Carol Diggs

The Van Yahres Tree Company treats ash trees at Monticello to guard against the invasive emerald ash borer. Credit: Van Yahres Tree Company

Ash disaster: Local ash trees face their own pandemic

As if COVID-19 weren’t enough, central Virginia is fighting another plague, only this one—the emerald ash borer—threatens our trees. The beetle may look like a tiny jewel— it’s a bright metallic green, small enough to sit on a penny— but it’s been scything down local ash trees like a malevolent Paul Bunyan.  “No ash tree […]

The Blue Ridge Young Birders Club gets kids into the woods and sets them on a path to a lifetime of exploring.

Eyes to the sky: Young birders build their skills

Dusk. A cold fitful breeze. Quiet except for our footfalls on dry leaves. Far above, a hawk glides, dark against the twilight sky. “Cooper’s,” says Theo after a swift glance. Theo is leading our group along the Rivanna Trail in search of woodcocks. It’s sunset in spring—courting time. Theo picks a spot on the border […]

Photo: Zack Wajsgras

It’s a match: A little green helps grow local businesses

For small business, money is manure– it fosters growth. Charlottesville’s Office of Economic Development has launched an innovative program to provide financial fertilizer for budding businesses, encouraging them to put down roots here in hopes they bear fruit– i.e., tax revenues and jobs. The new program, called Cville Match, uses funds from the Charlottesville Economic […]

Catherine Erikson, a trauma counselor at UVA, uses her dog Poe to help reassure and ground clients. Poe is so popular he has his own drop-in office hours for students and staff. Photo by Eze Amos

Lending a paw: Local groups harness the power of animal therapy

Tamera Mason, an EMT working at Augusta Health’s emergency room in Staunton, lives with a life-threatening medical condition: In July 2015, a yellow jacket’s sting set off an extreme autoimmune reaction that devastated her hormonal systems and caused Addison’s disease, which affects the adrenal glands’ ability to produce cortisol. When Mason’s body goes into Addisonian […]

"People have grown tired of the single-use mindset," says Corry Blanc, founder of Blanc Creatives. "And they are buying our story." / Photo: Tristan Williams

Made to last: Blanc Creatives cookware bridges new and old, form and function

While some locals lament the passing of small-town Charlottesville, tucked away in the Belmont neighborhood is a blacksmith shop called Blanc Creatives, where local artisans forge hand-crafted culinary tools they call “modern heirlooms made for daily use.” Corry Blanc–blacksmith, designer, and founder of Blanc Creatives–is a north Georgia native who learned pottery in high school, […]

Slow Money CVA co-founder Michael Reilly says the organization gives supporters a way to invest in the local food movement. Photo: Eze Amos

Locally grown: Fertilizing small-scale farming

Most small farmers could use a little green. That’s the idea behind Slow Money Central Virginia, a micro-finance nonprofit that helps local small farmers grow. The venture is affiliated with the Slow Money Institute based in Boulder, Colorado. Named in tribute to the slow food movement, the Institute provides what it calls “nurture capital” to […]

HackCville director Chip Ransler (center) helps students develop the skills to spark innovation and future startups. Photo: Eze Amos

Start me up: HackCville nurtures tomorrow’s entrepreneurs

Are entrepreneurs born or made? Doesn’t matter to Chip Ransler, executive director of HackCville—he’ll take someone who has an idea, or wants to make a difference, and fan that spark to flame. Although HackCville may sound like a cyber threat, Ransler says “to us, ‘hacking’ is a positive—finding quick, efficient, low-cost ways to solve problems.” […]

SARA’s Rebecca Weybright says calls about sexual assault have surged since  #MeToo. Photo by Eze Amos

#MeToo effect: Movement brings local victims forward

Since 2017, when the #MeToo movement galvanized women across the country to speak out about sexual abuse and assault, local support agencies have seen a dramatic increase in requests for help. Calls to the Sexual Assault Resource Agency to accompany victims to the emergency room increased by 42 percent from fiscal year 2017 to 2018, […]

Charlene Green, a multicultural educator who directed the city’s first Dialogue on Race, says she tries to “connect the dots” between Charlottesville’s black history and the issues the city faces today. 
Photo: Eze Amos

Telling all the stories: The people and places working to restore Charlottesville’s African American history

In 2010, Charlene Green, now head of Charlottesville’s Office of Human Rights, was directing the city’s first Dialogue on Race, an initiative to engage residents in an ongoing discussion of race, racism, and diversity. “As I was having discussions with people around the community on these issues, I began to wonder: ‘Who knows all this […]