Category Archives: Resilient Virginia News

Resilient Virginia Is Involved With These Spring Events

Building Sustainability Conference

2019 Building Sustainability ConferenceApril 25, 2019
Hosted by Viridiant
Location: The Place at Innsbrook
4036 Cox Road, Glen Allen, VA

After nine successful years, Viridiant’s Sustainable Leadership Awards has expanded into the Building Sustainability Conference and Awards highlighting efforts to build sustainability in our communities and infrastructure with focus on health, resilience, and innovation.

This event aims to educate and recognize innovative solutions of today to meet the needs of the evolving building industry of tomorrow.

The conference will feature sessions and speakers, bringing together cross-discipline industry experts to share knowledge, inspire discussion, and drive change in the protection of our living environments, both inside and out.

Awards will be presented to recognize the region’s leaders in high-performance construction with a focus on projects, programs and initiatives that represent the future of sustainable building.

Find out more and register at at viridiant.org/event/2019-building-sustainability-conf/.

Arlington Home Show and Resiliency Workshop

Arlington Home Show and Resiliency WorkshopApril 27, 2019
Hosted by Arlington County Housing Division and Resilient Virginia
Free to the community
Location: Kenmore Middle School
200 S. Carlin Springs Rd, Arlington, VA

In 2019 the Arlington Home Show & Garden Expo celebrates its 13th annual edition!

Last year Arlington’s prime home improvement and remodeling event gathered more than 75 home builders, contractors and specialist vendors, architects, inspectors, landscape designers, realtors, master gardeners, banks, nonprofit organizations and Arlington County housing, zoning and inspection representatives.

In addition, a rich and diverse schedule of FREE classes completed the experience of one-stop shopping and information for our more than 1200 visitors. The 2019 edition has even more in store!

The Home Show is a convenient way to learn about remodeling and improving your home (including popular kitchen and bath remodeling), finishing or waterproofing basements, replacing windows, doors, flooring, roofing and siding, adding security systems and more from a wide variety of top-rated companies.

You will take away information on green products and technologies, smart and universal design, convenient upgrades to home decoration, and outdoor living improvements.

Find out more at arlingtonhomeshow.org.

Resilient Virginia News: March 2019

What’s New

Climate Is Making News (Still); Americans Weigh In

NOAA and NASA Reports

“2018 is yet again an extremely warm year on top of a long-term global warming trend,” said NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) Director Gavin Schmidt.

NASA and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) issued independent analyses that were released in February 2019. They both reported that the earth’s global surface temperatures in 2018 were the fourth warmest since 1880. The past five years are, taken together, the warmest years in the modern record.

Since the 1880s, the average global surface temperature has risen about 2 degrees F (1 degree C), due, in large part, to increased emissions into the atmosphere from carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases caused by human activities.

Schmidt continues, “The impacts of long term global warming are already being felt — in coastal flooding, heat waves, intense precipitation, and ecosystem change.”

Photo Credit: Robert Miller/The Washington Post

Credit: Robert Miller/The Washington Post

Indeed, 2018 saw the wettest year ever recorded in the mid-Atlantic region. Warming trends are strongest in the Arctic region, with accompanying sea ice loss. And sea level rise continued to accelerate due to mass loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Increasing temperatures are also tied to longer fire seasons and some extreme weather events.

Read the NASA report here and the NOAA Global Report here.

Climate Change in the American Mind

Americans Weigh In

The latest national survey by the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication and the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication indicates that a record high percentage (72%) of Americans now say that global warming is personally important — up 9 percentage points from last year. Published in December 2018, the survey, Climate Change in the American Mind, points out that 65% of Americans think global warming is affecting weather in the United States, and 32% think weather is being affected “a lot.” 62% of Americans understand that global warming is mostly human-caused, whereas a record low 23% say it is due mostly to natural changes in the environment.

A second report, Politics & Global Warming, was released in early February. This shows that, for the first time, a majority of registered voters are worried about global warming.

Politics & Global Warming: Voter Views

The survey also reflects that a majority of registered voters support a variety of national policy actions to reduce carbon pollution, decrease our dependence on fossil fuels, and promote clean energy. These include such measures as a “fee and dividend” or “revenue-neutral carbon tax,” which would each require fossil fuel companies to pay a fee or tax with the funds being used to reimburse citizens in particular ways, or a “Clean Power Plan,” which would set strict limits on carbon dioxide emissions by coal-fired power plans. Even the newly publicized “Green New Deal” received positive support (81% of registered voters), according to this survey.

The Yale Program website also contains an interactive map that shows the survey results for Democrats and Republicans, both across the United States, and state-by-state. You can see this map for the state of Virginia, and by Congressional districts here.


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Distributed Solar Continues to Make Headway

By Tracy Garland, Social Media Director, Resilient Virginia

Solar Jobs Surge in Virginia

According to a recent report by the Solar Foundation, America now has over 242,000 solar workers, with nearly 4,000 of those right here in Virginia. The National Solar Jobs Census 2018 announced that solar jobs in Virginia increased 9% between 2017 and 2018, putting Virginia in 20th place for solar jobs by state.

The report notes that job growth in the solar field far outstrips overall job growth in recent history: “In the five-year period between 2013 and 2018, solar employment increased 70% overall, adding 100,000 jobs. By comparison, overall U.S. employment grew only 9.13% during that same period.” Further, the report predicts that, with a backlog of utility-scale projects and new policy incentives in key states, the outlook for solar jobs is expected to improve in 2019.

Resources for more information:
National Solar Jobs Census – The Solar Foundation

2017 Solar Jobs Census map of Virginia is an interactive source of information about jobs by congressional district, county and metropolitan area.

Distributed Clean Energy Expansion

We are highlighting several community-based and utility solar programs that are helping residential consumers with the opportunity to access renewable energy choices. These programs represent some of the growing initiatives in the state that give consumers the chance to lower their energy bills and their carbon emissions by going solar.

VASUN Residential Program

Solar United Neighbors in Virginia (VASUN) recently released its 2018 year in review, reporting that nearly 1,000 kW of solar capacity in over 100 homes and businesses were installed through its solar co-ops last year.

Valley Solar Co-op

Dayton, Virginia, Homeowner Arthur McPhee went solar with the Mountain and Valley Solar Co-op. System size: 7.4 kW

VASUN also helped with the creation of the Arlington Solar and EV Charging Co-op. Homeowners and businesses participating in the program have the option of installing solar panels, a level 2 electric vehicle charger, or both. This is the first solar electric vehicle (EV) co-op in Arlington and it helps electric vehicle (EV) owners and even those interested in purchasing EVs by providing information and discounted pricing support.

VASUN helped Kiskiack Golf Club became the first golf course in Virginia to go solar. The 29 kW roof top solar system installation was completed by Convert Solar as part of the Hampton Roads Solar Co-op, a community bulk purchase program supported by Solar United Neighbors of Virginia. The system installed on the golf club’s maintenance building will offset up to 25% of the energy used by the golf course and save more than $3,000 on electric bills each year.

Kiskiack Golf Club

Kiskiack Golf Club (L to R): Solar United Neighbors of Virginia Program Director Aaron Sutch, Kiskiack owner Carl Zangardi, William & Mary’s Henry R. Broaddus, and Chad Wilkins from Convert Solar. System Size: 29 kW.

VASUN also helped educate nearly one thousand community members about solar energy through free public information sessions in 2018 and continues to build a network of people who support solar as the best way to build a resilient and equitable energy system.

Central VA Electric Cooperative

Less than a year ago, The Central Virginia Electric Coop (CVEC) launched its new community solar program, Solar Share. The program allows residential consumers to purchase up to five 50-kilowatt-hour (kWh) “blocks” of solar energy. The subscription rate of $4.50 per block is locked in and not subject to rate increases for 25 years.

CVEC has completed construction on two solar generation farms, which will produce a total of 10 megawatts (MW) of energy, making them the largest solar project for an electric distribution cooperative in the state. CVEC will add 60% of the solar energy to its power supply portfolio for use by all 36,000 members, while the other 40% of the energy output will be offered to its members for subscription through Solar Share. CVEC serves homes and businesses in portions of 14 counties in Central Virginia.

CVEC’s 21,700-panel Palmer solar site.

CVEC’s 21,700-panel Palmer solar site.

Rappahannock Electric Cooperative

Through its Sunshare Program, the Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) serves 22 counties in northern Virginia, and allows its members to purchase 50-kilowatt-hour (kWh) blocks of solar energy. While a small portion of all electricity supplied by REC is generated at solar facilities in Virginia and only one modification is allowed within a 12-month period, the price for solar blocks will remain fixed for 3 years and participants may cancel subscriptions at any time without penalty.

The REC’s Net Metering program allows REC members to interconnect renewable generation systems to the electrical distribution system and to generate their own electricity. The meter measures both electricity being used from the grid and excess electricity generated by the user. The sum, or “net,” is the volume of electricity (kWh) to be billed or credited to the monthly bill.


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Climate Goals Get Going in Central Virginia

The City of Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and the University of Virginia (UVA) have launched a joint climate action initiative — Climate Action Together — with the goal of ramping up greenhouse gas reduction programs in Central Virginia.

The City of Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and the University of Virginia (UVA) Starting in February 2019, they have embarked on a collaborative community outreach effort as each entity begins to update their greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets and develop climate action plans (CAPs). The results of these efforts will serve to guide climate action in the Charlottesville area for the next 10–30 years.

These jurisdictions and the university had already initiated a range of GHG emission reduction programs over the past ten-plus years. For example, Charlottesville created its first emissions inventory in 2008 under their Climate Protection Program. They track municipal and community sector emission reductions periodically. For example, their 2012 report showed an 18% overall reduction for municipal facilities, vehicle fleet, and traffic signals and streetlights.

Charlottesville tracks municipal and community sector emission reductions periodically.

Charlottesville signed on to the Global Compact of Mayors initiative in 2017, with the commitment to further reduce GHG emission across municipal and community sectors. The city’s most recent inventory of emissions reductions can be viewed in their 2016 Greenhouse Gas Inventory report.

Motivated by the newest information on accelerating climate impacts that were revealed in the 2018 United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report, Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and UVA are working on expanding regional efforts that build on the Local Climate Action Planning Process (LCAPP) — a regional climate initiative by the three organizations completed in 2011.

Each organization will develop their own long-term targets and action plans to fit their unique composition and circumstances, but will work to share ideas and resources, build upon each other’s work, and collaboratively engage with the community. The three organizations are coordinating their outreach efforts across their sustainability offices. Residents, businesses, and area stakeholders are encouraged to get involved and participate in this collaboration.

Some upcoming public events include:

City of Charlottesville

  • February 14–March 17, 2019: Public Comment Period on GHG Reduction Goal
  • April: City Council Meeting Agenda Item (Presenting Staff’s Draft Recommendations for a Reduction Goal and Received Public Input Comments)
  • April–May: Public Comment Period on the Draft Recommendations
  • June: City Council Meeting Agenda Item (Proposing a Reduction Goal for Adoption)

Connect here to learn more about Charlottesville’s past emission reduction goals and their new initiatives.

Albemarle County

  • March 18, 2019: Public Event for Climate Action Planning (supported by City and UVA sustainability staff)
  • April: March–Summer 2019: Climate Action Planning and Goal Setting — Engagement Opportunities with Sector Teams and Workgroups
  • April: Summer 2019: Adopting a Climate Action Plan and GHG Reduction Goal

Connect here to find out more about Albemarle County’s work on setting GHG reduction goals.

University of Virginia

  • Early Spring through Fall 2019: Further Developing UVA’s Climate Action Plans and Commitments

Connect here to find out about the University of Virginia’s current initiatives and plans for the future.

Keep up with specific participation opportunities and find more information about each organization’s efforts by checking in at www.ClimateActionTogether.org.


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Some Resiliency-Related Legislation Succeeds in 2019 General Assembly

Bills Connected to Energy Efficiency and Renewables

(Source: Powered by Facts — www.poweredbyfacts.com)

Virginia (along with the entire nation) needs to move rapidly toward de-carbonization of energy production to rapidly reduce GHG emissions, according to the 2018 National Climate Assessment. A few bills that will help with this goal passed the General Assembly this year, with more extensive efforts needed in subsequent General Assembly sessions.

HB 2293 and SB 1605: Created a stakeholder process to provide important input on the development of utility energy efficiency programs.

HB 2792 and SB 1779: Created a 6-year pilot program for municipal net metering for localities that are customers of utilities.

HB 2621 and SB 1091: Allows localities to require a decommission plan as a condition for approving a solar site plan.

HB 2547 and SB 1769: Makes changes to the net-metering program for customers of electric cooperatives, including raising the net-metering cap to 7% of system peak and permitting customers to install enough renewable energy to meet up to 125% of previous year’s demand.

HB 2192 and SB 1331: Creates school modernization initiatives that encourage energy efficient building standards and net zero design.

Broadband Expansion for Rural Virginia

(Source: Commonwealth Connect. Contact Kyle Rosner, kyle.rosner@governor.virginia.gov)

Rural areas need economic diversification and growth, and a critical factor for success is strongly linked to broadband connectivity. Resilient Virginia is now a partner with Commonwealth Connect.

Broadband Budget: $19 Million in funding for the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) for FY 2020.

HB 2141: Expands the powers allocated to a local service district for broadband and telecommunications services in an unserved area. The legislation specifies that service districts can only contract with nongovernmental broadband service providers.

HB 2691: Establishes a pilot program for Dominion and Appalachian Power to own and lease broadband services to nongovernmental broadband providers in unserved areas of the Commonwealth. The pilot will be capped at $60 million annually per utility for three years and also authorizes the utilities to recover the net costs of the pilot from customers through rate adjustment.

HB 2541 and SB 1618: Extends the expiration of the Office of Telework Promotion and Broadband Assistance (OTPBA) and the Broadband Advisory Council (BAC) from July 1, 2019, to July 1, 2021, and alters and expands from 14 to 17 the membership of the Council.

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2018–2019 Board of Directors

We are pleased to highlight our Board Members and to introduce our 2018–2019 Advisory Committee on our website.

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

Managing Director

Annette Osso, LEED AP
osso@resilientvirginia.org

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Resilience Events Calendar

We are anticipating a busy Spring, Summer, and Fall this year! Here are some highlights of events Resilient Virginia will be involved with.

March 26, 2019: RELI — Guidelines for Resilient Buildings. Hosted by USGBC VA and Resilient Virginia. Noon to 1 pm. Interstate Center Conference Room, 2104 W. Laburnum Ave., Richmond, VA.

April 25, 2019: Building Sustainability Conference and Tour. Hosted by Viridiant, with participation by Resilient Virginia. The Place at Innsbrook, 4036 Cox Road, Glen Allen, VA.

April 27, 2019: Arlington Home Show and Resiliency Workshop. Arlington County and Resilient Virginia. Free to the community. Kenmore Middle School, 200 S. Carling Spring Rd, Arlington, VA.

Summer 2019: 2019 Resilient Virginia Conference. Our third statewide conference! Planning is underway. Stay tuned for the announcement of the date and location. Contact Annette Osso, Managing Director at osso@resilientvirginia.org to get involved.

September 17, 2019: Virginia Clean Energy Symposium. Hosted by VA-Renewable Energy Alliance with Resilient Virginia and others as partners. Stay tuned for more information on the agenda 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.

MembershipMembership — Spring is in the air somewhere!

Make Resilient Virginia membership your Springtime goal!

Thanks to new Annual Sponsor — ClarkNexsen
And new Members
University Member — Environmental Resilience Institute, UVA
Non-Profit member — VA-Renewable Energy Alliance
Abimbola Odumosu
Remy Pangle
Reg Snider
Karen Simester

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-smileIf Amazon is your online shopping choice, go to Smile.Amazon.com and designate Resilient Virginia and we will receive a donation with every purchase.

goodshopFind lots of discounts and many participating stores for office supplies, general shopping, and special event gifts.

JOIN TODAY — IT’S OUR FUTURE!

Resilient Virginia 2018-2019 Board of Directors

OFFICERS

Andy Sorrell

Andy Sorrell, Chairman Resilient Virginia Board of Directors

Andrew V. “Andy” Sorrell,​ the Chairman of the Resilient Virginia Board of Directors, grew up in the suburbs of Richmond but found his true home in rural Virginia after college. He studied environmental planning and public administration at Virginia Tech and proceeded to work for several rural Virginia local governments as a county planner managing governmental programs and solving problems for the public and local officials. From 2013 until early 2018, Andy managed the Commonwealth’s Office of Farmland Preservation at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, where he worked with local govern- ments, farmers, and others to preserve and retain active farm land. In April 2018, Andy started serving as the Deputy Director of the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission which provides financial incentives to southern and southwest Virginia localities to encourage business attraction and expansion that brings in new jobs and capital to Virginia’s former tobacco-growing region.

Passionate about rural Virginia, Andy has served on the Executive Board of the Rural Planning Caucus of Virginia since 2008 and on the Board of Directors of Resilient Virginia since 2016 and serving as chairman in 2018. Andy lives with his family (wife and two kids) in Palmyra, Fluvanna County, Virginia where they raise chickens, tend a large garden and attend a one-room country church.

 

Ellen Graap Loth

Ellen Graap Loth, Vice Chair Resilient Virginia Board of Directors

Ellen Graap Loth serves as Vice Chair of Resilient Virginia. Ms. Graap Loth is a Senior Project Manager at Cardno, an environmental engineering and consulting firm with headquarters in Brisbane, Australia. She is based in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Ellen started her career in the environmental industry assisting clients in managing hazardous waste, and has since gained extensive experience providing a wide range of environmental services to commercial, industrial, and government sector clients. In her current role, she manages projects aimed at improving all aspects of environmental management, including regulatory compliance, stewardship, and the analysis and mitigation of environmental impacts.

Ms. Graap Loth is a Certified Professional Environmental Auditor, and she has supported clients in establishing environmental management systems and has trained client staff to perform internal audits. Ellen enjoys traveling and has worked on projects in Belize, Canada, Haiti, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Belgium, Italy, Benin, and most of the United States, including Hawaii and Alaska.  Ellen received a BS in Natural Resources from Cornell University and a sustainability-focused executive Master of Natural Resources from Virginia Tech.

 

Jane Sibley Frantz

Jane Sibley Frantz, Secretary, Resilient Virginia Board of Directors

Jane Sibley Frantz, AICP, PMP, CFM, a Hazard Mitigation and Resilience Planning Professional, serves as Secretary of Resilient Virginia. Frantz, an Associate Vice President at Dewberry, is a deputy group manager for their Resilience Solutions group and a program manager for Dewberry’s $38 million FEMA Hazard Mitigation Technical Assistance Program (HMTAP) contract. With more than 16 years of experience in emergency management, she is an expert in mitigation planning and has led efforts for more than 20 multi-hazard mitigation plans and 15 disaster resistant university plans. She has instructed dozens of workshops on hazard mitigation planning and FEMA’s benefit-cost analysis program that determines the future benefits of a mitigation project compared to its cost estimates.

Frantz earned her Master of Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her bachelor’s degree in public policy from the College of William & Mary. She is a certified floodplain manager, a project management professional, and an American Institute Certified Planner. She is also a member of the US Green Building Council’s RELi Steering Committee.

 

Vestal Tutterow

Vestal Tutterow, Treasurer, Resilient Virginia Board of Directors

Vestal Tutterow, PA, CEM, is Treasurer of Resilient Virginia and manager in the High Tech and Industrial Systems Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He has an extensive background in energy management and energy efficiency in both the industrial and commercial sectors.

Based in Vienna, VA, Mr. Tutterow currently manages a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) program encouraging increased implementation of combined heat and power systems. He has assisted in the development and implementation of a number of DOE programs and initiatives, such as Motor Challenge, Compressed Air Challenge, Better Plants, and Superior Energy Performance. Vestal’s thirty-five years of experience also includes engineering and management positions with an Army research lab, the Defense Logistics Agency, and the nonprofit Alliance to Save Energy, as well as with energy consulting firms. Areas of expertise include program management, energy analysis, and stakeholder engagement.

Mr. Tutterow has a bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science from Duke University, a master’s in Systems Management from the University of Southern California, and a sustainability-focused executive master’s in Natural Resources from Virginia Tech. He is a registered Professional Engineer, a Certified Energy Manager, a Certified Practitioner in Energy Management Systems, and a Certified International Sustainability Consultant.

 

MEMBERS

Jerry EastridgeJerry Eastridge, LLA, BPI, is a Board Member of Resilient Virginia and a Principal at GSPH LLC. He is a Licensed Landscape Architect and Certified BPI Building Energy Analyst. A lifelong Virginian, he graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Landscape Architecture from Virginia Tech in 1976.

In the four decades since, he has practiced as a Licensed Landscape Architect, Land Planner and Civil Engineering Designer. Prior to founding GSPH LLC, his roles have included Senior Project Manager, Planning Director, Director of Land Development Engineering; and subsequently Office Director of the DC Metro Regional Office for The RBA Group, Inc. (a multidisciplinary architecture/engineering firm).

Mr. Eastridge has practiced extensively in urban and rural land planning, landscape architecture, civil design and energy management services. He has provided resiliency strategies for land development with emphasis on urban civil systems including multi-modal transportation, utilities, and stormwater management systems. Past clientele include federal civil and military, state and local government and private entities such as real estate investment-driven commercial and residential development companies.

Rebecca JoyceRebecca Joyce, a Board Member for Resilient Virginia, has worked in the human services field for 35 years. For the past 21 years, she has worked at the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission as a disaster mitigation program administrator, disaster preparedness educator, and emergency management/community planner. She has coordinated the regional disaster preparedness and mitigation education program Shenandoah Valley Project Impact for the last 18 years and the Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro Community Emergency Response Team program since 2003. Ms. Joyce is on the Board for the Natural Hazards Mitigation Association (NHMA) and a community representative for the National Hazard Mitigation Program’s Resilient Neighbors Network.

Steve SundermanSteve Sunderman, RA, LEED AP BD+C, BPI, is President of Terrazia, PC. and a Resilient Virginia Board Member. Mr Sunderman a licensed architect, LEED Accredited Professional with Building Design + Construction Specialty (LEED AP/BD+C), Building Performance Institute (BPI) Analyst and is a certified pervious concrete technician. He is a 1974 graduate of the University of Oklahoma with Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design degrees. His many years of diversified architectural experience include extensive design, project management, energy conservation and environmental education for a wide variety of stakeholders & building types throughout the United States and the Middle East.

He has promoted alternative energy, environmental conservation and equitable facilities design since the early 1970’s, including educational seminars on sustainability & stormwater management. He is known for creating affordable high-performance facilities that achieve his clients’ financial goals and minimize risk without compromising their community and environmental responsibilities.

Erin SuttonErin Sutton, MS, CEM, PMP, a Resilient Virginia Board Member, is Director of the Office of Emergency Management for the City of Virginia Beach. She has over 15 years of experience in emergency planning and preparedness with Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad, Virginia Beach Department of Public Health and the City of Virginia Beach.

Ms. Sutton has developed leadership, organization, coalition building and communication skills while teaching and training over the last twelve years. She has over 8 years of experience in planning, designing and managing Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) compliant exercises; most recently the City of Virginia Beach Active Shooter Full Scale Exercise March 2013. She has significant experience in data management and statistical analysis and received the Governor’s Award for Workplace Safety and Health in May 2008.

Nell BoyleNell Boyle, LEED AP,  is the Past Chair of Resilient Virginia. As the Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Roanoke, Nell Boyle is responsible for the energy performance data collection and analysis for all the city’s facilities, as well community outreach regarding sustainability and green practices. Ms. Boyle began her career in green building and sustainability 10 year ago as the Executive Director of the green building non-profit C2C Home. After the completion of the C2C Home project she was hired by Breakell Inc., a local contractor, as the Director of Sustainable Practices which included corporate sustainability and she managed all LEED documentation and training. Nell has served on numerous non-profits boards and committees, particularly the U.S Green Building Council.

 

Annette OssoAnnette Osso, LEED AP, is a resiliency and sustainability professional with an extensive background in working across multiple sectors to effect change. She currently serves as the Managing Director of Resilient Virginia, which has the mission of of accelerating resiliency planning in Virginia communities through education and technical assistance. Resilient Virginia is an evolution of Virginia Sustainable Building Network (VSBN). As President of VSBN for 18 years, Annette Osso built an effective program to educate professionals, citizens, and communities about green building and sustainability throughout Virginia. She also worked with public and private partners to organize the Virginia Sustainable Future Conference series, bring the EarthCraft Virginia program into the state, and marshall the adoption of commercial building sustainability guidelines. Before VSBN, Annette Osso spearheaded seminal Green Building efforts, including the development of a joint US DOE, US EPA, and USGBC publication, the Sustainable Building Technical Manual, and the adoption of environmental, energy, and sustainability programs at the federal, state and local levels.

Resilient Virginia News: December 2018

What’s New

happy holidays

Thank You 2018 Members and Annual Sponsors!

 

Platinum Sponsor
logo-marionenterprises

 

Lifeboat Sponsors

Hazen        logo-leaders-in-energy

 

Village Sponsor
2RW Energy By Design

 

Corporate Member — 2018
logo_Dewberry_largeIndividual Members — View our Individual members here.

happy holidays

LEED Benefits for Resilient CommunitiesUSGBC Virginia and Resilient Virginia Host 4th Presentation

LEED Benefits for Resilient Communities

Thursday, December 13, 12:00–1:00pm
Location: NOVA Community College, Alexandria Campus, Room TBD, 5000 Dawes Ave, Alexandria VA 22311

Register today to reserve your seat.

Join USGBC Virginia and Resilient Virginia for our 4th jointly hosted Connect & Learn exploring LEED’s connection to resiliency strategies using examples of LEED buildings in Arlington County. This event is part of a Virginia resiliency education series looking at how buildings and communities support statewide resiliency goals.

Green buildings are driving resilience-enhancing designs, technologies, materials, and methods. by including practices such as the use of durable materials, thoughtful site selection, rainwater collection, demand response, grid islanding, maximal energy efficiency, on-site renewable energy generation and more.

Attend this Connect & Learn to explore LEED’s connection to resiliency strategies using examples of LEED buildings in Arlington County. Speakers include Alysson Blackwelder, Advocacy and Policy Manager, USGBC, and Joan Kelsch, Green Buildings Manager, Arlington County. Lunch is provided for registered attendees. The presentation will run from 12:00–1:00 pm. Continuing Education: 1 GBCI CE pending.

happy holidays

US National Climate Assessment and IPCC Reports Point to Critical Need for Increased Mitigation and Resiliency Actions

US National Climate Assessment and IPCC Reports

US National Climate Assessment Report

Published November 23rd, the National Climate Assessment Report concludes that human-caused climate change is already causing irreparable harm to communities across the United States and that the disastrous impacts will increase and cost the country billions of dollars. This report, the Fourth National Climate Assessment Volume II, mandated by law to be issued every four years, was prepared by 300 authors at 13 federal agencies.

Among the report’s findings: climate impacts could slash 10 percent of the US GDP, the Midwest is projected to see an additional 2,000 heat deaths per year, average acreage burned by wildfires could increase as much as six times, all by the end of the century.

For the Southeast United States, urban infrastructure distress and health risks will increase due to flooding, increased heat and vector-borne disease, with coastal and low-lying interior areas being particularly susceptible for flood risk. Natural ecosystems will be transformed by changing winter temperature extremes, wildfires, drought, warming ocean temperatures, and floods. In rural areas, agricultural, forest, and manufacturing businesses will be impacted by frequent extreme heat episodes and changing seasonal climate. “By the end of the century, over one-half billion labor hours could be lost due to extreme-heat related impacts.”

The report further states that “While Americans are responding in ways that can bolster resilience and improve livelihoods, neither global efforts to mitigate the causes of climate change nor regional efforts to adapt to the impacts currently approach the scales needed to avoid substantial damages to the US economy, environment, and human health and well-being over the coming decades.”

The report emphasizes mitigation and adaptation in key areas, such as:

Energy — The report states that internationally and in the U.S., it is critical to escalate the pace, scale and scope of both hardening energy production systems to withstand extreme weather events and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Urban design and infrastructure — Cities are in the forefront of reducing greenhouse gases in the U.S. and have begun adaptation work as infrastructure, buildings, and commerce are being increasingly affected by extreme weather events, including storms, flooding and heat waves.

Agriculture and land use — Numerous adaptation strategies are available to cope with adverse impacts of climate variability and change on agricultural production. These include altering what is produced, modifying the inputs used for production, adopting new technologies, and adjusting management strategies. However, these strategies have limits under severe climate change impacts and would require sufficient long- and short-term investment in changing practices.

Read the Report summary, chapters on issues, and mitigation/adaptation strategies here.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report

On an international level, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report, released in October, 2018, strongly supports an all-out effort to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels, instead of the 2 degree C limit originally considered as part of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Some information to consider:

  • Human activities are estimated to have already caused approximately 1.0 degree C of global warming above pre-industrial levels
  • China (at 26.6%) and the U.S. (at 13.1%) are the top two greenhouse gas emitters, with India and Russia following. The top 10 emitters account for 60% of the worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. (Source: European Commission’s Joint Research Centre and PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency.)
  • The commitments from the Paris Agreement, if enacted, will still allow the warming trend to reach 3.5 degrees C by the end of the century.

The report finds that limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require “rapid and far-reaching” transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities. Global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) would need to fall by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching ‘net zero’ around 2050. This means that any remaining emissions would need to be balanced by removing CO2 from the air.

Read the IPCC Press Release here. The Summary for Policymakers of the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC (SR15) is available at https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/.

Climate impacts increase in severity with rising temperatures.

happy holidays

Governor Northam Ramps Up State Resiliency Initiatives

by Tracy Garland, Resilient Virginia

Acknowledging the burgeoning resiliency challenges facing the Commonwealth, Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam recently issued Executive Order 24 (2018) “Increasing Virginia’s Resilience to Sea Level Rise and Natural Hazards.” It outlines actions that the Commonwealth of Virginia will take to limit the impacts of flooding, extreme weather events, and wildfires as well as goals to improve resiliency in the future.

“As extreme weather events become more frequent and more intense, the safety and economic well-being of every Virginian is put at greater risk,” said Governor Northam. “The actions the Commonwealth will undertake as a result of this Executive Order will ensure we address this growing challenge head on, setting Virginia on a path towards resilience to near and long-term natural catastrophes and enhancing our public health and economic vitality with a whole of government approach.”

The order specifies that Virginia’s government will lead by example by:

  • ensuring its facilities are resilient;
  • developing a series of reviews and planning efforts to benefit the public and private sectors;
  • creating a “Coastal Resilience Master Plan;”
  • reviewing state compliance with dam and floodplain laws;
  • reviewing state hazard mitigation programs with the goal of increasing their scale and scope; and
  • providing guidance to local governments.

The Executive Order also outlines further resiliency improvement goals that include using nature-based infrastructure, ensuring better communication, engaging the military, empowering communities and individuals to reduce their risk, and more. Read the entire Executive Order here.

happy holidays

Rural Resiliency Forum

Rural Resiliency — First Steps Taken at Resiliency Forum

by Sean Tubbs, Guest Contributor (Excerpt from article posted in Resilient Virginia News)

To convene a conversation about rural resiliency concerns, Resilient Virginia held the Rural Resiliency Forum on October 23 at the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton that covered how the fields of agriculture and emergency management are responding to climate threats, 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.

“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. Resiliency 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.

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.

Read the complete article that recaps the speakers’ information and directs you to additional resources here. You can also review the presenters’ PowerPoint presentations here.

rural-resiliency-forum-2018

happy holidays

Utilities of the Future — Expert Speakers’ Presentations Now Live!

Utilities of the Future      Utilities of the Future

(excerpted from article by MIRIAM ACZEL, www.leadersinenergy.org)

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.

Leaders in Energy, Founder and Executive Director and session co-moderator, Janine Finnell, kicked off the event, introducing the three panelists: John Caldwell, Ph.D., Director of Economics, Edison Electric Institute (EEI); Cyril Draffin, Project Advisor to Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Energy Initiative (MITEI); and Elizabeth Brooke Stein, Attorney, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)’s Clean Energy Program. Annette Osso, Managing Director, Resilient Virginia, provided comments on the need for secure energy resource development as part of community resiliency planning.

The expert presenters provided thought-provoking information, respectively, on such topics as:

  • the “total electric utility evolution” towards an interactive, transactive grid;
  • locational energy pricing, renewables (centralized and distributed) for decarbonization, and resiliency considerations;
  • New York’s efforts to reform the state’s utility regulations (Reforming the Energy Vision, or REV), and the various technological enhancements that make this renewable transition possible.

You can view the entire article here and view the video presentations here.

happy holidays

2018–2019 Board of Directors

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

Managing Director

Annette Osso, LEED AP
osso@resilientvirginia.org

happy holidays

Resilience Events Calendar

Early Winter, 2018 Event Highlights

December 13, 2018: LEED Benefits for Resilient Communities, Noon–1:00 pm, NOVA Community College, Alexandria Campus, Room TBD, 5000 Dawes Ave, Alexandria VA 22311. Register today to reserve your seat.

January 7–10, 2019: National Council for Science and the Environment Annual Conference: Sustainable Infrastructure and Resilience, Washington, DC. For more information and to register: https://ncseconference.org.

January 28–31, 2019: Northeast Organic Farming Association. Four-day organic land care certification course, Washington, DC. For more information, contact Joan Clement, CHEARS volunteer, joan@chears.org, 301-775-5368

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

Membership — ‘Tis the (Giving) Season!

Join (Or Renew) Today — It’s Our Future!

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 gift buying and giving time, so make it easy on yourself by shopping at Amazon.

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

JOIN TODAY — IT’S OUR FUTURE!

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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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:

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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

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