On a warm, sunny Saturday, members of a Harrisonburg cohousing group hosted an open House to celebrate Earth Day at the future site of their community, Juniper Hill Commons, which could begin construction before the end of the year.
After years of making potato chips in fairly tight quarters, Sarah Cohen faced a decision: expand or quit the business. But she said she knew at that time if she were to continue with Route 11 Chips, it would have to be in a responsible and sustainable manner.
Even as the details for implementing President Joe Biden’s executive order establishing a Civilian Climate Corps are still being hammered out, crews from the Appalachian Conservation Corps (ACC) are out planting trees in the Rappahannock watershed. Zach Foster, founder and director of the Harrisonburg-based ACC, said the group’s work exemplifies what the newly created national effort is trying to achieve.
When Charles Hendricks meets a client who wants to build a house, it’s usually just a casual rap about their life: No drafting, no visualization, not even a plan for what the house will look like by the end. Rather than wasted time, Hendricks says his clients understand the method to the madness when he comes back with full blueprints of a design.
Before moving to Harrisonburg in 2006, Laura Dent had known the Friendly City for most of her life as the halfway point between her hometown of Montgomery, Ala., and her alma mater, Harvard University. And when a job as a technical writer for Rosetta Stone brought her to town, it felt like the culmination of two lifelong passions – her decades-long career as a technical writer and a fascination with international language and culture after multiple trips abroad.
With the 50th anniversary of Earth Day approaching in April 2020, James Madison University students should contemplate how we can implement the university’s mantra of “being the change” when it comes to our environmental impact. Whether making small or large changes, there is much we can do both individually and collectively right here on campus and in Harrisonburg.
After Bridgeforth Stadium, it’s possibly the most recognizable landmark for those driving through Harrisonburg on Interstate 81. The 120-foot wind turbine is perched on a ridge on the east side of the highway, its spinning, 33-foot blades propelled by the invisible breeze. What can’t be seen from the road is the force behind that specific turbine – a renewable energy advocacy organization that calls Harrisonburg home.
Part of Quakers’ beliefs include stewardship and – upon listening to the divine within themselves and others – the group began to feel a need to do something about climate destabilization. In 2014, they put out a statement to invite other religious groups and communities to make an effort toward reducing their carbon footprint on the environment. Having already done an energy audit on their meeting house, one member said, “Are we going to put our money where our mouth is?”