Author Archives: ResilientVirginia

Rural Resiliency — First Steps Taken with Resiliency Forum

Rural Resiliency Forum October 23, 2018

By Sean Tubbs, Guest Contributor

As both average temperatures and rainfall counts continue to climb, government agencies, businesses and other organizations are seeking ways to ensure that Virginia is prepared to withstand whatever changes are caused by changing weather patterns.

To convene a conversation about rural resiliency concerns, Resilient Virginia held a forum on October 23 at the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton that covered how the fields of agriculture and emergency management are responding, as well as how efforts are being made to build robust “green infrastructure” to help address both water quality and stormwater management. The objective was to explore the co-benefits of using natural systems and sustainable agriculture practices to assist with mitigating effects from severe storms, flooding, and other climate-related risks.

The goal was to improve collaboration among state and local governments, as well as rural businesses and communities, to improve the “storm readiness” of farms, forests, and natural resource areas, and to increase the resiliency and prosperity of rural areas of the Commonwealth. In addition, the Forum looked to provide access to existing resources, state and federal programs and funding, as well as start a conversation about potential policy recommendations.

Rural Resiliency Forum October 23, 2018

“Our mission at Resilient Virginia is to accelerate resiliency planning throughout Virginia,” said Andrew Sorrell, Deputy Director of the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission and Chairman of the Resilient Virginia Board of Directors. The organization was formerly known as the Virginia Sustainable Building Network, but they rebranded in 2013 to take on the new challenge of helping communities adapt to climate, social and economic challenges.

Rural Resiliency Forum October 23, 2018Resiliency is defined as “the ability to mitigate risk, while building the capacity to regain functionality and vitality in the face of chronic stressors or severe disturbances.” That definition covers a lot of subject areas, but the October forum focused on resilient agriculture and forestry, blue and green infrastructure, and hazard mitigation and emergency preparedness.

Erik Curren, a member of Staunton’s City Council, welcomed participants and commented that many people in the Shenandoah Valley had thought that only coastal communities would be affected by climate change. Farmers now report that they are being affected and that crops are changing. Tourism officials are also saying that they are beginning to be affected, especially with the wet weather. “Resiliency is our problem, too,” Curren said. “Help us help rural Virginia communities weather what’s coming,” Curren said.

Rural Resiliency Forum October 23, 2018

Speakers presented on related state and federal programs, as well as on current resiliency projects and activities happening throughout the Commonwealth. During lunch, university representatives provided information on how university programs can help with community resiliency needs.

In the afternoon, interactive breakout sessions encouraged audience, speakers, and Resilient Virginia staff to delve further into particular issues and challenges around rural resiliency and how farms and natural resource areas can help with hazard mitigation and disaster preparedness.

Forestry management

Rural Resiliency Forum October 23, 2018The timber industry has a $17 billion impact on the state’s economy, according to Robbie Talbert, Regional Forester-Central Region with the Virginia Department of Forestry. One in four manufacturing facilities in the state produce a forestry-related product. In all, there are over 104,000 jobs. The continued success of the industry depends on having forests, and this relies on landowners who want to continue to maintain forests as their primary land use.

“More landowners want to keep their land in their family,” Talbert said, adding that the average age of a forested property owner is 67. They are also overwhelming male and overwhelmingly white. Nearly three-quarters of forest owners live on their own property. To try to add balance to the demographics, the Department of Forestry runs a program called Generation NEXT which seeks to build the next cohort of dedicated landowners. Another program called Century Forests covers landowners who have wooded lands in their possession for over a hundred years. There are 39 forests in Virginia that qualify with 14,446 acres.

Rural Resiliency Forum October 23, 2018Maintaining tree cover, which plays a significant role in both storm and flood mitigation, as well as reducing nutrient loads for waterways, is also addressed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Kristin Owen, Floodplain Program Manager with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), informed the audience about their Soil and Water Program, which works with farmers to help prevent pollution runoff by encouraging tree buffers along waterways, and the Floodplain Management and Dam Safety program. They also work with communities to encourage their participation in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood insurance programs.

Agricultural adaptation

USDA logoOne of the biggest topics at the forum was how agricultural practices may change as weather patterns continue to shift. One speaker on hand was Kathy Holm, Assistant State Conservationist for Field Operations with the United States Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service. “I’ve noticed the [increasing] intensity of hurricane and rainfall events, which is expected to continue into the future,” Holm said.

Rural Resiliency Forum October 23, 2018To start, Holm led with some definitions. Weather is the hourly and daily variation of meteorological conditions in the atmosphere. Climate, on the other hand, is the average weather over time. Changes in climate can be tracked by tracking impacts on crops and livestock, as well as the insects, diseases and weeds that can affect them.

According to the USDA, annual average temperatures will continue to increase by 3 to 6 degrees Fahrenheit by the middle of the century. Heat waves will continue to become more intense. Rainfall is expected to continue to increase in Virginia, but in powerful bursts that could come with long dry spells. In addition, the growing season will be longer.

To offer help, the USDA has created regional Climate Hubs that provide information for farm and forest adaptation responses. They also offer adaptation workbooks for agriculture, urban forests, and forest owners to help them engage in a process of identifying risks and working on solutions.

Virginia Tech logoCloser to home, Julie Shortridge, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, with Virginia Tech’s Department of Biological Systems Engineering, reviewed the types of climate risks facing the region. Julie Shortridge told the audience that rising temperatures are projected to reduce yields for corn and soybeans. To try to improve the economic hit to farmers, Shortridge advocates for “climate-smart” farming which includes using drought and heat-resistant varieties, improved soil health and using better weather forecasting to make long-term decisions about what to plant each season. “This is how to build resilience,” Shortridge said.

Shortridge urged farmers to contact the Virginia Cooperative Extension for more resources. She also emphasized that throughout history, those in agriculture have always had to contend with a shifting climate. “Climate change and other pressures have made some of these risks more challenging,” she said.

VSU College of Agriculture logoLeonard Githinji, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist at Virginia State University, offered a few lessons about sustainable agriculture. “Sustainable agriculture includes practices that do not harm the environment, practices that provide fair treatment of workers, and practices that support and sustain local communities,” Githinji said.

This includes the practice of multicropping, where many species are planted on the piece of land. One benefit of this is higher genetic diversity, which leads to more resilient soil. A more intense form known as intercropping involves deliberately selecting plants which benefit from each other’s presence. Sustainable agriculture also makes sure that there is habitat for pollinators.

Green infrastructure

Rural Resiliency Forum October 23, 2018Karen Firehock, the Executive Director of the Green Infrastructure Center (GIC), had the opportunity to explain how her organization creates plans to protect and enhance the ecological carrying capacity of Virginia and other states. “The Green Infrastructure Center helps communities evaluate their green assets to maximize ecological, economic and cultural returns,” said Karen Firehock.

In addition to Firehock’s home county of Albemarle, the Green Infrastructure Center has also worked in Accomack County, Virginia; Darlington County, South Carolina; and Ulster County, New York. GIC publications on green infrastructure have been developed for local and state governments both in Virginia and nationally.

The term “green infrastructure” was coined in 1994 by the state of Florida in a report on land conservation strategies. The idea was to demonstrate that planners should take into account natural systems as providing services to developed areas. This can take the form of raingardens, bioswales or green rooftops. In addition, planning for green infrastructure encourages preserving contiguous rural landscapes and conserving forests and wetlands. “The more connected the landscape, the more resilient it is,” Firehock said.

Green infrastructure plans encourage building in the least impactful manner to preserve the natural landscape’s ability to reduce stormwater and maintain water quality, and then mitigating man-made structures to the highest level possible. At a locality-wide level, that can mean thinking about wildlife bridges and other ways to provide safe passage for migrating creatures, as well as recreational areas for communities.

Firehock also referred the audience to an online tool — DCR’s Virginia Natural Landscape Assessment — that can be used to find out more about the natural resource areas in their regions.

Emergency preparedness and preparing for sea-level rise

Rural Resiliency Forum October 23, 2018Stacie Neal, Critical Infrastructure Protection Program Manager, Governor’s Office of Public and Homeland Security, offered information on the state’s role in disaster protection, prevention, and mitigation, as well as programs to increase resiliency. She informed us that there are a variety of “critical infrastructure” areas, that include not only government facilities and emergency services, dams, and critical manufacturing, but also agriculture, water and wastewater facilities, and public health.

Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM), the state agency that handles disaster planning and response, has the goal of working with the whole community, including families, businesses, local government, and community organizations, to develop both mitigation and emergency response plans. Mitigation strategies that help to lessen the impact of storms and other emergencies are increasingly important with the more frequent severe weather events, including tornadoes, flooding, and high wind, that communities have been experiencing.

Rural Resiliency Forum October 23, 2018The local challenges of rural mitigation and emergency planning were further elaborated on by Rebecca Joyce, Community Program Manager of the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission, and Jonathan Simmons, All-Hazards Planner, VDEM Region 6. Rebecca Joyce, working with VDEM, manages emergency response, flood management, and mitigation plan development for rural localities in the PDC region. She commented on the difficulties encountered by local communities in preparing for disasters with very limited staff and funding resources.

Matching University Resources with Community Needs

Lunchtime presenters from state universities gave the audience an overview of several programs that combine student academic work with community assistance in the resiliency, agriculture, and energy areas.

Rural Resiliency Forum October 23, 2018Kim Niewolny, Ph.D., Associate Professor with the Department of Agricultural, Leadership & Community Education at VA Tech, provided information on two programs — the Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition and the AgrAbility Program. The Coalition’s goal is support new farming and ranching endeavors to be successful through farm planning assistance, training, mentoring, and online resources. AgrAbility Virginia assists individuals and their families who farm, and have illnesses, injuries or disabilities that are impeding their ability to work safely, effectively, and productively.

The Raft logoAngela King, Assistant Director, Virginia Coastal Policy Center at William and Mary, let the audience know about the RAFT program. The Resilience Adaptation Feasibility Tool (RAFT) is a project of several Virginia universities that helps communities rate how well their planning documents take into account the impacts of coastal resilience, and assists them with developing mitigation measures. “Coastal resilience can be addressed in comprehensive plans by incorporating elements such as green infrastructure, open space preservation, infill development, the National Flood Insurance Program, the Community Ratings System and stormwater management,” reads a section of the RAFT scorecard.

The project is a collaboration of the Institute for Environmental Negotiation at the University of Virginia, the Virginia Coastal Policy Center at the William and Mary Law School, and the Virginia Sea Grant Resiliency Program at Old Dominion University.

Rural Resiliency Forum: October 23, 2018Jonathan Miles, Ph.D., Professor, Integrated Science and Technology, James Madison University, and Director of the Center for Wind Energy, informed the audience about their program that assists farm owners in acquiring wind turbines to enhance their on-site energy production. The Center also sponsors a wind system contest for public schools and has helped with the installation of wind turbines at schools for educational purposes. He also noted that their Center will soon become the Office for the Advancement of Sustainable Energy.

Utilities of the Future: Recap

Utilities of the Future: Recap

by MIRIAM ACZEL

On October 4th, 2018, Leaders in Energy (LE), in partnership with Resilient Virginia, held its “Utilities of the Future Forum” at the US Navy Memorial in Washington DC. The event had over 80 attendees and was an exciting opportunity to look at recent developments in the role of utilities and future of energy provision and new changes.

Read more

Resilient Virginia News: August 2018

What’s New

Save the DateSave the Date for the Rural Resiliency Forum!

October 23, 2018, 9:00 AM–3:00 PM

Staunton, Virginia

This is your opportunity to:

  • Learn about the benefits of resiliency plans for rural communities
  • Contribute information on what your farm, business, or local government is currently doing to help make your community stronger
  • Take away valuable resources, new ideas, and beneficial contacts.

More information on the Rural Resiliency Forum venue, registration, and agenda will be available in the near future.

Separator Icon
2018 Annual Meeting

Reflections on the 2018 Resilient Virginia Annual Meeting

By Nell Boyle, Chairperson, Board of Directors (2016–2018)

Resilient Virginia invited its members and various stakeholders to the 2018 Resilient Virginia Annual Meeting and launched the featured topic for the upcoming year, “Resiliency and the Rural/Urban Interface.” There was a full house at Charlottesville’s CitySpace on Thursday, July 19. The meeting opened with networking and lunch, followed by a brief update on the activities and accomplishments of the organization over the past year. Resilient Virginia introduced our new Board of Directors and the newly formed Advisory Committee.

The Rural-Urban Interface and Resiliency Panel

The highlight of the afternoon was a panel discussion with five subject matter experts featuring Virginia’s new emphasis on rural-urban interdependence, with speakers on building resilient communities through rural economic development, green infrastructure valuation, and the farm-to-table movement.

Kristel Riddervold

Kristel Riddervold

To open the event, Kristel Riddervold, Charlottesville’s Environmental/Sustainability Manager, gave an outstanding example of how Charlottesville and Albemarle County have collaborated through a cooperative Memorandum of Understanding and have leveraged their resources to better serve the community. A number of projects and actions have been enhanced, such as: the Jefferson Area Bike-Pedestrian Master Plan; regional GHG emissions reporting; technical and educational opportunities; and housing redevelopment and the environment. In addition, they have embarked on a regional dialogue regarding the Rivanna River Corridor Plan, so that all perspectives can have a voice in the development of that shared resource.

Andy Sorrell

Andy Sorrell

Next, Deputy Director of the Virginia Tobacco Commission, and new Resilient Virginia Board Chair, Andy Sorrell, updated the group on the Virginia initiatives for universal and functional broadband. The lack of high speed internet is affecting economic development in rural areas by limiting business development and retention, as well as impeding proper education for our children. In July 2018, Governor Ralph Northam appointed a Chief Broadband Advisor to develop and deliver a plan to address universal broadband to all Virginians. In 2018, the General Assembly increased the budget for this project from $2 million to $8 million to accelerate the service delivery of this critical need and the Tobacco Commission has committed $11 million to broadband expansion.

Eric Bendfeldt

Eric Bendfeldt

Virginia has a long history of producing agricultural products and a strong farm community, making the local food system an important economic driver. Eric Bendfeldt from the Virginia Cooperative Extension, who works as the Extension Specialist in the Community Viability Program, spoke about the economic health of the local food system. Current market conditions have taken a heavy toll on Virginia farmers and on the local food system. Eric reminded us of the value of the local food system that provides safe and accessible high quality of nutrition to small, rural communities; contributes to the retention of small- and medium-sized farms; and provides benefits to local schools, businesses, healthcare, and educational institutions.

Rebecca Joyce

Rebecca Joyce

Rebecca Joyce represented the Central Shenandoah Regional Commission, which services the primarily rural, west-central part of Virginia. She identified several key factors when considering the interdependent nature of communities in an emergency situation. She used the term “coastal refugees” for people that will need to leave the coastal area in the event of a major weather event and their consequential migration to more centrally located ground. Rural areas have emergency funds that meet the needs of the local community in a disaster, she commented; however, they are not prepared to handle an influx of displaced people as well. And certainly, a powerful storm on the coast will move across the state, causing storms and flooding in its path. Therefore, there is a critical need to prepare for the needs of the refugees and the rural areas that are likely to house them.

Eldon James

Eldon James

Finally, Eldon James, Coordinator of the Rappahannock River Basin Commission, gave an overview of the three phases of the Virginia’s Healthy Watershed Study. This fascinating study has quantified the important interconnection between forest land and watershed health. The report also cites attractive financial models for the land owners that could potentially leave these large tracks of forest intact. He connected the value of green and blue infrastructure as a critical component to clean, healthy watersheds and the success of the local economy.

The discussion continued with questions from the audience and a lively conversation carried over as we all enjoyed a delicious ice cream treat from Splendora, a Charlottesville business.

The Annual Meeting just touched on the many serious discussions that will take place at Resilient Virginia’s Rural Resiliency Forum in Staunton, Virginia on Tuesday, October 23rd. More details will be provided in the upcoming weeks. Please save the date for this important event.

In closing, I have completed my term as Chair of Resilient Virginia, and it has been my honor to serve this wonderful organization and work with all of our committed board members and stakeholders. I will stay on as Past Chair and look forward to the exciting events of next year. I am happy to announce our new officers and welcome our new board members.

Board of Directors: 2018–2019

New Officers

Chairperson
Andrew V. “Andy” Sorrell,
Deputy Director, Virginia Tobacco Commission

Vice Chair
Ellen Graap Loth,
Principal, Cardno, Inc.

Secretary
Jane Frantz, AICP, PMP, CFM,
Associate Vice President, Dewberry

Treasurer
Vestal Tutterow, PE, CEM,
Program Manager, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Directors

Jerry Eastridge, LLA, BPI, Principal, GSPH LLC

Rebecca Joyce, Community Program Manager, Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission

Steve Sunderman, RA, LEED AP BD+C, BPI, President, Terrazia PC

Erin Sutton, MS, CEM, PMP, Director, Office of Emergency Management, City of Virginia Beach

Past Chair
Nell Boyle, LEED AP,
Sustainability Coordinator, City of Roanoke

In our next newsletter we will be highlighting Resilient Virginia’s newly formed Advisory Committee, which will provide expert guidance on program direction and project implementation.

Finally, thanks to everyone who supports the important work of Resilient Virginia. This conversation is more important now than ever before!

— Nell Boyle, LEED AP, Sustainability Coordinator, City of Roanoke

Resilient Virginia Annual Meeting 2018Click to launch slideshow

Separator Icon

PrepareAthon 20182018 PrepareAthon at the Science Museum of Virginia

Resilient Virginia will be at this year’s Science Museum of Virginia’s PrepareAthon in Richmond on August 25 from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Are you prepared for extreme rain events, rising heat, or emergencies like hurricanes or tornadoes? If you’re not sure, then join us for PrepareAthon, a free festival that teaches the community how to be more resilient when disaster strikes! Discover life-saving information to protect your family during an emergency and learn more about resiliency.

Activities will take place throughout the Museum and include rain barrel- and preparedness kit-making workshops; NOAA Science on a Sphere® climate demonstrations; hands-on experiments in the Eco Lab; and sustainable building challenges. NBC 12 meteorologist Megan Wise will be on-site to talk about Virginia weather, and exhibitors from government organizations, academic institutions, businesses, emergency management agencies, and community groups across the state will provide helpful tips, resources, and giveaways. Plus, the first 300 guests to complete the PrepareAthon Passport will win a useful preparedness prize!

PrepareAthon is hosted by Science Museum of Virginia and funded from the Environmental Literacy Grant (ELG) program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), US Department of Commerce.

Separator Icon

Community Greening Workshop in Southside Richmond

Southside Richmond workshop 9/15/2018Resilient Virginia is teaming up with the Science Museum of Virginia, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, and Beautiful RVA for a Southside Richmond workshop focused on green infrastructure, community gardens, and stormwater management. Taking place on Saturday, September 15, from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM, this workshop, “Your Community: Cool, Dry and Green,” will bring together a group of neighborhood leaders who are working with Duron Chavis, from Beautiful RVA, to learn about the benefits of adding vegetation and stormwater mitigation to their homes and public spaces. Dr. Jeremy Hoffman, Science Museum of Virginia Climate Scientist, will provide background information on the Museum’s work on climate education, which has been funded over the last three years by a NOAA grant. He will also engage the participants in hands-on learning about urban heat islands and stormwater, using the Museum’s “Ready Row House” demonstration models.Rain Barrel

Amy Hagerdon, from the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, will teach participants about managing water by using methods such as building rain gardens, permeable pavers, and rain barrels, and about the city’s stormwater mitigation incentive program. She will then work with the group to build rain barrels that they can take with them to install at their homes or local community gardens.

About the Team

Science Museum of VirginiaScience Museum of Virginia’s mission is to inspire Virginians to enrich their lives through science. The Museum is a catalyst for inspiration, a place that sparks curiosity and generates ideas in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Through hundreds of experiential exhibits, awe-inspiring artifacts and interactive technologies, the Museum presents dynamic science programming to hundreds of thousands of guests each year. “Your Community: Cool, Dry, and Green” workshop is supported by an Environmental Literacy Grant (ELG) program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), US Department of Commerce. Jeremy Hoffman, Ph.D., SMV Climate and Earth Scientist, is the lead on the SMV workshops. www.smv.org

Beautiful RVABeautiful RVA is a regional coalition of public and private agencies and organizations all invested in improving the quality of life in greater Richmond through public horticulture, urban greening, and beautiful place-making initiatives. The program is based at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, and is being led by Duron Chavis, the Community Engagement Manager. www.beautifulrva.org

Alliance for the Chesapeake BayAlliance for the Chesapeake Bay’s mission is to lead, support, and inspire local action to restore and protect the lands, rivers, and streams of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Their program to reduce stormwater impact works with homeowners, schools, churches, and community organizations to directly assist them in adding rain gardens and other water management options. Amy Hagerdon is the Richmond-area Stormwater Program Manager. www.allianceforthebay.org/

Resilient VirginiaResilient Virginia’s mission is to accelerate resiliency planning in communities across the Commonwealth, though educational activities that include workshops and presentations, statewide conferences, and direct assistance on getting started with resiliency planning. Annette Osso is the Managing Director of Resilient Virginia. www.resilientvirginia.org

Separator Icon

Electric vehicle charging stationThe VW Settlement: Paving the Way for the Electric Car Highway

On July 9, 2018, Governor Ralph Northam announced that the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) was awarding a contract to EVgo Services, LLC, to develop a statewide public electric vehicle (EV) charging network. The funds for this award comprise 15% or $14 million of Virginia’s allocation from the Volkswagen mitigation settlement. EVgo Services will be installing DC fast chargers along the most heavily traveled corridors and will complement existing charging infrastructure. Not only will the charging stations accelerate private investment in electric vehicles and help with cleaner air quality, but it will also contribute to mitigating climate change concerns by providing further impetus to curb greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide and methane.

The VA DEQ is the lead agency in charge of coordinating the settlement funds, which total $93.5 million for Virginia’s state mitigation plan. The major goal of Virginia’s mitigation plan is to focus on projects that reduce the greatest amount of NOx emissions and to promote the adoption of zero emission vehicles. In addition to the EV contract announcement on July 9, the state also filed the full Beneficiary Mitigation Plan with the Volkswagen trustee, which contains all eligible mitigation actions or project categories that the Commonwealth of Virginia plans to fund with the $93.6 million.

The history of the VW settlement involves the 2016 court settlements related to allegations that VW violated the Clean Air Act (CAA) through the sale of diesel engine vehicles that were equipped with emissions-testing defeat devices. To mitigate environmental damages from violating the CAA, the settlement led to an Environmental Mitigation Trust (EMT), and VW was required to invest $2.925 billion across the country, to fund projects. States, tribes, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia have been allocated a portion of the trust based on the number of affected vehicles in their jurisdiction. The partial settlement agreements also require VW to buy back or modify the offending 2.0 and 3.0 liter diesel vehicles from consumers, and to spend $2 billion on zero emissions vehicle infrastructure and programs aimed at increasing public awareness of zero emission vehicles.

Virginia Clean CitiesVirginia has been working on promoting cleaner fuels, including electric vehicles, since the 2001 formation of the Virginia Clean Cities organization. Funded through the US Department of Energy, their mission is to advance air quality improvement, economic opportunity, and energy security through deployment of alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure, education programs, and other petroleum reduction activities. Virginia Clean Cities provides consumers with information on all types of electric vehicles, on charging equipment, and provides a link to EV charging stations currently operating in the state.

For more information:

Governor Northam’s press release

VA DEQ website

Virginia Clean Cities website

(Thanks to Summer Intern Caitlin Miller for contributing to this article.)

 

In Memoriam: Jim Pierobon: Truth Seeker and Southeast Energy News Creator

Jim PierobonThe Virginia clean energy community was enormously saddened to learn of the passing of Jim Pierobon, a courageous champion and always-clear voice. Jim brought to his energy coverage astute insight, solid values, in-depth knowledge, and eternal integrity. He will be greatly missed.

Jim’s integrity and curiosity, combined with his deep knowledge of energy issues, gave us some of the most perceptive articulation of the important changes taking place as the Southeast shifts from fossil fuels to a clean energy system.

Jim Pierobon’s vision led to funding of the Southeast Energy News, where he was a principal reporter. SEEN, as it is known, provides original investigative journalism and a daily news digest keeping Virginia stakeholders, industry, policymakers, and citizens informed of the important changes taking place in the region in advancing renewable energy. He also blogged at TheEnergyFix.com, where his articles can still be appreciated.

Jim began his career as an energy reporter for the Houston Chronicle, and went on to co-manage the global Energy Public Affairs Practice at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide; revamp communications at the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE); and helped launch and grow Standard Solar in Maryland as its first Chief Marketing Officer. His work was published in a variety of industry journals and other mainstream media including The New York Times and Huffington Post. Jim lived in Leesburg, Virginia with his wife Andy, and was a loyal “Mizzou” alum from the Missouri School of Journalism.

Note: Thanks to Kimberly Davis, AICP, for this In Memoriam. I count myself lucky to have been a personal friend and colleague of Jim Pierobon. Annette Osso, Editor, Resilient Virginia News

Separator IconThanks to Our 2017–2018 Annual Sponsors


Platinum Sponsor

logo-marionenterprisesCommunity Leader Sponsor

logo-facility-engineering-assoc
Lifeboat Sponsors

Hazen and Sawyer
Village Sponsors

2RW: Energy By Design

logo-leaders-in-energy


Resilience Events Calendar

Late Summer–Fall 2018 Event Highlights

August 25, 11:00am–4:00pm: PrepareAthon at the Science Museum of Virginia. Free Family Fun and Educational Activities. Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.

September 15, 11:00am–2:00pm: Your Community: Cool, Dry, and Green. Workshop with Beautiful RVA, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, and Science Museum of Virginia. Hull Street Library, 1400 Hull St., Richmond.

October 23: Rural Resiliency Forum — Save the Date! Watch for upcoming information on registration and speakers.

Check our Resilient Events Calendar on a regular basis to find out what is happening in Virginia, around the nation, and virtually through webinars.

 

Help us launch an exciting year!Membership — Help Us Launch an Exciting Year!

Join or renew today!

 

Thanks to our recent new and renewing members!

Corporate Membership: Dewberry

Annual Sponsor: Hazen and Sawyer

Local Government Membership: City of Virginia Beach

Individual Memberships:

Anthony Deyerle • Susan Dyer
Gerald Eastridge • Ellen Graap Loth
Denise Nelson • Ann Phillips
Elizabeth Powell • Andrew Sorrell
Steven Sunderman • Vestal Tutterow

Resilient Virginia is on a mission to

*Inform   *Educate   and   *Activate

Virginia communities to build resiliency in the face of challenges to community prosperity, national security, and changing climate.

You can help by:

Becoming a Member
Signing on as an Annual Sponsor

Continue your support throughout the year by using one or both of these online shopping sites that contribute to Resilient Virginia:

amazon-smileIt’s back-to-school time, so make it easy on yourself by shopping at Amazon.

goodshopFind lots of discounts and many participating stores for office supplies, back-to-school, and special events.

JOIN TODAY — IT’S OUR FUTURE!

Reflections on the 2018 Resilient Virginia Annual Meeting

2018 Annual Meeting

By Nell Boyle, Chairperson, Board of Directors (2016–2018)

Resilient Virginia invited its members and various stakeholders to the 2018 Resilient Virginia Annual Meeting and launched the featured topic for the upcoming year, “Resiliency and the Rural/Urban Interface.” There was a full house at Charlottesville’s CitySpace on Thursday, July 19. The meeting opened with networking and lunch, followed by a brief update on the activities and accomplishments of the organization over the past year. Resilient Virginia introduced our new Board of Directors and the newly formed Advisory Committee.

The Rural-Urban Interface and Resiliency Panel

The highlight of the afternoon was a panel discussion with five subject matter experts featuring Virginia’s new emphasis on rural-urban interdependence, with speakers on building resilient communities through rural economic development, green infrastructure valuation, and the farm-to-table movement.

Kristel Riddervold

Kristel Riddervold

To open the event, Kristel Riddervold, Charlottesville’s Environmental/Sustainability Manager, gave an outstanding example of how Charlottesville and Albemarle County have collaborated through a cooperative Memorandum of Understanding and have leveraged their resources to better serve the community. A number of projects and actions have been enhanced, such as: the Jefferson Area Bike-Pedestrian Master Plan; regional GHG emissions reporting; technical and educational opportunities; and housing redevelopment and the environment. In addition, they have embarked on a regional dialogue regarding the Rivanna River Corridor Plan, so that all perspectives can have a voice in the development of that shared resource.

Andy Sorrell

Andy Sorrell

Next, Deputy Director of the Virginia Tobacco Commission, and new Resilient Virginia Board Chair, Andy Sorrell, updated the group on the Virginia initiatives for universal and functional broadband. The lack of high speed internet is affecting economic development in rural areas by limiting business development and retention, as well as impeding proper education for our children. In July 2018, Governor Ralph Northam appointed a Chief Broadband Advisor to develop and deliver a plan to address universal broadband to all Virginians. In 2018, the General Assembly increased the budget for this project from $2 million to $8 million to accelerate the service delivery of this critical need and the Tobacco Commission has committed $11 million to broadband expansion.

Eric Bendfeldt

Eric Bendfeldt

Virginia has a long history of producing agricultural products and a strong farm community, making the local food system an important economic driver. Eric Bendfeldt from the Virginia Cooperative Extension, who works as the Extension Specialist in the Community Viability Program, spoke about the economic health of the local food system. Current market conditions have taken a heavy toll on Virginia farmers and on the local food system. Eric reminded us of the value of the local food system that provides safe and accessible high quality of nutrition to small, rural communities; contributes to the retention of small- and medium-sized farms; and provides benefits to local schools, businesses, healthcare, and educational institutions.

Rebecca Joyce

Rebecca Joyce

Rebecca Joyce represented the Central Shenandoah Regional Commission, which services the primarily rural, west-central part of Virginia. She identified several key factors when considering the interdependent nature of communities in an emergency situation. She used the term “coastal refugees” for people that will need to leave the coastal area in the event of a major weather event and their consequential migration to more centrally located ground. Rural areas have emergency funds that meet the needs of the local community in a disaster, she commented; however, they are not prepared to handle an influx of displaced people as well. And certainly, a powerful storm on the coast will move across the state, causing storms and flooding in its path. Therefore, there is a critical need to prepare for the needs of the refugees and the rural areas that are likely to house them.

Eldon James

Eldon James

Finally, Eldon James, Coordinator of the Rappahannock River Basin Commission, gave an overview of the three phases of the Virginia’s Healthy Watershed Study. This fascinating study has quantified the important interconnection between forest land and watershed health. The report also cites attractive financial models for the land owners that could potentially leave these large tracks of forest intact. He connected the value of green and blue infrastructure as a critical component to clean, healthy watersheds and the success of the local economy.

The discussion continued with questions from the audience and a lively conversation carried over as we all enjoyed a delicious ice cream treat from Splendora, a Charlottesville business.

The Annual Meeting just touched on the many serious discussions that will take place at Resilient Virginia’s Rural Resiliency Forum in Staunton, Virginia on Tuesday, October 23rd. More details will be provided in the upcoming weeks. Please save the date for this important event.

In closing, I have completed my term as Chair of Resilient Virginia, and it has been my honor to serve this wonderful organization and work with all of our committed board members and stakeholders. I will stay on as Past Chair and look forward to the exciting events of next year. I am happy to announce our new officers and welcome our new board members.

Board of Directors: 2018–2019

New Officers

Chairperson
Andrew V. “Andy” Sorrell,
Deputy Director, Virginia Tobacco Commission

Vice Chair
Ellen Graap Loth,
Principal, Cardno, Inc.

Secretary
Jane Frantz, AICP, PMP, CFM,
Associate Vice President, Dewberry

Treasurer
Vestal Tutterow, PE, CEM,
Program Manager, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Directors

Jerry Eastridge, LLA, BPI, Principal, GSPH LLC

Rebecca Joyce, Community Program Manager, Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission

Steve Sunderman, RA, LEED AP BD+C, BPI, President, Terrazia PC

Erin Sutton, MS, CEM, PMP, Director, Office of Emergency Management, City of Virginia Beach

Past Chair
Nell Boyle, LEED AP,
Sustainability Coordinator, City of Roanoke

In our next newsletter we will be highlighting Resilient Virginia’s newly formed Advisory Committee, which will provide expert guidance on program direction and project implementation.

Finally, thanks to everyone who supports the important work of Resilient Virginia. This conversation is more important now than ever before!

— Nell Boyle, LEED AP, Sustainability Coordinator, City of Roanoke

Resilient Virginia Annual Meeting 2018Click to launch slideshow

PrepareAthon at Science Museum of Virginia August 25

Science Museum of VirginiaAre you prepared for extreme rain events, rising heat or emergencies like hurricanes or tornadoes? If you’re not sure, then join the Science Museum of Virginia on August 25 for PrepareAthon, a free festival that teaches the community how to be more resilient when disaster strikes!

Uncover life-saving information to protect your family during an emergency and learn more about resiliency. Activities will take place throughout the Museum and include rain barrel and preparedness kit making workshops, NOAA Science on a Sphere® climate demonstrations, hands-on experiments in the Eco Lab and sustainable building challenges.

NBC 12 meteorologist Megan Wise will be on-site to talk about Virginia weather and exhibitors from government organizations, academic institutions, businesses, emergency management agencies and community groups across the state will provide helpful tips, resources and giveaways. Plus, the first 300 guests to complete the PrepareAthon Passport will win a useful preparedness prize!

When: Saturday, August 25 from 11 am to 4 pm
Where:
Science Museum of Virginia
2500 West Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23220-2057

Find out more at www.smv.org/upcoming-events/prepareathon

Resilient Virginia News: June 2018

Resilient Virginia

What’s New

Resilient Virginia: Priorities and Approaches for the Next Four Years

Resilient Virginia’s Board of Directors has set a path for the organization’s next four years that will focus on a number of resiliency topics deemed priorities at our February “Virginia’s Sustainable Future Meeting.” The organization views these priorities — that include energy and food security, water management and infrastructure adaptation, health and economic stability, and ecosystem valuation — through the lens of rural and urban communities’ interdependencies as they all address a growing range of climate-driven and national security challenges. Below is a graphic representation of the shared issues and as well as resiliency topics more focused on the rural or urban areas.

Urban-Rural Interdependence

Resilient Virginia is moving ahead to “Inform, Educate, and Activate” community members, governments, and businesses about these priority areas by implementing actions that include the following:

  • For 2018 and beyond: Resilient Virginia is partnering with like-minded organizations to co-host or participate in educational events. This Spring we co-hosted events with the US Green Building Council, Science Museum of Virginia, and Arlington Home Show. In addition, Annette Osso, Resilient Virginia’s Managing Director, participated as the NGO member of the National Capital Region Team invited to the Building Resilient Communities Leadership Academy, a 3-day workshop hosted by the Institute for Sustainable Communities. This summer Resilient Virginia’s Annette Osso will be speaking at the Leaders in Energy’s “Green Leaders for Local Impact Retreat” on June 8 (see article below), and again co-hosting presentations with the USGBC Virginia (see article below).
  • Resilient Virginia will organize an October 2018 Rural Resiliency Roundtable Forum to focus on issues of special importance to rural and agricultural communities. You are invited to participate in the Planning Committee for this event by contacting Annette Osso (osso@resilientvirginia.org).
  • Our next statewide Resilient Virginia Conference will take place in the Spring of 2019. Planning for this event will begin in September 2018. Contact Annette Osso (osso@resilientvirginia.org) to be included on the Planning Committee.

You are invited to our July 19th Annual Meeting to hear more details about upcoming Resilient Virginia activities, to meet our Board and Advisory members, and to add your voice on local communities’ and state agencies’ resiliency priorities. We will share more details about this upcoming event in the near future!
Resilient Virginia invites your active support for these new initiatives by:


Resiliency Explained: Annette Osso, Managing Director, Resilient Virginia Interviewed by Virginia Delegate Ken Plum

Resiliency Explained: Annette Osso, Managing Director, Resilient Virginia Interviewed by Virginia Delegate Ken Plum

We want to thank State Delegate Ken Plum for inviting Annette Osso, Resilient Virginia’s Managing Director, to provide an informative interview about the past, present, and future of resiliency planning in Virginia.

This appeared on his weekly broadcast on the Reston Comcast Channel May 8 and 9.

You can view the program here and on the Resilient Virginia YouTube Channel.


Global Cooperation for a Better World: Taking Action at the City and Local Level

By Janine Finnell, NCAC-USAEE Member and Executive Director, Leaders in Energy

Leaders in Energy(Editor’s Note: Janine Finnell’s Leaders in Energy organization has been a Resilient Virginia Annual Sponsor and event partner for two years. Annette Osso, Resilient Virginia’s Managing Director, will again be involved with this organization as one of the speakers at their June 8 event, “Green Leaders for Local Impact.” We provide this background article by Janine Finnell on linking the UN Sustainable Development Goals to local actions.)

Our planet and its inhabitants face numerous challenges ranging from people not having enough to eat, threats to biodiversity, growing inequality, and pollution that is changing our planet’s capacity to provide sustainable livelihoods due to climate change. This is a tall order of concerns.

Suppose there was an “Innovation Jam” where everyone in the world got together to see what could be done about these issues. In 2015, the United Nations did something along these lines. It conducted a consultation among 5 million people from across 88 countries in all the world’s regions asking for their shared vision for the world in 2030. The result is the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals

The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals

Three U.S. cities have been at the forefront in working to operationalize these goals into their urban planning programs. These include Baltimore, New York, and San Jose. In addition, a recent report titled “The U.S. Cities Sustainable Development Goals Index 2017: Achieving a Sustainable Urban America” examined progress being made towards sustainable development in the 100 most populous U.S. cities.

A fun quiz called “Which Goals Are You?” helps those who are new to the UN SDGs to identify the ones that that most resonate with their own personal interests.

Communities in the greater Washington area can also benefit from the SDGs, while also making our world a better place.

In that spirit, a “Green Leaders for Local Impact Retreat” will be held in Arlington, VA hosted by Leaders in Energy on June 8th, from 1–5 pm. The retreat will examine several UN SDGs, including #7 on clean energy, to explore actionable solutions to create more sustainable LOCAL communities in the DMV region. Won’t you join us in seeking to make a Green LOCAL impact with local SDGs?


USGBC Virginia and Resilient Virginia Offer Resiliency Education Series

The series will share tools and strategies for building practitioners, community leaders and resiliency advocates.

Published on April 25, 2018 at https://www.usgbc.org/

USGBC-VirginiaBy Cindy Zork, Director, Community — Virginia & Tennessee, U.S. Green Building Council

(Editor’s Note: Resilient Virginia and USGBC Virginia have embarked on a joint resiliency education series of presentations. This article by Cindy Zork provides some information on the USGBC resiliency activities at the national policy level and in Virginia.)

In accordance with the 2014 industry statement on resilience released by the U.S. design and construction industry, USGBC recognizes that “natural and manmade hazards pose an increasing threat to the safety of the public and the vitality of our nation.” Addressing issues of community resilience are critical to better preparing and recovering from these hazards.

The USGBC Virginia community is partnering with Resilient Virginia to provide education focused on improving the resilience of buildings, infrastructure and communities in the Commonwealth. Preparing for harmful events with sustainable planning and policy can save money and accelerate recovery.

Join us for our 2018 Resiliency Education series to learn more about tools and strategies available to building practitioners, community leaders and resiliency advocates. Our first session, held in Roanoke in March, focused on the city’s use of the Envision Rating System for Sustainable Infrastructure.

Future events are listed below. USGBC community members and Resilient Virginia members receive a discounted rate to attend. One hour of GBCI CE credit will be offered where applicable.

Resiliency Education Series Dates

When: June 12, 12 noon–1:00 pm
What: Shaken, Not Stirred: Community and Building Resilience—The Means to It and Its Measures
Presented by Dan Slone, Vertical Vision PLC
Where: Charlottesville, VA
Register for the June session.
Read more about the new RELi design standards.

When: July 17, 12 noon–1:30pm
What: Collaboratory: University/Government/Industry Collaborations on Flooding Adaptation
Presented by Skip Stiles, Wetlands Watch.
Where: Hampton Roads, location TBD
Register for the July session.

Dates for additional events in Richmond and Northern Virginia will be announced soon.


GoGreen Virginia: Your Local Government’s Guidepost to Sustainability and Resiliency

Go Green VirginiaGo Green Virginia is celebrating its 10th year as a pathway to sustainability and energy savings for cities, towns, and counties around the Commonwealth. The program, working with the Virginia Municipal League (VML) and Virginia Association of Counties (VACO), provides a guide to communities and sets up an annual friendly competition known as the Green Government Challenge. The “Challenge” is designed to encourage implementation of specific environmental policies and practical actions that not only reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainability initiatives, but can save local governments money.

Resilient Virginia is pleased to have been actively involved on the Advisory Committee over the past three years. In 2016 we were invited to add the newly created “Resiliency Checklist” to the GoGreen Virginia document. For the 2018 GoGreen Challenge, we are happy to report that resiliency is highlighted in several ways throughout the Challenge. For example, Item One provides points to communities that “Adopt a resolution focused on environmental stewardship, sustainability, or resiliency.” In addition, key resiliency aspects for local government planning and actions are highlighted in the Resiliency Section (Items 85–93).

We encourage local governments to weigh in on the Resiliency Section this year, since Virginia communities are facing increasingly more frequent weather and environmental challenges. These include extreme weather events and intermittent drought conditions, and well as the increased occurrence of extreme heat events, periodic flooding, sea level rise, and new health risks.

Resilient communities are better able to bounce back from disasters and disruptions in a sustainable way, while maintaining a vibrant quality of life for community members. In the long term, they are better prepared for uncertainties and able to adapt to changing conditions.

The Go Green Challenge for local governments opened May 15; check out the details at http://www.gogreenva.org/. Local governments can garner points by taking specific actions and be recognized as certified, silver, gold or platinum green governments.

Important dates for cities, towns, and counties that want to enter the Green Government Challenge:

VML Green Government Challenge deadline: September 3, 2018.

VACO Green Government Challenge deadline: October 5, 2018.


Thanks to Our 2017–2018 Annual Sponsors


Platinum Sponsor

logo-marionenterprisesCommunity Leader Sponsor

logo-facility-engineering-assoc
Lifeboat Sponsors

Hazen and Sawyer
Village Sponsors

2RW: Energy By Design

logo-leaders-in-energy


Resilience Events Calendar

Summer 2018 Event Highlights — Add these special events co-hosted by Resilient Virginia to your calendar

June 8, 1:00–5:00pm: Green Leaders for Local Impact Retreat. Presented by Leaders in Energy Event, Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA. Click here for details.

June 12, 12 Noon–1:00pm: Daniel Slone, Vertical Vision, PLC, Shaken, Not Stirred: Community and Building Resilience. Co-hosted by USGBC Virginia and Resilient Virginia, City Space, Charlottesville, VA. Click here for details.

July 17, 12 Noon–1:30pm: Skip Stiles, Wetland Watch, Collaborations on Flooding Adaptation, Hampton Roads. Co-hosted by USGBC Virginia and Resilient Virginia, Location TBD. Click here for details.

July 19: Resilient Virginia Annual Meeting. Members, supporters, and partners are invited to participate and learn more about the Resilient Virginia new Strategic Plan, network, and add your voice to resiliency planning. Look for more details and registration information coming soon!

Check our Resilient Events Calendar on a regular basis to find out what is happening in Virginia, around the nation, and virtually through webinars.


Be Resilient and Stay Cool This Summer — Join Today!Membership — Be Resilient and Stay Cool This Summer — Join Today!

Resilient Virginia is on a mission to

*Inform   *Educate   and   *Activate

Virginia communities to build resiliency in the face of challenges to community prosperity, national security, and changing climate.

You can help by:

Becoming a Member
Signing on as an Annual Sponsor

Continue your support throughout the year by using one or both of these online shopping sites that contribute to Resilient Virginia:

amazon-smile

goodshop

JOIN TODAY — IT’S OUR FUTURE!

RELi: USGBC’s New Resilient Design Rating System

RELi, the U.S. Green Building Council’s new standard for projects designed to endure and recover from extreme weather, is a national consensus standard. It was developed through an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) process, and focuses on creating resilient buildings and communities.

RELi handbookRELi (pronounced ‘rely’) is a comprehensive response to the urgent need for resilience in design and planning. Maintaining a reasonable level of safety and quality in our day-to-day lives now requires that we collectively respond to weather extremes, economic disruptions, and resource depletions — all of which are becoming commonplace globally, regionally, and locally. Resilience involves interactive social, economic, and environmental elements that respond to both acute short-term and systemic long-term topics related to the well-being of our society and planet.

USGBC and GBCI have now adopted the RELI standard. GBCI and the RELi resilience standard will work together to develop buildings and communities that offer greater adaptability and resilience to weather and natural disasters.

RELi’s development was led foundationally by the global architecture firm of Perkins+Will, with Eaton Corporation, Deloitte Consulting, and Impact Infrastructure providing vital content expertise and critical assessment.

For more information on RELi, click here to view the RELi handbook online, or click here for information on a Resiliency Education Series event featuring Dan Slone.

Resilient Virginia Supports These Summer Resiliency Events

July 19: Resilient Virginia Annual Meeting

You are invited to Resilient Virginia’s July 19th Annual Meeting to hear more details about upcoming Resilient Virginia activities, to meet our Board and Advisory members, and to add your voice on local communities’ and state agencies’ resiliency priorities.

Resiliency and the Rural/Urban Interface
The 2018 Resilient Virginia Annual Meeting
July 19, 2018  •  Noon–3:00PM
CitySpace
100 5th Street NE, Charlottesville, VA 22902

$20.00 for members; $25.00 for non-members.

Become a Member       Registration Closed       View the Agenda

Resilient Virginia invites your active support for these new initiatives by:

▪ Volunteering (contact Annette Osso to join a Planning Committee or contribute to our newsletters),
▪ Becoming a Member or Annual Sponsor.


Resilient Virginia is teaming with groups around the Commonwealth to offer the following events:

July 17: Collaborations on Flooding Adaptation
Tuesday, July 17 • 12 noon–1:30pm • Damuth Trane, 1100 Cavalier Boulevard, Chesapeake, Virginia

Skip Stiles from Wetlands Watch will present on the Collaborative Laboratory on Sea Level Rise and Flooding Adaptation — “Collaboratory” — a program to bring university programs with a community-based learning component (senior design/practicum/capstone studio, etc.) into the tidal localities in Virginia to work on practical approaches to adapting to increased flooding from rain and tides.

The effort is a partnership between Virginia Sea Grant, the U.S. Green Building Council, and Wetlands Watch (a Norfolk-based environmental organization) and has been running for three years. The goal is to help localities find solutions while students gain real-world expertise in the growing area of practice around climate change/sea level rise. Past projects have generated many millions of dollars in implementation funding and participating students are gaining employment.

Register Now

August 25: PrepareAthonPrepareAthon 2018
Saturday, August 25 • Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond

Celebrate preparedness during PrepareAthon, a free festival that teaches the community how to be more resilient when disaster strikes! Uncover life-saving information to protect your family during an emergency and learn more about resiliency. Local experts will discuss the impacts of climate change on human health, the environment and the Chesapeake Bay. Explore resiliency-themed climate change activities in the Museum, including NOAA Science on a Sphere® demonstrations, hands-on experiments in Eco Lab and beyond.

Find Out More

Resilient Virginia Co-hosts Three Early Spring Events

Our organization has teamed with groups around the Commonwealth to offer the following events:

USGBC VirginiaComing up soon!

The Envision Rating System for Sustainable Infrastructure and the City of Roanoke

Monday, March 19: Noon–1:00 pm

Co-hosted with the US Green Building Council Virginia

About Envision     Register Now

The USGBC Virginia Community is partnering with Resilient Virginia to provide a Resiliency Education Series focused on improving the resilience of buildings, infrastructure, and communities in the Commonwealth. The USGBC Virginia Community has embarked on this series in recognition of the 2014 industry statement on resilience released by America’s design and construction industry. That statement recognizes that “natural and manmade hazards pose an increasing threat to the safety of the public and the vitality of our nation.” Addressing issues of community resilience are critical to better prepare and recover from these hazards.

Join us for our first event this coming Monday, March 19 in Roanoke to learn more about tools and strategies available to building practitioners, community leaders, and resiliency advocates. USGBC Community members and Resilient Virginia members receive a discounted rate to attend. One hour of GBCI CE credit will be offered where applicable.

We are pleased to feature the following speakers at this presentation:

  • Danielle B. Bishop, PE, Stormwater Division, City of Roanoke
  • Dwayne D’Ardenne, Stormwater Utility Manager, City of Roanoke

Science Museum of VirginiaYour Home: Cool, Dry, and Green

Tuesday, April 3: 6:00–8:00 pm

Co-hosted with the Science Museum of Virginia

Register Now

Find out how you can take home a free tree and register here.

Have you ever wanted to know the steps you can take today to make your house more resilient to storms and summer heat while saving money on your bills? This workshop, sponsored by the Science Museum of Virginia and Resilient Virginia, will connect you with local options for stormwater and heat-reducing green infrastructure at your own home. Local experts will discuss diverse topics such as the role of trees in stormwater management and managing water in your yard using rain gardens, permeable pavers, and rain barrels. The workshop is free and participants can take home a shade tree or bush provided by the TreeLab to plant in your yard.


We are pleased to feature these speakers at the workshop:

  • Chris McCormick, Natural Resource Specialist, Green Infrastructure Center: The Role of Trees in Stormwater Management and Richmond’s Green Infrastructure Assessment
  • Jeremy Hoffman, SMV Climate Scientist: Demonstration of Stormwater Management with the Ready Row House
  • Amy Hagerdon, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay: Managing Water in Your Yard: Rain Gardens, Permeable Pavers, and Rain Barrels
  • Richmond Stormwater Utility Speaker (Invited): The City’s Incentive Program for Installing Rain Gardens in Your Yard
  • Aaron McFarland, TreeLab Manager: Information on Trees and Plants That Help Your Home Stay Cool, Dry, and Green


Arlington Homeshow and Garden ExpoThe 12th Annual Arlington Home Show and Garden Expo

Saturday, April 14: 10:00am–4:00 pm

Co-hosted with Arlington County

Find Out More

Save the date to find out about sustainable and resilient home design, repair, and products; how to make your home “storm-ready”; and talk to representatives from businesses and organizations that can help you with energy efficiency, stormwater management, urban gardens, and solar systems for your home. Watch for announcements on special guests who will be speaking about making your home “storm-ready” at the Arlington Home Show on Saturday, April 14.

1 2 3 11