders of all levels of interest and expertise are welcome. Wear comfortable shoes; bring water and binoculars if desired. The Mill Creek entrance is ½ mile on Old Buena Vista Road from the traffic light on Veterans Bridge in Lexington. For more information, email chessietrail@gmail.com  or call 540-461-0419 or 856-912-5279. 

Monday, September 25 – Addressing Climate Change Presentation Series starts, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.  This series will be held monthly starting in September, and will be located at the Community Center of Lylburn Downing Middle School, 300 Diamond Street, Lexington.  Sponsored by the environment committee of 50 Ways Rockbridge.  Each session will last 90 minutes, including time for discussion after the presentations.   For more information contact Eli Fishpaw at belifishpaw@rockbridge.net.   
The specific dates and topics follow:
This presentation will introduce the argument that we must begin any efforts of addressing climate change with an acceptance that excess emissions is the problem, and therefore, that all solutions must have a goal of limiting carbon emissions to less than the amount that can be sequestered out of the atmosphere.  Methods for calculating your carbon footprint will be presented.  The opportunities for renewableenergy and carbon capture technologies to achieve the emissions balance will be considered.
This presentation will weigh the pros and cons of various economic policies (e.g., cap and trade, fee and dividend, carbon taxes, and rationing) aimed at creating economic incentives for individuals and businesses to innovate reductions in emissions. 
November 27 - Session 3-- GEO ENGINEERING:  Emerging technical strategies for mitigating climate change.  This presentation will describe methods for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, as well as a technology aimed at reducing the earth’s temperature by reflecting sunlight away from the earth’s atmosphere.  Both the risks and benefits associated with these emerging technologies will be explored.
This presentation will describe methods for and benefits of pulling carbon out of the atmosphere and placing it back into the soil.  The concept of bio char as a method to re-carbonize the soil will be presented.

*Thursday, September 28 - RACC Watershed Committee Meeting, 5:00 p.m. at the RACC office meeting space, 2nd floor of the Wells Fargo Bank Building, 101 South Main Street, Lexington (enter the vestibule and go through the door to your right and up the stairs).  Anyone interested in Rockbridge County water issues is encouraged to attend. For more information contact Daphne Raz at fellowship57@gmail.com or 463-7156, or Sandra Stuart at 463-5663 or sws.watershed@gmail.com.

Thursday, September 28 - Lead Attorney Speaks on The Case Against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, 6:00 p.m. in the multi-purpose room at Hillel House, 204 West Washington Street, Lexington.  The W&L Environmental Studies Department hosts a presentation by Greg Buppert who is leading the Southern Environmental Law Center’s efforts to oppose the pipeline project.  Open to the public. 
Beginning at 5:00 p.m. there will be a reception in the Hillel House followed by the talk at 6:00 p.m.  We ask that those who want to attend the reception email EnvStudies@wlu.edu  for food counts or for more information.

Sunday, October 1 – Community Hike, 8:15 a.m. meet behind Hardees in Lexington with a view to carpooling and leaving at 8:30 a.m.  The hike details are: Devils Marbleyard Hike: Up Belfast Trail, past Devils Marbleyard, on to the Appalachian Trail north and down past Matts Creek Shelter to the Footbridge at Route 501. Roughly a 10 mile moderate hike.  Pleasedonot disseminate thisinformationwithout approvalfromthehikeorganizers. For more information please contact Natalie Shulkin atNatalie@RickAlfordTeam.com or 540-570-2000.

Tuesday, October 3 – Citizen’s Climate Lobby Meeting, 6:30 p.m. in Elrod Commons (room to be decided), W&L Campus.  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.

Saturday, October 7 – First Saturday Bird Walk at Boxerwood, meet at 8:00 a.m. in the parking lot at Boxerwood, 963 Ross Road, Lexington for an outing of about two hours, with Kerry Kilday.  If you have questions, or in case of doubtful weather, please call Kerry at (561) 389-9612.  Directions are at www.boxerwood.org.

Saturday, October 7 – Household Hazardous Waste & Electronics Collection Day, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon at the Rockbridge County Landfill, 231 Landfill Road, Buena Vista.  Hazardous waste material accepted: pesticides, herbicides, fuels, used oil, antifreeze, mercury, solvents, oil-based paints.  Also batteries with each end taped off and florescent bulbs.  No propane tanks of any size will be accepted.  Electronics accepted: any electronic device with a cord, computer equipment, cell phones, video games.  Everyone is asked to please remain in your vehicle and follow the attendants’ instructions.  Go to http://www.rockbridgecountyva.gov/515/Hazardous-Waste-Collection for directions to the landfill and for more information.  Or contact Tracy Shafer at 540-460-7331.

Saturday, October 7 – McCormick Farm Mill Day, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at McCormick Farm, 128 McCormick Farm Circle, Raphine.  The Virginia Tech Shenandoah Valley Agriculture Research and Extension Center at McCormick Farm will be hosting its 12th Annual Mill Day at the Memorial Grounds. This year marks the 186th Anniversary of the invention of the McCormick Reaper and the 208th birthday of its inventor Cyrus McCormick. This invention started the mechanical revolution in agriculture and forever changed production agriculture around the world.  The main attraction of the day is the operation of the McCormick Grist mill. Built in the late 1700’s, the mill has been fully restored to working order. In addition to the mill operation, there are many traditional craft vendors, music and food (provided by the Raphine Volunteer Fire Department. There will also be short tours to view and discuss the agricultural research being conducted at the Shenandoah Valley AREC. This is a free event.  For more information call 540-377-2255.

Saturday, October 7 – 6th Annual EvanRide Community Bicycle Ride, 10:00 a.m.  The 6th annual community bicycle ride and potluck lunch will take place at Palmer Community Center.  Riders of all levels are invited to gather in memory of Evan McNeil who died in a motorcycle accident.  The event is hosted by Evan’s family.  Cyclists are asked to arrive at Palmer Center by 9:30 a.m. to register for the 10, 20 or 30 mile ride.  “Bike Doctors” will be available for tire and brake checks.  The entry fee is a potluck contribution.  For more information go to Website: www.evanride.com Facebook:  “EvanRide”.

Saturday, October 21 – Nasty 9 Trail Run or 4 Mile Challenge, Do you like to run? Do you like the outdoors? Then come out for these inaugural runs at Brushy Hills and support two great local non-profits. Proceeds from this event, including race registration, benefit the Rockbridge Area Relief Association (RARA) and Friends of Brushy Hills. The event will also include a food drive for RARA.   Our two race distances, 9 miles and 4 miles, will challenge you and reward you with some of the finest single-track trails in the region. The courses will be well-marked and include several water stops. Come find out what mountain trail running is all about!   The entry fee includes a race t-shirt and beer ticket (over 21), and we will also have nice awards for all finishers and age group winners. Student discount available with valid student ID.  Learn more and register online at http://www.nasty9trailrun.org.   Also seeking VOLUNTEERS and SPONSORS! Contact organizer Peter Jetton pjetton@gmail.com  for details and to receive the discount codes.

SAVE THE DATE: November 12 - RACC Annual Meeting, 2:30 – 5:30 p.m. at the Vista Links Golf Club in Buena Vista.  Details to be announced.


September 22 – 23 – Virginia Environmental Assembly, at the Jepson Alumni Executive Center in Fredericksburg, VA.  Bringing together conservation leaders from across Virginia, the Environmental Assembly provides a forum for discussion on key environmental issues and an opportunity to strategize with like-minded individuals about the best ways to tackle threats to our natural environment.  This annual conference is hosted by Virginia Conservation Network, a partnership of over 100 environmental organizations working together to create a powerful, diverse, highly-coordinated conservation movement in the Commonwealth.  Register online at www.vcnva.org/assembly   or for questions contact admin@vcnva.org   or 804-644-0283.  FINAL REMINDER: Registration for Environmental Assembly closes Sunday, September 17.

September 29 – October 1 – Virginia Sierra Club Annual Gathering, This is the Sierra Club's once-a-year statewide get-together! This year we are celebrating our 125th Anniversary.  The weekend will include singing, dancing, hiking, swimming, fishing, and more!  Register today.  This special event will take place at Twin Lakes State Park.  To register:  https://vasierraclub.ticketspice.com/gathering.
As a new feature this year, our Gathering will include a seminar examining environmental justice in the Virginia climate movement. VCU professor and social justice activist Dr. Archana Pathak will lead us in a two hour workshop exploring how our social identity informs our work as activists. This introductory workshop will focus on framing environmental activism within the lens of social justice. Working to better understand how our language, actions and belief systems can unintentionally impact the mission of our work, this workshop focuses on privilege, how our identities inform our realities and ways in which we can hold ourselves accountable to ourselves and our communities.
This year's Gathering also takes place in a historically significant area of Virginia, an element that will be explored by our speakers and in activities. The two lake parks operated as racially segregated parks until the early 1960s. In 1976, the parks merged, and the site was renamed Twin Lakes State Park in 1986.  Prince Edward County was also home to one of the plaintiffs in a civil rights case that was incorporated into the Brown vs. Board of Education case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
There is a lot to explore with the Sierra Club at our Gathering this year. Register today! Cabins, camping, and day passes are available.

October 12 & 13 - 2017 Mid-Atlantic Water Resources Conference, at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV.  Theme: “Water Research: Building Knowledge and Innovative Solutions” 
The conference will focus on current water research efforts in the Mid-Atlantic region.  The conference agenda is available online here.  Each conference participant will have the opportunity to learn from keynote speakers, directors of the Mid-Atlantic Water Research Institutes on addressing water issues through research, your choice from 55 oral presentations, and 17 poster presenters.  Concurrent session topics include watershed management, storm water, modeling and forecasting, water monitoring and data management, groundwater, water-energy nexus, and aquatic life resources.  Numerous networking breaks will be provided. Registration covers full access to conference sessions, networking reception, and poster session as well as conference meals and breaks.  Special rates are available for students.  Register hereRegistration closes September 25, 2017
For more information, see the conference website at http://midatlanticwrc.org/.   If you have additional questions, please contact Jane Walker at janewalk@vt.edu  (540-231-4159) or Andrew Stacy at wvwaterconference@mail.wvu.edu (304-293-7085).

Saturday, October 14 - 2017 Virginia Solar Congress, 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the ISAT-CS Building, James Madison University, 701 Carrier Drive, Harrisonburg, VA.  Sponsored by VASun (for more information go to www.VASUN.org )  Topics include Solar 101 Information Session to learn the basics of how solar works, Growing Solar in Your Community with solar homeowners giving their experiences and Electric Vehicles and Solar.  Breakfast refreshments and lunch will be served.  For more information contact Aaron Sutch at
solarteam@vasun.org. Click here to RSVP »

Friday, October 27 – Garden Club of VA 59th Annual Conservation Forum “Fracking in Virginia: From All Perspectives”, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at The Paramount Theater, 215 East Main Street, Charlottesville.  The Conservation and Beautification Committee of the Garden Club of Virginia presents this year’s Conservation Forum on the pros and cons of fracking in Virginia.  $30 per person (includes continental breakfast).  Student admission is free.  For more information go to communications@gcvirginia.org  or
call Ann Heller at 804-643-4137. Register.


Wednesdays - Lexington Farmers Market, 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in McCrums parking lot behind the Southern Inn. For more information contact Mitch Wapner at mitch@paradoxfarm.org.

Fridays – Glasgow Farmers Market, 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. located at 10th and Kanawha Streets. This is a community run market for locally produced vegetables, fruits and meats. For more information call 540-817-3163 or 540-258-2246.

Saturdays – Rockbridge County Farmers Market, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Virginia Horse Center, Route 39 West, Lexington. The market goes until October 28. For more information email farmersmarket@horsecenter.org.

Little Hat Creek Farm Bread & Vegetable CSA (community supported agriculture) - Eat like a farmer! Every Wednesday from June through October, get hand-picked ecologically-grown vegetables and a loaf of our wood-fired sourdough bread for your family. Lexington customers can pick up their share at the Wednesday Lexington Farmers Market. Sign up now at www.littlehatcreek.com/csa. For more information                   call 434-277-9304 or email littlehatcreek@gmail.com.


Virginians Can Begin Ordering Tree Seedlings October 2nd, Virginia’s tree seedling store opens Monday, Oct. 2nd, at 10:00 a.m.  In addition to Loblolly pine seedlings, Virginia Department of Forestry nurseries offer 46 other species of tree seedlings for sale to Virginia landowners.  These other species include dogwood, apple, bald cypress, maples, white pine and 10 species of oaks.  We also have several specialty seedling packs that are designed for specific uses, such as riparian buffer establishment, wildlife habitat enhancement and quail management.  The newest seedling pack, called the “pollinator pack,” will provide a good mix of tree species that are known for producing an abundance of food for our native pollinators.
The seedling catalog can be viewed prior to the store opening and can be found at www.buyvatrees.com.  Payment must be made at the time of purchase.  If placing an order by phone or online, a credit card is the only accepted method of payment.  Orders may be placed online at buyvatrees.com or by calling the Augusta Forestry Center at 540-363-7000.

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 swingset, 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.

House Mountain Trial Postponed – The trial originally scheduled for late July on the Virginia Outdoors Foundation’s (VOF’s) cancellation of the Agreements establishing the House Mountain Preserve, has been postponed at VOF’s request and over RACC’s objection until December 6 – 7, 2017.

Through Friday, October 13 - DEQ Public Comment Period on the Pipeline Erosion and Sediment Control and Storm water Management Plan Review.  These plans are separate from the 401 Water Quality Certifications and offer another mechanism for the state to evaluate and establish requirements for the ACP and MVP pipelines. These comments should be about the site-specific standards posted at the DEQ website, as well as the plans for individual slopes and waterways posted at the Dominion "DEQ filings" website (see the "spreads" for maps of the route and planned erosion and sedimentation control measures). Please go to the RACC website at http://rockbridgeconservation.org/pipeline.php for more information. Participation matters and helps provide support for requiring and enforcing mitigation measures! To help with RACC’s efforts, please contact the RACC office, or RACC lead, David Harbor, at   david.harbor@gmail.co.

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.”