Fracking has produced a glut of oil and gas in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Energy companies are desperate to get those products to market, and utilities are anxious to make the switch from coal to clean-burning gas.
There is, however, something standing in the way – people who want nothing to do with pipelines in their communities. In Nelson County, three groups have already formed to fight a pipeline that would also pass through Buckingham, Dinwiddie and Brunswick counties en route to North Carolina.
For some parts of the state, this week brought a respite from the heat, but temperatures have still reached into the 80’s, and people aren’t the only ones suffering. The city of Richmond has issued a call for help.
Richmond’s Department of Public Works says young trees are in jeopardy because of hot, dry weather. Occasional thunderstorms have not done enough to keep roots watered, so the city is asking residents to help out by refilling gator bags.
When people hear about the “Blue Ridge Center for Chinese Medicine” in Floyd County, they sometimes look surprised and ask, “What’s that doing here? Not only is it serving a local clientele, it’s also working to create a network of farmers raising certified traditional Chinese herbs to supply a growing sector in health care.
More Americans than ever before are turning to Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture to heal and prevent disease. Many states, including Virginia now license practitioners and regulate the industry.
As the sector grows, there is more demand for Chinese Medicinal herbs, an important aspect of the practice. A new project underway to grow Chinese medicinal herbs here is taking root in Floyd Virginia.
“The ones at the top are the ones we can grow at the clinic here but most of these are sourced from China and the west coast,” says David Grimsley.
The mountains of Southwest Virginia were once known for coal mining, manufacturing and agriculture --- and the boom and bust cycles that go with them. Now the region is looking toward more lasting routes to prosperity. They’re using nature and the local creative culture to nurture their economy.
“You cans start here at the waterfall which is the gorgeous 350 foot waterfall cascading over this mossy limestone cliff and then hike into the natural area.”