Sustainability Week 2016 – a green partnership between Virginia Tech, the Town of Blacksburg, and Sustainable Blacksburg that highlights sustainability efforts in the town and on campus – will be held Sept. 18-25.

More than two dozen activities are planned to “celebrate, educate, and motivate” many of the sustainable efforts that are happening on campus and in the community.

This year's Sustainability Week begins Sunday with three events, starting with a 10 a.m. tour and service project at Historic Smithfield Plantation, followed by a ribbon cutting at 4 p.m. for the 16 Frogs project located at the Lyric Theatre, and concluding with a 5 p.m. kickoff celebration at Market Square Park. The kickoff celebration will recognize the 10th anniversary of Sustainability Week with local beer, wine, and food, as well as with dancing and appearances by special guests.

Community members will have the opportunity to participate in a service project on Tuesday, removing invasive species in Stadium Woods. Leaders from the New River Valley Master Naturalists will be present to provide history and guidance.

The annual Active Commute Celebration from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday will highlight information about Blacksburg Transit, the Virginia Tech Office of Sustainability, Blacksburg Office of Sustainability, Virginia Tech Bicycle Ambassadors, Zipcar, and the Virginia Tech Environmental Coalition. There will be activities, giveaways, and free food from Panera Bread.

The Sustainability Week 2016 Celebration Ceremony will take place on Thursday at 4 p.m. Virginia Tech President Tim Sands and Sustainable Blacksburg President April DeMotts will provide remarks and plant a white oak tree on Henderson Lawn.

Two events will be ongoing throughout the week.

Squires Perspective Gallery will host an exhibit entitled “What Color is Water?”, a community arts project collaboration between water-quality education programs and residents of the region. The goal of the exhibit is to help local residents “connect” to water.

Sustainability Week ambassadors will be on the lookout for community members who are actively taking steps to live more sustainably. Anyone who is “caught green handed” by one of the ambassadors will earn a sticker and have the opportunity to enter a raffle.

Events will continue each day throughout week and most are free. The full schedule, as well as a list of volunteer opportunities, is available on the Sustainability Week website.

Written by Abbey O’Farrell.


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