Virginia Tech, the Town of Blacksburg and Sustainable Blacksburg have partnered to present Sustainability Week 2008, Oct. 20 through 25. During Sustainability Week more than 20 activities, events and tours, focused on building and sustaining a greener community, have been scheduled.

“We are very excited about this year’s Sustainability Week events,” said Virginia Tech’s Sustainability Coordinator, Denny Cochrane. “The university’s commitment to building a sustainable campus is real. We have made many noteworthy steps in the right direction. We want to continue the momentum and feed the enthusiasm of the students, faculty, and staff. Sustainability Week gives us that opportunity.”

Both the university and the Town of Blacksburg have implemented sustainability initiatives through recycling programs, green building, greening the dining halls, supporting educational programs, and implementing the use of biodiesel fuel in vehicles and equipment.

“We’re very proud of the opportunity given to us through Sustainability Week to celebrate and provide education about issues relating to the environment. This week wouldn’t be possible without the many organizations and individuals who have donated so freely of their time and resources,” says Mayor Rordam.

“The relationship between the town, university and Sustainable Blacksburg is paramount. Our motto, ‘partnering for a greener community,’ is the key to being successful in these efforts.”

Sustaining Blacksburg is the goal of the community-based organization, Sustainable Blacksburg. The non-profit organization, which consists of more than 30 community groups with representatives from local government, Virginia Tech, university student organizations, local businesses, architectural and engineering firms and non-profit organizations, works daily to support the various initiatives for greening the community.

“Our goal is to assist programs, like Sustainability Week, which help sustain our environment, both where we live and work. Through simple and consistent efforts, we can build a sustainable community,” says Jim Flowers, Sustainable Blacksburg steering committee chairman.

Kicking off the week of events, the university is featuring local foods from Polyface Farms. In addition, Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms is scheduled to speak at The Lyric Theatre. On Tuesday, the Campus Tree Tour, which is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota, will make a stop outside the Holtzman Alumni Center at the Inn at Virginia Tech.

Throughout the week, The Lyric Theatre is showing “Flow: For Love of Water,” and a painted rain barrel silent auction is taking place at the Town of Blacksburg Municipal Building.

On Wednesday, entertainment will be provided by Earth Mama Eco Music both at the Squires Student Center and the Farmers Market Green Drink Social. The Campus Sustainability Day Fair and Society for College and University Planning Webcast and the “No Child Left Inside” program hosted by the U.S. Forest Service will also be held on Wednesday.

On Saturday, the Home Sustainability Fair will be held at Kent Square and the Town of Blacksburg Municipal Building. Several family-friendly events are scheduled to take place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Also sneak preview tours and green building discussions will take place at the former Blacksburg Motor Company building from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., concluding with the announcement of the rain barrel silent auction winners.

Other scheduled Sustainability Week events include a keynote address from Anthony Flaccavento, executive director of Appalachian Sustainable Development and various workshops related to greening your home and your business.

The various events, activities and tours during Sustainability Week 2008 are made possible by Virginia Tech, the Town of Blacksburg, and Sustainable Blacksburg in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, Toyota, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Macredo, and the National Partnership for Environmental Priorities.

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