Category Archives: Events

Circle of Protection, Sundays from 1-2

Join the Circle of Protection, Sundays from 1-2 pm, a weekly interfaith prayer vigil to protect Buckingham County from the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the proposed Union Hill ACP Compressor Station.

June 3, 2018, will feature music from Graham (creator of the Sun Bus) , a story from cultural anthropologist Lakshmi Fjord, PhD, Buckingham County resident and original member of Yogaville, and a loaves and fishes potluck at 2 in the church basement.

The vigils are open air on the grounds of Union Hill Baptist Church, 1496 Union Hill Road (State Route 663), Buckingham, VA. Details/directions for the event at Circle of Protection. It is a good idea to print out directions for the event before setting forth, as reception can be vague in certain parts of the county.

Nelson Pipeline Route Plant Rescue, June 1-2

The first Nelson County pipeline plant rescue will happen Saturday and Sunday June 1-2, 2018, with Beth and Neal of Blackberry Botanicals. They would love to have as many volunteers as possible join this first rescue to learn from Blackberry Botanicals so they can host future rescues.

Meet on Saturday at 9am off of Horizons Village Road (off Rt. 151 near Bold Rock Cidery). Take the first right after turning onto Horizons Village Road (there will be a sign). Drive through the open private property gate and continue all the way up. Someone will direct you to park in an open field at the top.

Gather at 9am in the clearing for an orientation with Blackberry Botanicals and to sign a liability waiver for your activity during the weekend. After the orientation, everyone will walk along the pipeline route and identify plants to be transplanted.

Please wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, sturdy shoes, and bring your own lunch and plenty of water. If you use insect repellant, please bring your own. Burlap sacks work well for collecting plant material as you walk. Digging implements (see photo above) are recommended.

You can watch the videos (part 1 and part 2) from the April Blackberry Botanicals training on There is lots of good information in these videos to help you prepare for the work days.

The Sunday group is smaller (more volunteers needed if you are interested!), and will meet at 10am, most likely a little further up Horizons Village Road; location will be announced after the work day on Saturday.

Please email Sara Agelasto at if you would like to participate so Blackberry Botanicals will know to expect you and can send you any last minute updates. Please also email if you cannot make this first rescue, but would like to participate in future rescues.

And if you are a landowner and would like to request a rescue on your property, please email so Blackberry Botanicals can schedule more rescues in the future.

Important Upcoming Events

Environmental Justice for Union Hill
Come join concerned citizens to stand with Union Hill and Buckingham residents as they present the environmental justice issues to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Environmental Justice.  Wednesday, May 30, VCE Building, 13327 West James Anderson Highway, Buckingham.  Parking across the street at Maysville Baptist Church.  Agenda:  9-10 a.m. – tour of Union Hill (for Council members only).  Public portion of the meeting:   10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  There will only be 25 minutes from 11:35 for individuals to make public comments related directly to the ACEJ subcommittee report and the DEQ presentation on the permit for the Union Hill Compressor Station. After that, 12-1 in-council discussion on the subcommittee recommendations to the ACEJ. Lunch. Presentation. 1:50 -2:15 general public comment time.   Although, individuals from Union Hill have had the opportunity to speak with ACEJ subcommittee members, none of that was “on the record” of the ACEJ. So, if possible, during the 11:35a public comment time, it would be a gesture of solidarity to allow the folks from Union Hill to present first person and scientific evidence of water, air, historic cultural, erasures from FEIS, etc to get these points in the public record. 

There is no planned rally outside the Coop building, and we know there will be lots of allies who plan to stand in solidarity and to let the ACEJ know that they care deeply about environmental justice issues related to Union Hill.

Additional info here.

Native Plant Rescues for Landowners on the Proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline Route in Nelson County, June 2-3, 2018.  Blackberry Botanicals (BB) in conjunction with United Plant Savers is in the process of coordinating several plant rescue operations due to the destruction imminent in the path of several fracked gas pipelines that are slated to come through West Virginia and Virginia. On June 2-3, 2018, they will meet with interested landowners to walk the proposed pipeline route located on their property to identify and mark native medicinal plants.  If you are a landowner and would like to participate in having plants saved or if you would like to be a volunteer please contact Sara Agelasto at

An art exhibition JUM JIRAPAN, BOSSA NOVA Sidetracks Music – 310 2nd St SE, Charlottesville, VA. June 2 – 30, 2018 Art Opening & Pop Up Café – Saturday, June 2 from 2 to 5 PM.  The event benefits Friends of Nelson.

Upcoming Public Hearing on Nelson Water Sale

In its issue for May 24, 2018, the Nelson County Times reported, Public hearing set on water sale as Service Authority, Atlantic Coast Pipeline near $3.5M deal. The Nelson County Service Authority’s Board of Directors made no decision on a contract with ACP, but at their recent meeting moved forward in the process by setting a public hearing on the water rates set forth in the potential contract, which could result in up to $3.5 million for the Authority. The hearing will take place at 2 p.m. June 21, 2018, at the Service Authority Administrative Building, 620 Cooperative Way, Arrington, VA 22922, in the Colleen Industrial Park.

According to George Miller, the Service Authority’s Executive Director, under the preliminary, “not yet” finalized contract ACP would pay a rate of more than 10 cents per gallon, which is 10 times what all other Service Authority customers in the area pay. Sourcing the water from Lake Monacan at Stoney Creek, the Service Authority would contract to provide 200 gallons per minute, up to 40,000 gallons of water per day from July 2018 through June 2020 at a pressure of 60 pounds per square inch. ACP would pay $500,000 for installation and connection of a 3-inch meter (compared to approximately $64,000 connection fee to other customers for a similar meter). Miller said a contract of this size would provide a little more breathing room when it comes to dealing with the authority’s monetary obligations.

The Nelson County Times article notes that, “The contract specifies provision of water is subject to Wintergreen’s water conservation and emergency action plan, which would prioritize the provision of potable water for human consumption in the event of an emergency water shortage.”

The water would primarily be used for the horizontal directional drilling (HDD) process that would bore a path for the pipeline under the Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachian Trail at Reeds Gap, but could be used for other construction as well. ACP says purchasing water from the Service Authority would eliminate the need to haul in water every day, and that about “10 trips by tankers per day would be eliminated, reducing traffic and wear on Nelson roads.” DEQ requires that all water be treated before discharge, and ACP says that “water that will be used as part of the HDD drilling fluid will be ‘hauled off.'”

No information was provided on how many tanker trips per day would be required to “haul off” the water, nor on where the water would be discharged.

A relevant letter to the editor in the Nelson County Times asks Nelson County officialdom, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, to Think before selling our water.  Another in the Daily Progress says Pipeline negotiations questioned.

Little Pink House: Special Showing

WHERE: The Regal Stonefield, 1954 Swanson Dr, Charlottesville
WHEN: Thursday, June 28 at 7:30 p.m.
TICKETS: Tickets are $12 general admission, and proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Friends of Nelson. You must buy your tickets online; no tickets will be sold at the door. Purchase tickets here:

Based on a true story, a small-town paramedic named Susette Kelo leaves a bad marriage, and starts over in a new town. She buys a rundown cottage with a gorgeous water view. She fixes it up and paints it pink. Then she discovers powerful politicians want to bulldoze her blue-collar neighborhood for the benefit of a multi-billion dollar corporation. With the help of a young lawyer named Scott Bullock, Susette emerges as the reluctant leader of her neighbors in an epic battle that goes all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, inspires a nation, and helps millions of Americans protect their homes.

In 2005, the nation was shocked by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Kelo vs. New London. In the judgment, the court said that a local government could forcibly seize people’s homes, through eminent domain, in order to transfer the property to a major corporation for development. The response was immediate. Across the country, states passed legislation and amended constitutions to curtail the power of eminent domain.  In 2012, the people of Virginia spoke out overwhelmingly when more than 2.6 million citizens (74.45% of votes cast) approved amending the state constitution to prohibit eminent domain from being invoked if the “primary use is for private gain, private benefit, private enterprise, increasing jobs, increasing tax revenue or economic development.”

Plaintiff Susette Kelo’s fight has been dramatized in this new film, Little Pink House, starring the brilliant, Oscar-nominated actress Catherine Keener as Kelo.

The film is being distributed in an unorthodox manner. Local people sign up to bring it to their town and, if enough tickets are sold, a screening proceeds at a selected local theater. We are pleased to announce that Doug Hornig has secured a showing of the film in Charlottesville:

WHERE: The Regal Stonefield, 1954 Swanson Dr, Charlottesville
WHEN: Thursday, June 28 at 7:30 p.m.
TICKETS: Tickets are $12 general admission, and proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Friends of Nelson. You must buy your tickets online; no tickets will be sold at the door. Purchase tickets here:

Eminent domain is a hot button topic here in central Virginia, as Dominion intends to use it to seize private property for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Many of us have been fighting them for several years now, and continue to do so.

We hope to use this event to help educate the public about the importance of fighting eminent domain abuse. Following the film, there will be a panel discussion and Q&A featuring: John Kramer – Institute for Justice, Chuck Lollar – Attorney specializing in eminent domain cases, Richard Averitt – Property owner impacted by Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Joyce Burton – Board member, Friends of Nelson, a nonprofit dedicated to stopping this unnecessary pipeline.

Join us – and bring family, friends, and neighbors! We’ll see you there!

Art Opening and Pop-Up Cafe

An art exhibition JUM JIRAPAN
BOSSA NOVA Sidetracks Music – 310 2nd St SE, Charlottesville, VA. June 2 – 30, 2018 Art Opening & Pop Up Café – Saturday, June 2 from 2 to 5 PM
The event benefits Friends of Nelson

Inspired by Getz & Gilberto’s 1963 album and the album’s cover painting by Olga Albizu, Jum Jirapan is bringing you paintings with vibrant colors reflecting the birth era of Bossa Nova. With each painting named after a favorite song, Jum’s paintings evoke the spirit of summer, jazz music, sidewalk cafés, and her zest for life. Indulge in a fine afternoon at the opening on June 2 which features a pop up café with live music by Cool Lane and live painting by Jum. Enjoy coffee from Lone Light Coffee and light refreshments by local chefs while lounging on fun furniture from Pigment.  The event benefits Friends of Nelson.

‘The Girl From Ipanema’ (2018) Acrylic on wood