Category Archives: Events

Workshop: Native Plant Identification and Rescue

Please join Blackberry Botanicals for a Native Plant Identification Workshop and Plant Rescue Training on Thursday April 12, 2018 from 6pm – 8:30pm, in the Rockfish Lounge at Rockfish Valley Community Center
. This training session is for Landowners and Volunteers who would like to volunteer to rescue and transplant our native medicinal plant heritage. FREE and open to the public. Donations are accepted and appreciated.

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 coming through West Virginia and Virginia. The Appalachian mountains are home to over 500 verified varieties of medicinal plants many of which grow nowhere else in the world. BB is preserving these plants, and preserving the rich and varied medicinal heritage of our Appalachian region.

The land clearing proposals and current practices observed during pipeline construction will negatively impact forest and wetland medicinals. This is a critical time to preserve these plants, many of which will not survive if the controlled environment in which they flourish is damaged. Blackberry Botanicals (BB), along with a crew of dedicated volunteers, are digging and replanting medicinals with growers who are actively participating in managed forestland plantings with verifiable practices of conservation.

Following the April 12 informational meeting and training session, BB will schedule several days to visit Nelson County in May 2018 to meet with interested landowners, to walk the proposed pipeline route on landowner property, and identify and mark native medicinal plants on the property. BB will return in June 2018 for several scheduled volunteer dig days. During these digs, native medicinal plants will be carefully and sustainably harvested from their current location, and either planted on the landowners property outside of the proposed pipeline route, or will be safely transplanted to another local plant sanctuary or to the United Plant Savers Sanctuary in Ohio.

If you are a landowner or a potential volunteer in Nelson County and are interested in learning more, please contact Sara Agelasto at If you would like to contact Blackberry Botanicals directly, please email or call Beth at 304-923-3716.  (Blackberry Botanicals will have information at the Friends of Nelson Public Meeting on April 11 at RVCC.)

Environmental Justice Road Trip to Buckingham County

Join the journey to central Virginia to connect with the people, places, and natural resources threatened by the proposed, controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Experts will be present to answer any and all questions you might have, including Swami Dayananda, Reverend Paul Wilson, Climate Reality Project leader Paula Clements.

What: Day trip by bus to threatened central VA.

Where: Buckingham County: Yogaville spiritual center, Historic Union Hill Baptist Church, James River

When: Earth Day, Sunday April 22, 2018. 8 AM – 8 PM

Why: The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is not needed. It will harm Virginians, our economy and environment. It can be stopped by Governor Northam.


  • Yogaville established in 1981 founded by Swami Satchidananda. Site of retreats.
  • Union Hill Baptist Church founded 1868 by local African American community.
  • James River, providing recreation and drinking water for millions of Virginians.

Tickets: Limited seats. $30 ticket including lunch with the Yogaville community:

  • locally sourced organic vegetables
  • vegan and vegetarian entrée options – seconds as supply lasts
  • endless salad bar

Purchase Tickets Here


Friends of Nelson Public Meeting, April 11, 2018

Join us on Wednesday April 11, 2018, Rockfish Valley Community Center, to share information and hear the latest news and updates. Plus a raffle with exciting prizes! Doors will open at 6 pm to give folks a chance to talk informally and pick up information sheets before the 7 pm meeting begins. At the meeting we’ll hear updates on various legal cases, on stream monitoring and water testing, and on the proposed horizontal directional drilling under the Blue Ridge and the James River.

Help Make #NoACP Art

March 31, 2018, 11:30 am, at the Route 29/Route 6 junction parking near Nelson Wayside. Join Wild Virginia and eco-Artist Amelia L. Williams to see the front lines of the #NoACP struggle. Learn about and contribute to an art installation built as a protest tactic to publicize the landscapes threatened by the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Help complete the landowner’s “orange flag” Signal-to-Noise piece (reminiscent of Christo works) that is currently in progress. It is one of a triad of soundscape pieces. Following the participatory art project, Amelia will offer a walking tour of the other two pieces of soundscape art that comprise the “Soundings” installation. This is a great activity for families with children.

There will be two starting points for participants (one drive-to and the other a hike downhill and across a stream), which will accommodate walkers of varying abilities. The follow-up tour will start with an easy walking path and move on to a downhill trek through a meadow to see the Glass Harmonium.

Register here for the free event.

Highland County Public Meeting wth Dominion

The public in Highland County will finally get a chance to have a face-to-face meeting with Dominion to express opinions about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. At a meeting on Thursday, March 29, 2018, beginning at 6 p.m. in the Highland County high school gymnasium, the County Planning Commission will take questions and comments from the public regarding the proposed ACP. Representatives from project majority-owner Dominion will be on hand.

According to The Recorder, “The stated purpose of the hearing is ‘to determine if the application to construct and operate a natural gas pipeline is substantially in accord with the Highland County Comprehensive Plan.’ About 55 Highland tax map parcels would be affected by the pipeline’s construction in some manner. The actual pipeline would cross 16-20 parcels. The remainder of the affected parcels have easements for access, construction, or other project related needs.”

To review the application, contact the Highland County Zoning Office at (540) 468-2323 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., Monday through Friday. Copies are also available for review in the county administrator’s office and in the office of county attorney Melissa Dowd, 282 Mountain Turnpike. Address written comments to Highland County Department of Building and Zoning, P.O. Box 188, Monterey, Virginia 24465.