Celebrating Sustainable Relationships

Community Market across from the Country Store in Floyd
Community Market across from the Country Store in Floyd

The first public project for the southwest Virginia grassroots community organization, SustainFloyd, was to organize a community action on Bill McKibben’s encouragement to demand a sustainable atmosphere.

McKibben, author, educator and environmentalist, was invited by SustainFloyd and The Community Foundation of the New River Valley to the tiny town of Floyd and to the university town to speak about local economies and sustainable communities–a pathway along which he acknowledged Floyd County had already taken strides in the right direction.

In the wide-ranging hour the author spent before the standing-room-only crowd at the July meeting at the Floyd Country Store (and later to several hundred Blacksburg and NRV residents), he explained his year-long global effort to raise into popular awareness the number 350, a project for which he has created the web site, 350.org.

350 is the level of CO2 in parts per million thought by many climate scientists to be the maximum safe level at which we must aim over the long run to limit climate warming to 2 degrees C; with 0.7 degrees of increase already since the industrial revolution, ecological and climate disruption is significant, especially in the far north and Arctic regions.

After a successful assembly at the foot of Buffalo Mountain for a drizzly-foggy October 10th “350 climate action”, SustainFloyd now looks ahead to the first community festival of its kind in the county, the SplitRail Eco-Fair, to celebrate ecologically-sustainable aspects of agriculture, arts, commerce, education and life together in vibrant community in a changing world.

On October 24 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. (see link below) downtown floyd will feature some 40 vendors of earth-friendly products, services and information. The day will include live music by Windfall, the Alliens, Luke and the Celtic Troubadours, Lee Pinkerson, Grace Note and a number of local bluegrass musicians.  The music will be amplified by solar energy.

There will also be a performance by the Young Actor’s Co-op of the original satire, “An Inconvenient Spoof” and plenty of activities for the whole family. SplitRail will feature locally grown and sustainably produced food, as well as information on community-supported agriculture and sustainable business and forestry practices.

Prominently featured on October 24 (chosen because it is the day all 350 actions will be displayed at the United Nations in advance of the critical December Climate Conference in Copenhagen) will also be the noon dedication of the new Floyd Community Market, an open-air timber-frame structure completed in the center of town just in time for the event. For decades to come, this structure will host opportunities for citizens and visitors to share local food and music, arts and crafts, conversation and ideas.

Combine a Saturday stop in Floyd on October 24 with a trip along the Blue Ridge Parkway, just at its color-change peak. Come meet new friends, enjoy local food and music, and share our celebration of the bounty of blessings before us this beautiful autumn.

Festival map and schedule available soon in the right sidebar. Click Woody Crenshaw’s image above for a few more shots, likely many more to come.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Share this with your friends!

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

Articles: 3012


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Fred – just a small correction/clarification – Bill McKibben was hosted by the Community Foundation of the New River Valley (CFNRV), not the Blacksburg Community Foundation (which does not exist). The CFNRV has a very strong Floyd component to it – Jackie Crenshaw (past President), Ginny Gardner and I (past Treasurer) are current board members, and the CFNRV has funded and supported dozens of projects in Floyd, most recently including Reading in Floyd is Fun, the Harvest Festival, the Park celebration/fundraiser, the Historical Society, and the Humane Society. The meeting in Blacksburg with McKibben was attended by people throughout the NRV, including many Floydians.

    You can find out more about the CFNRV at http://www.cfnrv.org

    Warm Regards,