Many of us in Charlottesville cherish the rich natural landscape surrounding our city. But protecting that beauty—and ensuring that we live on a survivable planet—takes dedication from countless volunteers and organizations. If you’ve ever thought about getting involved but didn’t know where to start, check out some of these local and national groups.
New groups and initiatives that have recently come to our attention:
- Resilient Together is a City, County, and UVA collaboration created to develop goals for Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plans that address the problems associated with our warming planet—like longer and hotter summers, more destructive storms, and invasive pests. Resilient Together just kicked off an 18-month initiative to draft plans that would be adopted by Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Click here to register if you’re interested in getting involved, or sign up for email updates here.
- Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) is an international organization that advocates for climate solutions and an empowered citizenry to ensure a livable world. Ellie Syverud, the leader of the local Charlottesville chapter, sends out a “Weekly 5 Minute Action” email that encourages people to contact their representatives in Congress regarding relevant climate legislation. Contact Ellie at email@example.com for more information.
And don’t forget about some of our longer-established favorites:
- The Community Climate Collaborative (3C) is a Charlottesville-based organization that takes a local-first approach to climate policy. It’s active across the state and advocates for community-led solutions to catalyze climate action. Join the 3C mailing list here or follow this link to contact 3C.
- The Piedmont Group is the local chapter of the Sierra Club, one of the oldest climate activism groups in the United States. It sponsors a range of programs each year to educate the public about environmental issues and the natural world. Check out its activities calendar here, and sign up for the Piedmont Group’s mailing list here.
- The Rivanna Conservation Alliance is a local nonprofit organized to clean and protect the Rivanna River and its tributaries. It offers programs for monitoring and restoring the river as well as educational and advocacy events. Sign up for the Alliance’s newsletter here, and consider volunteering at some of their events.
- The Nature Conservancy is a global environmental nonprofit with an active presence across Virginia, from the Allegheny Highlands to the Chesapeake Bay. Contact the Conservancy here for more information, and check out some of their volunteering opportunities across the state.
- If you’ve ever enjoyed walking, running, or biking a portion (or all) of the Rivanna Trails, you’ve got the Rivanna Trails Foundation (RFT) to thank. The organization maintains all 20 miles of the trail, which encircles the city. It’s working on other initiatives as well, like a shared-use path from Charlottesville through Ivy, Crozet, and Afton, all the way to Waynesboro. Join the RFT here, or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
- The Botanical Garden of the Piedmont is tucked away in the northeast corner of McIntire Park. A $1.5 million gift last year has enabled the garden to begin architectural and design work in the park—adding a visitor center, amphitheater, childrens garden, and other gardens. Click here to volunteer, and click here to sign up for the newsletter.
- The Ivy Creek Foundation’s vision is “to inspire and engage our community in the stewardship of our natural resources and our rich African American cultural history.” The foundation is the steward of what was once known as the River View Farm, a community of African American farmers, pastors, craftspeople, and businessmen from the late 19th century. Follow this link for volunteer information, and email Executive Director Sue Erhardt at email@example.com for general information.