Friends of the Rappahannock (FOR) make Earth Day a fun, family-friendly experience.
On April 16, 2011, FOR will host "Earth Day Celebration and Spring River Clean-Up." This free family event attracts more than 1,000 participants annually. Several dozen exhibitors, from beekeepers to gardeners, local non-profit environmental organizations to scout groups, are scheduled to have hands-on activities and booths to enlighten and engage both children and adults.
The goal of the event is to excite people about practical ways they can reduce their carbon footprint. Volunteers will clean trash from the Rappahannock River, local streams and nearby lands. A celebration will follow the clean-up. Festivities will include live music, food, guided walks and nature crafts. The event is co-organized by Fredericksburg Parks and Recreation, the Rappahannock Group of the Sierra Club, Mountain View Learn and Serve and the American Canoe Association.
"Friends of the Rappahannock is the voice and active force for a healthy and scenic Rappahannock river," says FOR Executive Director John Tippett. "Without a voice of its own, the Rappahannock is unable to speak against the growing barrage of pollution from developing land, wastewater dischargers and animal wastes that endanger its health. FOR and its members stand as the voice for the River."
FOR was founded in 1985 as a non-profit, grassroots conservation organization. Its goal is to maintain the water quality and scenic beauty of the Rappahannock River and its tributaries. FOR works with a wide variety of stakeholders, from local governments to elementary students, to educate the community and advocate policies that will protect and restore the Rappahannock River.
The Rappahannock River is located in eastern Virginia and is approximately 184 miles long. It crosses the entire northern part of the state, from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the west, all the way to the Chesapeake Bay, south of the Potomac River.
“We believe that community education is an essential tool for promoting environmental awareness and protection,” adds Mr. Tippett. “As a result, we lead a variety of public education programs which focus on understanding and protecting the river's unique natural, scenic and historic resources.”
FOR is currently launching a Tidal Rappahannock River Steward Program. "This year, we stand on the cusp of expanding that voice in a major and meaningful way,” concludes Mr. Tippett. “Since our inception 26 years ago, we held the goal of actively engaging in issues from the headwaters to the lowest reaches of the Rappahannock estuary. Now we are taking this even further with our new program. This is a milestone in our advocacy, restoration and education efforts along the full length of the Rappahannock."
For more information, call (540) 373-3448 or e-mail email@example.com.