Sustainability Week 2013

CS 2013 Logo


VT Active Commute Celebration

Event Description: Virginia Tech is recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a “Bicycle Friendly University.” Do you walk, bike, or take the bus to work or school every day? If you do, please join us for the “Active Commute Celebration.” If you don’t, we want to invite you to visit with us. Enjoy a complimentary breakfast sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alternative Transportation Office. Bring your bike as we have a mechanic from one of the local bike shops on station who will tune up your bike for free! Speak with local representatives from Blacksburg Transit (BT), Megabus, Zimride, and Zipcar to learn about all of the alternative transportation options available on campus. Grab a campus bike map, a spoke card, and some BT giveaways at the information table.

Time: 8 am – 1 pm

Location: Virginia Tech Drillfield (across from Burruss Hall & War Memorial Gym)

Contact: Debby Freed,, 540-231-0248


Safe Homes are Sustainable: What You Don’t Know about Radon May Hurt You

Event Description: This session will introduce participants to the characteristics and risks of radon gas. The presenters will describe testing methods and strategies to mitigate radon, and a personal anecdote from a homeowner in Blacksburg will drive home the need for awareness and action.

Time: 10:10 – 11:40am

Location: Blacksburg Library

Contact: Elizabeth Grant,, 540-231-0609


Lunchtime Garden Walk & Talk – Sustainable Gardening at the Hahn Horticulture Garden

Event Description: Sustainable gardening practices can go beyond food production to include landscape plants and lawns. Join Dr. Holly Scoggins, Garden Director, and our garden staff for this walking tour. Learn about what we’re doing at the Hahn Garden to care for our campus garden while reducing our impact on the environment.

Time: 12 noon

Location: Hahn Pavilion, see map

Contact: Holly Scoggins,, 540-231-5783


Sustainability Celebration @ The Farmers Market

Event Description: Join the Town of Blacksburg, Sustainable Blacksburg, and Virginia Tech in celebrating sustainability! Representatives from each group and various other sustainability-related clubs, organizations, and departments will have booths across the street from the Farmers Market where they will be ready to chat with all interested parties about sustainability efforts on campus and throughout the Blacksburg community. As a special treat, the local band “Another Roadside Attraction” will be performing live at the Farmers Market.

Time 2 – 6 pm

Location: Directly across Draper Road from the Farmers Market, in front of the VT Media Building.

Contact: Denny Cochrane,, 540-231-5184

Exhibits Include

    • “Green Partnership” (Virginia Tech, the Town of Blacksburg, & Sustainable Blacksburg: Virginia Tech, the Town of Blacksburg, and the local citizens group “Sustainable Blacksburg” formed a green partnership in 2007 and introduced a program called “Sustainability Week.” Our goal was to promote sustainability awareness and education, and to provide practical applications for individual citizens and organizations. The program was extremely successful and contained more than 30 activities to include guest speakers, workshops, presentations, tours and fairs. It was the recipient of a Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award. This marks the 7th consecutive year. Please stop by and visit with representatives from the Virginia Tech Office of Energy and Sustainability, the Town of Blacksburg, and Sustainability Blacksburg to learn about their ongoing initiatives and opportunities you may want to participate in as together we work to advance sustainability in the Blacksburg Community.
    • Montgomery Regional Solid Waste Authority (MRSWA): “Protecting Tomorrow’s Environment Today.” This educational program and display is dedicated to helping our region flourish, and to promoting these ideas to businesses, schools and the general public. We are determined to make recycling and other environmental practices habitual. Contact: Teresa Sweeney,, 540-381-2820 ext. 304
    • Catawba Sustainability Center: The Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center (CSC) will have a display at the Blacksburg Farmers Market. CSC representatives will be on site to answer questions and discuss current and future projects and development. Contact: Josh Nease,, 540-553-2311
    • Composting 101: Examples of compost bins and barrels will be available for a hands-on demonstration. Information regarding the how-to-dos of composting will be on display, and Derry Hutt will be on hand to greet folks and answer questions. Contact: Derry Hutt,, 540 808-5680
    • Natural Awakenings Magazine – Virginia’s Blue Ridge Edition: NABlueRidge will provide visitors with cutting-edge information on natural health, nutrition, fitness, personal growth, green living, and creative expression. Visitors will also find resources for local products and services that support a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. Contact: Tracy Garland,, 540-384-1815
    • Environmental Coalition at Virginia Tech: The Environmental Coalition is a student led organization dedicated to promoting environmental sustainability at Virginia Tech as well as in our local, state, national, and global communities. See: Contact: Nevin Ounpuu-Adams,, 860-490-1958
    • Virginia Tech Dining Services’ Sustainable Dining Initiatives: Learn about our new reusable “To-Go” Container Program, the local food options on campus, and the Dining Services’ Sustainable Garden Project at Kentland Farm. On Friday, September 20 you will have the opportunity to visit Kentland Farm and tour our Sustainable Garden. Check it out! For directions see the event listing on September 20. Contact: Rial Tombes,, 540-231-1139
    • Stormwater Management Display: Children will thoroughly enjoy participating with this activity which includes an Enviroscape© demonstration and aquatic bugs as well as plenty of information about stormwater pollution prevention. The Town of Blacksburg and Virginia Tech representatives will be available to answer questions and discuss any concerns/ideas about your local waterways! Contact: Lauren Grimes,, 540-231-3716
    • Ytoss – A Student Program of the YMCA at Virginia Tech: Created in 2006, Ytoss strives to promote recycling culture at Virginia Tech and educate the public about the importance of reducing landfill waste. Student leaders plan Collection in May, Sale in August, and Awareness throughout the year. Ytoss Collection save thousands of pounds of gently used furnishings and textiles from the landfill annually. Proceeds from the sale fund the YMCA’s Student Programs, which serve individuals of all ages in the NRV and beyond. For more information, visit our Ytoss Student Leadership Team: Camryn Sorg, Katie Atkinson, Molly Oudekirk, Meredith Johnson, Corissa Tracy, and Evan Merkel., 540-231-3734.
    • Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team of Virginia Tech (HEVT): The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team of Virginia Tech (HEVT) is participating in the 2011–2014 EcoCAR 2: Plugging in to the Future Advanced Vehicle Competition Series sponsored by General Motors Corporation and the U.S. Department of Energy. The purpose of this competition is to re–engineer a stock vehicle into a more efficient vehicle while maintaining consumer acceptability. This year of the competition, HEVT will refine, test and optimize our designs in order to meet all of our Year 3 Goals. See: Joshua Beckner,, 540-206-5937
    • Oxfam at Virginia Tech: Oxfam America is an international, human-rights based organization that aims to right the wrongs of poverty and injustice through initiatives such as policy reform, sustainable development, and disaster relief. As VT’s campus chapter, Oxfam@vt works to educate community about social justice, fundraise and promote for Oxfam’s initiatives, and engage in the local food system. Contact: Claire Wiklund,, 540-200-5310


What’s going on at the VA Tech Catawba Sustainability Center?

Event Description: Join us for an informative presentation about The Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center – focusing on the past, present, and future of the facility. Come to learn about the Center and how you can get involved!

Time 7 – 8 pm

Location: Blacksburg Motor Car Building, 400 South Main Street, Large Conference Room.

Contact: Josh Nease,, 540-553-2311



TED Talk at the Lyric: Edible Landscapes

Event Description: Harvesting the Commons – an idea taking us BACK TO THE FUTURE on the path to sustainability! The Lyric Theatre will host a TED talk featuring Pam Warhurst talking about How We Can Eat Our Landscapes followed by a panel discussion with local experts in sustainability and the local foods movement. Join us at noon, Thursday, September 19 at The Lyric Theatre. Brown bags are welcome!

Time:Noon – 1 pm

Location: The Lyric Theatre, 135 College Avenue

Contact: Susan Mattingly,, 540-951-4771


Campus Tree Planting near the VT Hedge

Event Description: Rise and shine it’s tree plantin’ time!! The National Arbor Day Foundation selected Virginia Tech for “Tree Campus USA” status in 2008 (the inaugural year of this program) and provided funds for the planting of 100 native trees. Over the past 5 years the university has planted over 100 additional trees during “Celebrate Sustainability” in the fall, and “Earth Week” during the spring. Both of these events have directly contributed to the university receiving annual “Tree Campus USA” recertification. Please join faculty, staff, and students from across campus in planting a dozen native trees. We provide all the planting equipment.

Time: 2 – 4 pm

Location: See flyer for details.

Contact: Matt Gart,, 540-231-4186


Practical Photovoltaics

Event Description: This overview will provide an introduction to photovoltaic solar electric systems including grid-tie, grid-interactive, and off-grid. Discussion will include panels, mounting methods, inverters, maintenance, and evaluation factors when choosing components and a contractor to design and install your system. Bryan Walsh of Solar Connexion will lead this program at the YMCA where participants can see the ‘solar trailer’ that provides stand-alone power as well as the grid-tied Y Wind and Solar project. Pre-registration encouraged, but not required.

Time: 3:30 – 5 pm

Location: YMCA, 1000 North Main Street, Dance Room

Contact: Bryan Walsh,, 540-961-5120


Learn about Plug-in Vehicles from Experienced Owners!

Event Description: Drivers of electric and other plug-in vehicles will have their cars on display and will be available to discuss the joys of driving plug-ins. Others are invited to view and participate in the discussions.

Time: 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Location: The Harrell Street Parking Lot which is located in Blacksburg at the intersection of Harrell Street and Miller Street (adjacent to the main Blacksburg Library parking area).

Contact: Dave Roper,, 540-230-4787


Conserving Resources at Home

Event Description: Come join in on an informative community discussion of easy-to-access opportunities to conserve & maximize the resources we use in our home. Brief presentations will be given on the topics of home energy efficiency, home water conservation, recycling and permaculture, followed by a Q & A session and open discussion. Information will also available from other local sustainability focused organizations.

Time: 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Location: Blacksburg Library Community Room

Contact: Caroline Bennett,, 540-443-9966, ext. 28



Lavery Hall LEED “Silver” Celebration Ceremony

Event Description: Please join Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger and distinguished guests to celebrate the university’s fifth LEED certified construction project. The ceremony will feature remarks from senior university leaders, the unveiling of the LEED “Silver” plaque, and a tour of the facility. Lavery Hall is an administration and student affairs building which features general assignment classrooms, Services for Students with Disabilities, and Turner Place at Lavery Hall, recognized nationally as “Best New Dining Facility” by the National Association of College and University Food Services and “Best New Concept” by Food Management magazine. At the conclusion of the tour attendees will be invited to have a meal at their expense in one of the 8 main restaurant venues. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Blacksburg, Virginia has a total of seven LEED certified projects and Lavery Hall represents the fifth of six such projects on the Virginia Tech campus. View ceremony details.

Time: 9:30 – 11:30 am

Location: Lavery Hall is located in the Academic District on Old Turner Street between ICTAS-I and Randolph Hall, and across the street from McBryde Hall.

Contact: Denny Cochrane,, 540-231-5184


Tour of Solar House – Lumenhaus

Event Description: Virginia Tech’s Solar House won the international 2011 Solar Decathlon competition held in Madrid, Spain. The public is invited to meet with representatives from the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and to take a tour of the facility to learn of the many sustainability features it contains.

Time: 1 – 2 pm

Location: Lumenhaus is located behind Cowgill Hall (College of Architecture and Urban Studies) and faces Perry Street. It is located one block west of Lavery Hall.

Contact: Bob Schubert, Associate Dean for Research, College of Architecture and Urban Studies,, 540-231-5607


Tour of Dining Services Sustainable Garden at Kentland Farm

Event Description: Please Join us for a tour of Kentland Farm featuring the Dining Services Garden Project and some of Kentland’s apple orchards. We’ll have a hay ride starting at 1:30, and a cider press demonstration. Check out Kentland Farm where fruits and veggies are being produced by and for our community! Plan for a day on the farm; bring hats, water bottles, sunscreen, etc.

Directions to Kentland Farm:

  • Take Prices Fork Road going away from campus.
  • Continue for about 3 miles; make a right on McCoy Road.
  • Continue for about 3 miles; make a left on Whitethorne Road. This turn will come quickly at the bottom of a steep hill.
  • Take the first entrance to the farm on the right (just before the official entrance at the office building). This is the right turn BEFORE the bridge.
  • Follow the dirt/gravel road to the garden plots. Park near other cars underneath the shade trees.

Time: 1 – 4 pm

Location: Kentland Farms

Contact: Rial Tombes,, 540-231-1139



Glade Road Growing Farm Tour

Event Description: JP and Sally (farm managers) will take you around the farm and show you how they grow vegetables, pastured broilers, apple trees, and more. They will have time at the end for questions and answers and to show the apiary (where the honeybees live) to those who are interested. Aaron Grigsby will be making brick oven pizza with toppings from the farm. The tour itself will last about an hour but you are welcome to linger afterwards to ask more questions. We recommend that you wear comfortable shoes. Tour will be rain or shine.

Time: 2 – 3:30 pm

Location: 2351 Glade Road, Blacksburg. The farm is about 1.5 miles down Glade Road on the left, just after the turn for the Heritage Park and just before the sharp turn in Glade Road. Please be careful on the sharp turn at the entrance.

Contact: Sally Walker,


Small Efficient “Sufficient” Homes Tour

Event Description: A self-guided tour of homes in or near Blacksburg that are under 1000 square feet, and use space and resources creatively. These include:

Directions: From Glade Rd/University Blvd intersection at Kroger, take Glade 1/2 mile to Shadow Lake Rd. on right. Go 1/2 mile; look for the sign on left of curve for Sage Lane. Enter on Sage or Basil Lane, and park along those streets. Walk up the path to Ginger Lane, on your right.

    • The solar powered house Lumenhaus, focusing especially on its creative space-saving and energy-saving features. Bob Schubert, Associate Dean for Research, College of Architecture and Urban Studies, will host tours from 3 to 5 pm (

Directions: Located at Cowgill Hall at 1325 Perry Street on the Virginia Tech campus. Sunday parking is across the street in the big lot or to the right in the Derring lot.

    • The free-standing MEDCottage, where a senior relative can live with some independence, but have state-of-the-art technology for monitoring and care on hand ( A representative will be there from 3 to 5 pm.

Directions: Located at 1861 Pratt Drive in the VT Corporate Research Center. From Southgate Road on campus, take Research Center Drive (previously Tech Center Drive). Watch for Pratt Drive, where you will take a right. Travel a short distance, then turn left into parking lot at 1861 Pratt (next to building #4 on the map). The small house is in the lot.


In the spirit of Celebrate Sustainability 2013 (formally Sustainability Week), biking is encouraged on this tour; the distance between Med-Cottage and Shadowlake Village is less than 4 miles, with LumenHaus at about the midpoint.

Time: 3 – 5 pm

Location: TBA

Contact: Su Clauson-Wicker,