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Annual Hail to the Trail—Purcellville Green Expo Provided Activities and Information about Nature; Town Recognized for Environmental Efforts
Purcellville, VA, October 25, 2018—Families, students, and scouts came out for the 2018 Hail to the Trail—Purcellville Green Expo held at the Chapman DeMary Trail on Saturday, October 20. Fun, hands-on activities and information about nature and the environment were offered by the 20 organizations that participated. During Hail to the Trail, the Town officially recognized and celebrated Arbor Day with a proclamation and tree planting. With help from scouts and kids at the event, Mayor Fraser and Council Members Bledsoe, Greenly, and Stinnette planted 4 trees at the Chapman DeMary Trail. Also, during the event, the mayor announced that the Town of Purcellville had achieved the platinum level in the Virginia Municipal League’s annual Go Green Virginia government challenge. Kyle Dingus, NOVA area forester with the Virginia Department of Forestry, presented the Town with their 11th Tree City U.S.A. designation. Additionally, Nancy Herwig, Executive Director of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture, presented the Town with the Gold Leaf award. This award is for individuals, organizations, and communities either for outstanding Arbor Day activities or for outstanding landscape beautification activities and which have had a significant impact upon a community or region. The Virginia Department of Forestry nominated Purcellville to receive this recognition for efforts in the past year which included restoring the riparian buffer at the Chapman DeMary Trail, achieving the Tree City U.S.A. designation, implementing efforts to reduce cigarette litter, conducting a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Study, hosting monthly nature walks, and hosting the Hail to the Trail—Purcellville Green Expo.
Activities during the event included a plastic bag collection (24 pounds collected), guided nature walks, tours of a Town Water Treatment Plant, nature art, a water game, nature games, nature scavenger hunts, and more. Through hands-on activities, attendees observed and learned about creatures on land and in the water, made bird feeders, filled packets with milkweed seeds for monarchs, made buttons, painted rocks, learned about alternatives to plastic straws, found out about making holiday decorations with natural materials instead of plastic, found out how much energy it takes to clean water, learned about recycling and reducing cigarette litter, got information about Leave No Trace, and learned about plants, trees, and forests.
Hail to the Trail participants included Boy Scout Troop 969, Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship, Ed Clark, Franklin Park, Gina’s Pies, Girl Scout Troop 7114, Keep Loudoun Beautiful, Loudoun County Public School Energy Education Team, Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, Loudoun Soil and Conservation District, Loudoun County Master Gardeners, Loudoun County Tree Stewards, Maid Brigade, The Nature Generation, Purcellville Arts Council, Purcellville Library, Purcellville Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, Purcellville Tree and Environment Sustainability Committee, Purcellville Water Division, Virginia Department of Forestry, and Wildlife Ambassadors. Musician and singer Willie White performed throughout the event. The Town of Purcellville thanks all of these individuals and organizations for being part of the event, along with Giant Food, Southern States, and Harris Teeter for their generous support of Hail to the Trail. See photos from the event on the Hail to the Trail – Purcellville Green Expo Facebook page.
The Chapman DeMary Trail is a 10-acre area considered to be the last stand of old-growth forest in the Town of Purcellville. It runs along the South Fork Catoctin Creek, part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The area is open to the public for environmental recreation, exploration, and education. The Town of Purcellville holds the conservation easement for this privately-owned property. It is managed through a partnership among Loudoun Valley High School, The Nature Generation, the Piedmont Environmental Council, and the Town of Purcellville. The entrance for the Chapman DeMary Trail is behind the building at 205 East Hirst Road in Purcellville. Get more information at www.PurcellvilleVa.gov.
Hail to the Trail—Purcellville Green Expo is hosted by the Purcellville Tree and Environment Sustainability Committee, a standing committee that focuses on all aspects of environmental programs, sustainability ideas, enhancement of the tree canopy, and continuation of the Town's Tree City USA designation.
The Town of Purcellville, Virginia
Purcellville is an award-winning town of nearly 9,000 residents located in Loudoun County, approximately 40 miles west of Washington, DC. It has been honored for its green initiatives, most recently with the prestigious Siemens Sustainability Award for Small Communities. The Town has an elected Mayor and six Town Council members. Once a stop along the W&OD rail line, Purcellville has maintained its historic old-town feel through the restoration and maintenance of its many downtown structures, reflecting the Victorian architecture popular during the early 1900s. Today, Purcellville is the economic hub of western Loudoun County and a popular weekend destination for antiquing, entertainment, farmer’s markets, wineries, breweries, distilleries and restaurants. More info at www.purcellvilleva.gov.