Green happenings: Charlottesville environmental news and events

The Blue Ridge in winter. Photo by Graelyn Brashear. The Blue Ridge in winter. Photo by Graelyn Brashear.

Each week, C-VILLE’s Green Scene page takes a look at local environmental news. The section’s bulletin board has information on local green events and keeps you up to date on statewide happenings. Got an event or a tip you’d like to see here and in the paper? Write us at

Winter woods walk: Wild Virginia will host its next outing January 13, 2-and-a-half-mile winter hike from the Braley Pond Recreation Area in the North River Ranger District of the George Washington National Forest. The quiet spot is on the gentle eastern slopes of Shenandoah Mountain, not far from the Ramsey’s Draft Wilderness. Group size is limited, so register before January 6 to save a spot. Contact Ron Fandetti at or 401-529-8025.

Keep truckin’: The Virginia Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, based here in Charlottesville, is seeking vehicle donations. Reliable trucks and SUVs are vital to the organization’s field staff as they work to maintain access to nature preserves and other important natural areas all over the Commonwealth. Read more about what they need and how to help here.

Green pages: In case you missed it, last month saw the release of the winter 2012 Piedmont View, the Piedmont Environmental Council’s quarterly publication highlighting important conservation topics and news in central Virginia. In this issue: The organization’s take on cell tower regulation, watershed restoration projects, and efforts to get food service providers in on the locavore movement.

And a reminder of some other upcoming events we told you about last week: 

Teddy trek: Bundle the kids and their favorite plush pals up for the Rivanna Trail Foundation’s annual Teddy Bear Hike on Saturday, January 5. RTF board member Diana Foster will lead the hike, which is for children of all ages and their families. Gather in the Riverview Park at 11am, and prepare yourself and your furry friend for a fun and educational winter hike.

For the birds: The Ivy Creek Foundation is not fazed by the cold, and its weekly and monthly events are up and running again. Saturday, January 5, join Gabriel Mapel of the Monticello Bird Club for the new year’s first Saturday Bird Walk, an informative hike through the woods with fellow bird lovers. Meet in the parking lot of the Ivy Creek Natural Area at 7:30am.

Coal goals: Environmentalists are adding to their list of reasons to put an end to coal mining in Virginia. According to a report on NPR’s American University Radio, the nonprofit environmental organization Appalachian Voices said the Commonwealth gives coal companies more in tax breaks than it receives from them in taxes. Director Tom Cormons said he recommended the state end tax breaks for coal companies and use the money to promote additional economic development.