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As part of the kick-off event for Earthtober, attendees brought their non-recyclable plastic from home to create a pile on the courthouse steps to illustrate the problem of plastic pollution. Then the issue arose of what to do with all that plastic. The idea hatched that a life-sized whale sculpture be created and filled with plastic waste to display the dangers of the contaminant to oceans and the planet.  At that moment, the Whale movement began. VMI engineer professor Jay Sullivan agreed to build a whale with the help of his first-year cadets. They created a wire replica of the 15-foot juvenile whale that washed up on the shores of the Philippines with 88 pounds of plastic in its stomach. The whale sculpture made its first migration from VMI to Bessie Weller Elementary School in Staunton. The students there learned about the issues of plastic pollution throughout the Whale’s week there, and, as a visual lesson, deposited their plastic waste into the whale. The Whale has visited many other area schools and participated in the Christmas parades in Staunton and Waynesboro.        Financially supported by

Tonya Sivinski, State Farm Insurance, Staunton, VA, 

& Sunspots Studios Glassblowing, Staunton, VA  


Earth Day Staunton is an annual educational fair that showcases area environmental and nature organizations that work to protect resources in the Shenandoah Valley and beyond. There are interesting and interactive displays for all ages, with many of the exhibitors providing kid-friendly, hands-on activities that engage families as they learn about plants, animals and environmental issues. Earth Day Staunton began in 2007 and is currently held at the Bandstand at Gypsy Hill Park on a Saturday in mid to late April. Visit for photos of past events and more information.



Do you want to save money on disposable plates and glasses for your next community event? Our Go Green Bank can eliminate your group’s need to purchase single-use disposable products, such as plastic or paper cups and plates, and plastic

cutlery, while also decreasing the amount of trash that enters our landfills. By paying a fully refundable deposit, you can borrow

glass plates, drinking glasses of many shapes and sizes - including wine glasses and champagne flutes - plus knives, forks, and spoons for your group’s event. Perfect for church or temple potlucks, family reunions, and community festivities of any kind! Make your reservation at least two weeks in advance of your event.


CBF "Clean the Bay" DAY in STAUNTON

Shenandoah Green partnered with the City of Staunton to participate in the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's "Clean the Bay Day" in June 2019. Volunteers worked with City Engineer Patrick Wilkins on Asylum Creek along Greenville Ave. for Staunton's first time participating in this annual event. Local Girl Scouts and others enjoyed the opportunity to fill bags with various types of trash found in the Creek and along its banks. Data was collected to be used in the AGU-TEX project.


This initiative is an opportunity to commit to reducing your plastic waste during the month of October, inspired by various programs and activities offered by Shenandoah Green. We encourage everyone to share facts about plastic pollution with a neighbor, a friend, your church, or any other organization. In so doing, we can build momentum from this grassroots movement, influence legislative change, and consequently help to bring about global change. We encourage everyone to continue REDUCING & REFUSING plastic items throughout the year and to let your grocers and business and restaurant owners know that you want change in what is offered to the public.       

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