In 2020 we are sponsoring regular outdoor Dark Skies events at the Dark Skies County Park across Rte 211 from Washington VA. These events are held on days of celestial significance, such as comets, planet alignment and full moons. A speaker is featured before dark with a power point presentation on interesting happenings and facts about the universe. After dark telescopes are available to see the happenings of the day! People are encouraged to bring their own binoculars as well. Masks are required at dark. Social distancing prior to dark. The playground is available for children.
WATCH NOTICES for these events.
UPCOMING 2019 EVENTS
September 28, 2019: The Rappahannock League for Environmental Protection and the Rappahannock County Recreational Facilities Authority are planning to hold their next ‘dark sky’ event on Saturday, September 28 at the Rappahannock County “Dark Sky” Park on Rt. 211, across from Little Washington, starting at 6:30 pm. There will be presentations, refreshments and telescopes to view the night skies. Bring your binoculars and your telescope it you have one. Everyone is invited. Please text Torney Van Acker at 703-250-7943 for additional details.
The July 13 event has been CANCELLED: (being rescheduled for October) NASA Solar System Ambassador Greg Redfern will return for a presentation at the High School Auditorium. This will be in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first manned landing on the moon. “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. More information to come.
A Stroll for the Soul began in 2017 with a walk through the grounds of Hillhouse Native Pant Nursery. 2018 will explore Native Plant venues and other inspiring natural elements, possibly to include a picnic. Watch for scheduling! These will be fun with great information on how you support native plants, butterflies, bees and the native insects the native song birds depend on to feed their young!
2018-2019: Replacing unshielded outdoor lighting with down-shielded outdoor lights is a current project to preserve everyone’s view of the stars so beautiful over Rappahannock. It is totally voluntary. RLEP and REC (Rappahannock Electric Cooperative) have teamed up on this initiative. REC will replace their unshielded leased lights for free if you call their Culpeper Engineering department at 540-727-2168.
For privately-owned lights, RLEP will replace any unshielded outdoor lights with a new downshielded light free of charge. Please call 703-250-7943.
2016: THE RLEP SOLAR COOPERATIVE was hugely successful for 2015-2016. Over 80 people joined the cooperative, and 39 installed solar panels for their homes or farms…at a significantly reduced price by being members of a cooperative and obtaining a bulk bid. This initiative was so successful we hope to repeat it again!
April 2016: STARRY/DARK SKIES FORUM Over 60 people attended this initial forum. Dark Skies are important for Rappahannock as a natural wonder, a significant part of our natural beauty and a potential source of tourism. You will be hearing more on this topic! Paul Bogard, JMU professor, spoke eloquently on the topic of the loss of our ability to see the stars all over the world. Approximately 83% of the world’s population will never see the Milky Way.READ Prof. Paul Bogard’s book “The End of Night, Searching for Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light” and be inspired. Laura Greenleaf joined the discussion as co-director of the Virginia Chapter of the “Dark Skies Organization” and offered useful tips on how to achieve and maintain our Starry Nights. Her organization is instrumental in helping communities protect their night skies.
April 2016: TRASH FREE RAPPAHANNOCK awoke from a multi-year slumber with the sponsorship of RLEP. We supported this volunteer effort with advertising and free orange trash bags and orange vests for all participants. Organized by Jan Makela, the effort was a big success and VDOT picked up the bags for free!. Look for this again in April of 2017.
RLEP is on a growth drive. JOIN US as a fellow caretaker of Rappahannock. Make your voice heard in the Comprehensive Plan, and at Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission Meetings. We are working on a new database for members. Please send us your current email. Tell us your environmental dream, perhaps we can help make it happen. Contact us!
2016 & 2017: INVASIVE SPECIES BEWARE Sam Quinn of Sunnyside Biologist fame is coordinating between RLEP and Blue Ridge PRISM which gained an award for the eradication of invasive plant species! This is a fantastic endeavor and worthy of praise. We will keep you informed on how this will happen, who will be eligible to participate, what it all means and what you can do to participate in this endeavor.
THE ANNUAL MEETING was held in November 2015. Once again, Wasmunds Distillery kindly hosted us. Recent accomplishments were briefly reviewed and Ann and Larry Wohlers were awarded the RLEP SPIRIT AWARD for creating a wildflower meadow on their property and for Larry’s work in forming the Solar Power Cooperative.
Among many other things!
4 Alternative Energy EXPOs were produced by RLEP in four consecutive years, with many top people in the solar and alternative fields. It may be time to bring this back again!
RLEP provides Scholarships for local children to Camp Vesuvius (A two week Garden Clubs of VA project)
RLEP supports Rappahannock Nature Camp.
Science News Magazine is supplied to the High School
Seminars and Forums on everything from Native Plants to Invasive Species to Night Skies to Ticks!
Monitoring of the State Legislature and local Board of Supervisors with Actions taken as may be appropriate for Environmental concerns.
RLEP Representation is always present at the Board of Supervisor and Planning Commission Meetings.
We invite you to join us in the preservation of Rappahannock County, a special place, … not achieved by accident! We owe it to ourselves and future generations to be proper stewards of our beautiful environment.