John Clayton Chapter members are excited to host this year’s annual meeting, “Sustaining Nature, Sustaining Ourselves,” the weekend of October 5-7, 2018 at the William & Mary School of Education in Williamsburg.
We have arranged over 20 options for field trips and plant walks, in addition to excellent food and innovative speakers. Walks offer a diversity of habitats and local features, including tidal salt marshes; hardwood forests; cypress swamps; vernal pools and the William & Mary Herbarium, Greenhouse, and College Woods, among others. Lest we forget Williamsburg’s incredible history, we are also featuring a walk in downtown colonial Williamsburg, which leader Phillip Merritt notes is basically “a 300-acre botanical garden.”
The Conference opens Friday evening with an interactive presentation by the nonprofit Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities. We will welcome Jessica Hawthorne, Director of Programs, who designs and facilitates the Center’s assemblies, one-day youth forums, and multi-day retreats for middle school, high school, and college students across the Commonwealth. The Center’s work has its roots in the 1930s, when it was organized as a grassroots movement responding to religious intolerance. It has evolved and expanded in the intervening 80 years, and today the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities provides programming that helps Virginia’s schools, businesses, and communities achieve success through inclusion.
Saturday evening’s keynote speaker is Kevin Bryan, Senior Policy Director at the Keystone Policy Center in Washington, DC. Kevin is a passionate, accomplished leader with extensive experience in the development of organizational strategies and structures to address issues pertaining to a range of environmental, energy, and conservation issues. Kevin currently leads Keystone’s Environment, Energy, and Climate practice area. He also provides strategic direction and leadership for the Next 100 Coalition, a collection of civil rights, environmental justice and grassroots conservation organizations pursuing a shared vision of a more diverse and inclusive culture in the management and preservation of our nation’s public lands.
While the conference formally begins on Friday night, we’re hoping you’ll join us beforehand for dinner at the Corner Pocket restaurant before the program. Located not far from the venue, the restaurant is owned by long-time VNPS member Lynn Allison, who has graciously agreed to host as many of us as can make it.
The annual meeting is generously supported by William & Mary’s Committee on Sustainability, which awarded the John Clayton Chapter a Green Fee Grant earlier this year in order to highlight sustainability efforts on campus and to sponsor William & Mary students who wish to attend the conference.
We can’t wait to see you!