This month we are excited to launch our Tree of Lifeprogram. It is a creative and organic way to visualize the progress that your faith community is making on climate solutions, and brings our many faith communities together to support each other and see our combined impact. For each of the action steps in the program, you are awarded a tree part, leaf or flower. You can see your tree grow and when you reach enough actions you are designated as a FACS Tree of Life faith community. More information will be available later this month but if you would like an early start please contact Rebecca Mordini at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2019 Annual Report
2019 was an exciting year for FACS. We saw our advocacy efforts pay off with significant steps to decrease carbon emissions in Fairfax County, while our community of faith was more active than ever. Take a moment for gratitude and celebration – download The FACS 2019Annual Report.
VA General Assembly Update: Solar Freedom Act
Solar Freedom legislation moves forward in Richmond!
For the first time, FACS has supported the passage of specific legislation in the Virginia legislature. HB 572 (Keam) and SB 710 (McClellan) Distributed Renewable Energy, also known as Solar Freedom, would reduce the red tape and let the free market grow solar in our communities through private investment, while supporting well-paying, clean energy jobs.
Each house has passed its version of the legislation. Now, a conference committee will work out a single bill. The legislative session will end on March 7.
Thank you to all FACS activists who visited their delegates and senators in Richmond, as well as everyone who sent emails urging passage of this important legislation that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Virginia. We’re almost there. Stay tuned!
Fairfax County 2021 Budget
Fairfax County Executive Bryan Hill presented the FY 2021 Advertised Budget Plan Feb. 25 to the Board of Supervisors. The FACS 2020 Spring Advocacy Talking Points include our asks for the county’s 2021 Budget.
There are three opportunities to get involved in the budget deliberations, which run from now through May 5 when the Board of Supervisors approves the budget.
Join a FACS Advocacy Team and meet with your Board of Supervisor representative to discuss the budget. Contact email@example.com to join
Testify at the public hearings April 14-April 16. The complete Budget Timeline is found here. Contact us if you are interested in testifying on behalf of FACS.
FCPS Capital Improvement Plan
Fairfax County Public Schools approved the 2021-25 Capital Improvement Plan with an amendment specifying net zero and carbon saving goals and proposing the development of an operations energy strategy for the school. Thank you to Hunter Mill District School Board Representative Melanie Meren who put forth the amendment and Providence District School Board Representative Karl Frisch for seconding.
FACS, along with our partners, including the Sierra Club and the Solar on the Schools students advocated for this language which aligns with our Fairfax to Zero campaign. You can read all the environmental requirements here.
C-PACE Financing Available for Faith Communities
Fairfax County’s C-PACE program gives commercial building owners an avenue for obtaining private funding to support capital improvement projects intended to save energy or water, or to make their property more resilient to climate-related threats. Managed by the county and administered by the Virginia PACE Authority, the program offers building owners access to typically long-term loans so they can make substantial improvements at little to no upfront cost.
All are welcome to participate in FACS’ monthly advocacy webinar on Wednesday, March 11 at 1:00 p.m. The webinars are a great opportunity to quickly get up-to-speed on FACS’ advocacy initiatives and opportunities for action to bring back to your faith communities. Click here to join the webinar and use this meeting id.869-346-113. Note: no pre-registration is required. Bookmark the link and add to your calendar.
Meet the New NOVA Eco-advocates
FACS will be part of the panel for the Audubon Naturalist Society Conservation Cafe on Thursday evening, March 26th from 7pm – 8:30pm at the Providence Community Center (3001 Vaden Dr., Fairfax, VA 22031). We’ve organized an open panel-discussion and the title of the event speaks for itself: “Meet new NOVA Eco-Advocates and Tell Them What They Can Do for You”
The 50th anniversary of Earth Day in April 2020 will mark the largest, most diverse global mobilization in defense of the environment in history. More than a billion people across 190 countries will work together on a shared vision to save the planet from the increased threats of climate change.
Earth Day’s 50th anniversary flagship event will take place on America’s iconic National Mall in Washington D.C. featuring world leaders, celebrity speakers, A-list talent plus multimedia partners and segments. Earth Day on the National Mall will be streamed live with news feeds from major global media and simultaneous events around the world. Through film, television, digital media and print, the story will be told and retold.
FACS will organize a group to attend this rally. Save the date!!
What: Earth Day Network: Uniting the Planet through the Power of Music
When: Saturday, April 25th 10 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Where: The National Mall
SAVE THE DATE: FACS Sustainability Awards Breakfast
7:30-9:00 am. FACS’ Sustainability Champions Awards celebrate and recognize the contributions of individuals, congregations, businesses and local elected officials/public sector employees in Northern Virginia. These individuals and organizations work tirelessly toward improving the environment; contributing to a healthy, livable climate, in our community! Nominations will be accepted in these four categories: individual, congregation, local business, and local elected official/public sector employees. Stay tuned for Awards Nomination information, which will be available soon.
About the venue: The Mid-Atlantic hub in Reston, VA was built to reflect DPR’s purpose of building great things by using highly-technical and sustainable elements, and creating a space that invigorates and inspires our people. The space functions as a living laboratory for sustainability, construction technology and employee health and well-being. Designed to be Net Zero Energy, and by incorporating a workplace of the future design, visitors both in the construction industry and the community, can visit the space to see the truly exceptional transformation that has been made for the betterment of our people and the environment.
More information coming soon!
40 Days of Earth Stewardship Calendar
FACS’ Christian churches are invited to join with many others this Lenten season in heeding the call to be stewards of God’s Creation with daily environmental activities and information, created by Interfaith Power and Light DMV, with specific actions for our area and available in Spanish. You are encouraged to share copies of with your community as a bulletin insert. Download here: www.ipldmv.org/lent and share your experience on social media with #LentenCreationCare.
In the News
FACS Board Chair Featured on Sustainable Scoop
Get the history and inspiration behind FACS in this video interview with FACS Board Chair, Eric Goplerud, on Sustainable Scoop, a regularly scheduled segment on the award winning Arlington Weekly News. During this segment, host Miriam Gennari discusses how a little group in a church turned into a revolutionary coalition to unite people of faith to develop local solutions to the climate crisis.View the video here.
FACS Featured in Energy News Network
“Virginia climate faith group finds persistence leads to progress.” Energy News Network,2/17/2020. “Now 75 congregations and faith communities strong, the nonprofit Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions has become a formidable environmental force countywide as it has expanded on its original mission of greening churches, mosques and temples. Its specialty is hyperlocal climate campaigns.”