Across the Shenandoah Valley, conservation groups say they are seeing an expansion in environmental education. Sustainability Matters hosted what they call, “The biggest Earth Day celebration in the Valley,” to spread the message.
“People are interested in the environment around them, so it only makes sense that they’re gonna become more interested and figure out ways to solve problems,” said Seven Bends Nursery grower Kyle Rhodes.
The celebration included sustainable vendors, locally-sourced food, demos and presentations. A fan favorite was the llama kissing booth.
“They’re very useful. They’re good for guarding, their wool is wonderful and even their llama poo is very good on your plants and your garden.,” said Posey Thisisit Llama Farm owner Joyce Hall.
Johnston and Rhodes Real Estate explained the environmental practices in their industry.
“If you have neighbors that are close, you could plant trees by. You could plant trees also to deter from certain noises and it also just helps with the view, the curb appeal of your house,” said Johnston and Rhodes real estate agent Lori Hoffman.
There’s one common goal conservation groups have in mind.
“We want to promote sustainable use of resources, get people back interested in native plants, reconnected with the earth, growing their own food and bringing in pollinators and birds and wildlife back into their properties,” said Seven Bends Nursery grower lara Lacher.
The event also included the first Sustainability Matters community plant swap of 2019 where people could exchange perennials and seeds.