The 14th annual Sustainability Week, an interactive partnership among Virginia Tech Office of Sustainability, the Town of Blacksburg, and local citizens group Sustainable Blacksburg, kicks off a range of community events on Sunday, Sept. 20.

Sustainability Week 2020 will serve as the launching pad for exciting year-long programming and community engagement projects titled “Sustainability through the Seasons.”

The new year-long approach will allow sustainability partners to engage the campus and community on an ongoing basis in programming tailored for the seasons, such as tree planting during the fall and hosting the City Nature Challenge held in spring.

The majority of Sustainability Week 2020 events will be held virtually, making it easier than ever to get involved. A handful of in-person events will be hosted outdoors to maintain physical distancing.

Here is what to look forward to during Sustainability Week 2020:

Print the Sustainability Week 2020 flyer

Sunday, Sept. 20

  • 9 a.m. and noon (two shifts): Trail work service day organized by the Poverty Creek Trails Coalition.

Monday, Sept. 21

  • 7 p.m.: Virtual Cycling Commuter Clinic led by the New River Valley Bicycle Association.

Tuesday, Sept. 22

  • Noon – 2 p.m.: Sustainable Eats Dining Hall Tour (for dining hall plan holders).

Wednesday, Sept. 23

  • Noon – 2 p.m.: Virtual Sustainable Bike Tour through Town and Campus. Discover the hidden gems of Blacksburg!
  • 2 – 6 p.m.: Blacksburg Farmers Market.

Thursday, Sept. 24

  • 5:30 – 7 p.m.: Virtual Science on Tap: Cycling Toward Healthier Communities.

Friday, Sept. 25

  • 11:30 a.m.: Virtual Panel Discussion: Changes to Local Recycling.

Saturday, Sept. 26

  • 9 a.m.: A family-friendly bike parade led by Blacksburg Mayor Leslie Hager-Smith.
  • 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.: Blacksburg Farmers Market. See how the Farmers Market has adapted and is thriving during these unprecedented times.
  • 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.: Fall is for Planting Native Plants sale, sponsored by the New River Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society.

Sustainability Week is about celebrating the progress both the university and the Town of Blacksburg have made in creating a more sustainable community; educating students and citizens about living more sustainable lives; and motivating all Hokies to take tangible actions to boost their environmental stewardship efforts.

These activities are in strong alignment with the community engagement and education goals put forth by the Virginia Tech Climate Action Commitment, which serves as the university’s guiding framework around sustainability and energy efficiency in campus operations, facilities, curriculum, and research.

 In late 2019, President Tim Sands called for its  renewal and revision to ensure the most stringent climate and sustainability standards are implemented as Virginia Tech continues to grow and seeks to be a leader in environmental stewardship.

The final report with updates continues to move through university governance for final approval and implementation this fall.

For Sustainability Week 2020 event details and other helpful information, please visit the Sustainability Week website and the Sustainable Blacksburg Facebook page.

Check back with the Office of Sustainability for the latest Sustainability through the Seasons events.

2020 Sustainability Week flyer highlighting an event list that is the same as the list included above in this article. Top of flyer includes an illustration of community members biking in front of mountains and a stream.