Build community through service! Check out these organizations listed below to learn more about local sustainability related service opportunities. Or take the information with you by downloading the entire list as a PDF!
This week we highlighted many different ways you can volunteer around Blacksburg – activities that help the earth as well as activities that help each other. Many of us are doing as much as we can in our own homes to promote sustainability and help preserve the environment, but when we volunteer we are able to reach many more people and accomplish things we could never do on our own. So please volunteer when you can and magnify your efforts by working with others.
Volunteering in Action
We want to thank everyone out there who volunteered their time and resources this week (including the activities going on today and tomorrow)! Let’s keep up the volunteering!
Invasive species were removed from Stadium Woods and the Stroubles Creek Watershed
Roadsides, parks, streams, school grounds, and other public properties are being cleaned
Trees were planted
Food was donated
We reduced our waste and reused more
Over $2000 was raised for our Small Grants Program (a big thank you to Theta Chi for their ambitious fundraising efforts in our honor)
Wisdom was shared
And so much more!
Removing Invasive Species from Stadium Woods & Stroubles Creek
This past Tuesday was all about removing invasive species. Volunteers joined the New River Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalist to remove invasive species from Stadium Woods and they joined Dr. Jeff Kirwan to explore and remove invasive species from the watershed of Stroubles Creek. These are not one-time events though. Volunteers meet often to remove invasive species from Stadium Woods. Learn how to get involved here.
Learn More About Volunteering with YToss
Ytoss, a project of the YMCA at Virginia Tech, has to be one of the best sustainability ideas ever! Each year, the program collects gently-used unwanted items from the VT dorms during the student move-out days. The items are then made available to incoming students during the fall move-in sale on VT’s campus. The program diverts TONS of items that otherwise could end up in the landfill but instead can be reused year after year after year. However, it takes a LOT of volunteer effort to make it happen and it’s difficult for students to participate due to exams and moving out. Join us for April’s Lunch and Learn program where you can learn more about volunteering with YToss as well as participating in the upcoming City Nature Challenge.
Food Pantry Needs
We often think of sustainability only as protecting the environment, but we can’t have a sustainable world if many of our citizens are going hungry. The United Nations recognized this when world leaders at the 2012 Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) reaffirmed the right of everyone to have access to safe and nutritious food, consistent with the right to adequate food and the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger. A number of organizations in our area are working to get food to hungry people and they need volunteers. Some of this food would otherwise go to waste, making these efforts even more important for sustainability. The YMCA at Virginia Tech’s Meals on Main program has ongoing openings for people to help distribute meals (sign up here).
The Blacksburg Interfaith Food Pantry, Micah’s Backpack and Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Program are all working hard to help those in our community who are food insecure, so please consider volunteering.
Week 5 starts tomorrow! Join us as we talk about Spending Time Outdoors and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook to see daily updates.
We are in need of volunteers to assist with the work of the YMCA Thrift Shop. Tasks will include sorting and setting up donated items in the shop. Training will be provided. The proceeds from our Thrift Shop help support the many community programs provided by the YMCA at Virginia Tech. We look forward to working with you. Contact Ron at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 540.552.2633 to learn how to volunteer!
Sustainable living is important because it ensures future generations a habitable world they can enjoy. But what does it mean to live sustainably and what exactly are we trying to accomplish?
A sustainable lifestyle attempts to reduce our impact on the environment by altering our methods of transportation, energy consumption, and diet to reduce our emissions; reducing the amount of waste we produce and throw away to conserve resources; and taking other actions to enhance and protect our remaining natural areas to preserve wildlife habitat and biodiversity.
Every little change we make as individuals adds up to big changes for the world. And these big changes are going to impact how future generations live here.
That’s why we have created a list of 21 Actions for 2021. These include steps we can all take in our individual lives as well as throughout our community that put us on a path to sustainable living.
For 21 weeks, starting Sunday, March 28th, we will introduce a new action – with ideas and examples of ways to incorporate this action into our lives posted throughout the week. We’d love to have you join us on this journey so check our website and Facebook page often for actions and updates.
Regional neighbor-to-neighbor skill sharing and assistance. Supports social equity and vulnerable populations, in partnership with local nonprofits. Monthly orientation meetings will help you to learn more and get involved!
Contact: Ellen Stewart email@example.com
Or signup online at New River Valley TimeBank.
Twice annual event in the Spring and Fall. Held at the Habitat for Humanity Restore in Christiansburg with multiple repair stations run by volunteers with skills in:
- furniture repair
- small appliance/lamp repair
- hand tool repair and sharpening
- computer help
- indoor plant clinic
Contact: Ellen Stewart firstname.lastname@example.org
CCL is a nonprofit, nonpartisan grassroots advocacy group seeking bipartisan climate solutions.
They are focused on direct, positive engagement with elected officials at the local, state, and federal levels.
Visit their website:
Check them out on Facebook:
Contact them by email:
- Ingrid Mans email@example.com
- Alaina Coppa firstname.lastname@example.org
growing food and community
Along with providing space for community members to garden, we host gardening classes, potluck suppers and groups + individuals wanting to participate in growing food. Our aim is to provide a learning and service environment for anyone interested while promoting the growing of healthy food and dynamic community.
- Hale Community Garden is a 5 acre of community garden located at the north end of the town of Blacksburg, Virginia. Established in 2009, the garden is a hub of community activity. The land was donated by Arlean Hale Lambert.
- Wong Park Community Garden opened in Spring of 2020 in Wong Park, located off of Wilson Street in Blacksburg, Virginia. The garden has 15 community garden plots with priority given to the Bennett Hill/Progress neighborhood gardeners and then to the larger community.
- Garrison Community Garden will open in Spring of 2021 in Cedar Hill Park, at the south end of Blacksburg, Virginia. The garden will have 15 community garden plots with priority given to the Cedar Hill/Cedar Crest neighborhood gardeners and then to the larger community. The garden is named for the late Susan Garrison the much-loved and admired first Sustainability Manager for the Town of Blacksburg.
Contact the Community Gardens Coordinator: email@example.com
Since 1983, individuals and groups have been invited to take part in this countywide cleaning effort. As in past years, participants will be picking up litter along area waterways, public parks/playgrounds, walking trails, roadways, and other public locations. Trash bags, gloves and safety vests will be provided. Filled trash bags will be picked up from each site that has been cleaned.
The 38th annual Broomin’ and Bloomin’ spring clean-up event will be held on Sat., April 24 from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., RAIN OR SHINE. Please consider lending a helping hand for this important and enduring community event. Whether you participate for one hour or five each bag of trash collected makes a real difference!
If you are interested in participating you can sign up online by visiting: www.montva.com/broominbloomin
If you have any questions please contact Bill Long, Sustainability Manager, by phone at (540) 394-2120 Ext. 54083 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Future Economy Collective is a local non-profit organization offering alternative forms of collaboration; collective growth, education, and liberation; skill-sharing; and mutual aid. They run the Southpaw Cafe which is a community-based, volunteer-run cafe and community space. All proceeds from the cafe are invested directly back into the community through mutual aid programs, community projects, and more.
Future Economy Collective’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/futureeconomycollective/
Southpaw Cafe and Community Space’s Website: https://southpaw-cafe-and-community-space.myshopify.com
There are regular opportunities to volunteer with Blacksburg Farmers Market, either for regular
market days (Wednesday and Saturdays) or special events (Mingle at the Market, etc.). Or join one of the Farmers Market Planning & Action Groups!
Visit their website: https://blacksburgfarmersmarket.com/get-involved
Check them out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blacksburgfarmersmarket/
Contact them by email: email@example.com
Looking Out for Each Other: New River Valley connects community bounty with community need. To offer something you have that someone else could use or to look for a need of your own, visit their Facebook page or their website. Contact: LookingOutNRV@gmail.com.