News

Garden Forum to Feature a Poet's Garden and US National Arboretum

     The Southside Master Gardener Association is presenting a Garden Forum on Saturday, November 2 at the South Boston - Halifax County Museum from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Highlighted are the plant protection program of the National Arboretum and the Garden of Harlem Renaissance Poet Anne Spencer.  The forum is free and open to the public but registration is required.

     First on the agenda is Kevin Conrad, Curator, Woody Landscape Plant Germplasm Repository, United States National Arboretum.  His job includes collecting and conserving genetic resources and associated information for a broad spectrum of woody landscape plants and transfer technology in the form of genetic resources and associated information to researchers and breeders worldwide.

     Kevin is involved in plant expeditions that target natural areas in the United States or other countries throughout the temperate world.  Over the last several years a primary objective was to gather seed and plant material from Fraxinus (ash) to support conservation of this genus because of the potential loss caused by the Emerald Ash Borer.  Come out and hear about Kevin's fascinating research and other ways the National Arboretum works for you.

"Being a Negro Woman is the world's most exciting game of 'Taboo':  By hell there is nothing you can do that you want to do and by heaven you are going to do it anyhow".

"Earth, I thank you for the pleasure of your language".

     These snippets from two of Anne Spencer's poems clearly show what had value in her life.  Born in 1882, she came to Lynchburg in 1893 where she was enrolled in Virginia Theological Seminary, now the Virginia University at Lynchburg.  She worked as the librarian of the all black Dunbar High School.  A fierce believer in equal rights for all, Anne helped found the Lynchburg chapter of the NAACP and served on various community committees to improve all aspects of the African-American life.

     Having to fight for equal rights Anne made her garden a respite from the trials of the world.  The garden inspired her poetry and she often gazed out from her office cottage, Edankraal, onto the beauty of nature.   She and her husband Edward had a special relationship.  Edward was Lynchburg's first parcel postman and he loved to work with his hands.  He designed and built their house on 1313  Pierce Street and also Edankraal, a combination of Edward and Anne and kraal, the Afrikaans word for enclosure or corral.  Soon their house and gardens became a salon for intellectual conversation with such notables as Langston Hughes, W.E.B. DuBois, Marian Anderson, Thurgood Marshall, Zora Neal Hurston, Mary McLeod Bethune, Adam Clayton Powell, George Washington Carver, H.L. Mencken, Amaza Lee Meredith, Gwendolyn Brooks, and the Rev. Martin Luther King.  The Spencer house and gardens are now on the National Register of Historic Places.  More information can be found a www.annespencermuseum.com.

     An exhibit of artifacts and photos of Anne's life and gardens will be on display until November 2nd at the South Boston - Halifax County Museum.  There is no chasrge to visit the exhibit and the museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  On November 2 you can also hear a lecture about Anne and her gardens and the subsequent restoration of the gardens by Jane Baber White.  Jane wrote "Lessons Learned from a Poet's Garden" with pcitures of Anne's life and some of her poetry.  Copies of the book will be available for $45 with a book signing to follow the lecture.  This would make a great Christmas gift with 100% of sales going to the Anne Spencer Endowment Fund.  Cash and checks are accepted.

     Jane Baber White was the Restoration Chairman, Director, and is now Director Emeritus of the Old City Cemetery, where she was responsible for raising over $1.5 million to fulfill her vision of reinvigorating the 200-year-old National Historic Landmark into Lynchburg's leading historic visitor destination.  It is now an arboretum of 19th century plants and includes five museums.  The cemetery is in its glory in May with hundreeds of old roses in bloom.

     The second project involved the restoration of Anne's charming garden.  This has been a 28-year journey with the help of the Hillside Garden Club and the Garden Conservancy.  Every effort has been made to recreate the garden and the garden structures as they were in Anne's time.  The fascinating garden has received international recognition, but is still a hidden jewel in Lynchburg.  Come out and hear Jane bring Anne's garden alive.

     There is no fee for the Garden Forum but registration is required.  To register or for more information call the Halifax Extension Office at 434-476-2147 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  visit the Master Gardener website www.ssmga.org for more information about the Master Gardener program and the upcoming Fridays with the Master Gardeners educational program.  An application to become a Master Gardener is also on the website.  The South Boston - Halifax County Museum is located at 1540 Wilborn Avenue in South Boston.

Halifax Events presents the 2nd Annual October Halifest

The Great Pumpkins have arrived in the Town of Halifax!  The 2nd Annual October Halifest will be held on Saturday, October 26th, from 9:00am till 4:00pm, rain or shine, at the Town of Halifax Farmers Market.  This year's event has partnered with many non-profit organizations and local businesses to present an informational and family fun filled day of fall activities.  The United Way, Benchmark Bank, and Jerry Epps Landscape Company will sponsor the funny face pumpkin painting contest with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prize money.  Mentor Role Model and Abbott Farm Supply will sponsor the scarecrow making (you may bring your own clothes to personalize your scarecrow).  Blessed Hope Church will sponsor a free bouncy house.  The Lions Club will provide free children's eye screening, collect old eyeglasses for recycling and take orders for their annual fruit sale.  Ms. Kidd (Smiley the Clown) will be handing out Lions Club balloons and candy.  Lucky the Pig, mascot from Smokin' Jakes, will entertain.  Halifax County Little Theater will sponsor free face painting.  Halifax Fire Department will have two fire trucks and a smokehouse as well as information on fire safety.  The Halifax Police Department will provide information on crime prevention and gun safety.  Gun safe-locks will be handed out.  The Halifax Sheriff's Department will have the Cuffin' Cancer Cruiser on display along with hoodies and t-shirts for sale to support the Halifax County Cancer Association.  Halifax Farmers Market will be selling their delicious stew, produce, meats, homemade breads and baked goods, and herbs.  There will be six live music acts and two dance demos.  Food vendors will offer sno-cones, barbeque, nachos, hot dogs, hamburgers and bologna burgers.  Local art and craft and product vendors will be there to help you get started on your holiday gift giving.  Come celebrate fall and join us at the October Halifest!  Returning this year will be reknowned Chase City artist, Elsa Cristina Gailor featuring her Tea Time Vintage Jewelry and artwork.  Please join us for a family fun filled day of fall activities, artisans, crafters, vendors, food, live music, pumpkin painting, scarecrow making, farmers market vendors, stew and much more.

Featured music and dance lineup:

9:00am - 9:30am - recorded music

9:45am - 10:00am - dance demo with Essence of Movement

10:00am - 10:45am - Kirstin Wellons - country music

11:00am - 12:30pm - Big Cedar Drive - bluegrass

12:35pm - 1:00pm - dance demo with Essence of Movement

1:00pm - 2:15pm - The Barnyard Pimps - americana

2:45pm - 3:45pm - Shakedown Street -blues & rock

"Save Lives...Not Seconds" - Crosswalk Safety

The seconds saved by not stopping...may be the last seconds of someone's life.

The top ways pedestrians get hurt...

  • Darting out from between parked cars
  • Walking along the edge of a roadway
  • Crossing a multi-lane street
  • Crossing in front of a turning vehicle
  • Crossing behind a vehicle that is backing up
  • Trying to beat oncoming traffic at an intersection
  • Crossing in front of a stopped bus

Stay alert...stay safe!  Everyone has a role...

Truths about Crosswalk safety:

VA DMV facts;during the past 5 reporting years on average 1511 pedestrians are injured in motor vehicle crashes.  During the same reporting period on average there were 82 pedestrians killed each year as result of a motor vehicle collision.  Most of the injuries occur with children under 15 and over 20.  From the age of 16-20 they tend to be much safer.

Everyone has a role...Parents, supervise & educate your children.  Drivers, watch for children & pedestrians.  Children, stay alert & watch for vehicles.  Pedestrians, look left, right and left again.

Tips for Children

Children typically, can't judge speed or distance, are shorter than the parked vehicles, and often are not thinking about traffic safety.  Therefore, parents have to accept responsibility and ensure the crosswalk is safe to enter. 

HOW?

  • Maintain physical contact with the child.  Hold their hand and act as their eyes.
  • Stop and announce that you are looking to make sure it's safe to enter.  Look to the left then right then left again.  Enter when safe.
  • Enter as a family.
  • Discuss the importance of waiting.
  • Always wait for the light when available.

Tips for Adults

  • When walking, wear light or bright colors so motorists can see you and walk against the flow of traffic.
  • Make sure to use crosswalks whenever they are available.
  • Remember, when crossing a street, look left, look right and look left again.  Only cross when safe.
  • When walking at night, reflective clothing, bands, vests, and flashlights make you more visible to motorists.
  • Dusk and dawn are the most dangerous times of the day for pedestrians.  If walking or jogging, make sure you travel against the traffic and remember to wear reflective clothing.
  • Drinking and walking can be as dangerous as drinking and driving.  An intoxicated pedestrian may not be totally aware of his/her surroundings.

Tips for Drivers

  • Pay attention as you approach a crosswalk.  Look for children, adults, and persons with disabilities.
  • Children may not see you as they can be distracted easily.
  • Adults may be pre-occupied with conversation, phones, reading or other distractions.
  • Look for persons with disabilities...walkers, canes, service dogs, and wheelchairs, are among the signs telling you about their disability.  Give them a bit more time to cross.

§ 46.2-924 of the Code of Virginia outlines the responsibilities related to crosswalks.  The following excerpts will summarize key elements of the Code.

The driver of any vehicle on a highway shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian crossing such highway:...At any clearly marked crosswalk, whether at mid-block or at the end of any block...No pedestrian shall enter or cross an intersection in disregard of approaching traffic.

Together we can keep Halifax safe!

Town of Halifax Annual Fall Clean-Up 2015

The Town of Halifax Solid Waste Department will conduct its annual free fall clean-up for town residents and businesses by appointment only on Friday, October 23rd and Saturday, October 24th.  This service will be subject to the following conditions:

1)  Residents and businesses are required to call the Halifax Town Hall (434-476-2343) for notification to remove discarded household/business items and yard debris too large for regular trash pick-up and must give their name, telephone number and physical address (notification for sign-up must be made prior to 12:00 noon on Wednesday, October 21st).

2)  Only household/business items that can be lifted by two grown men will be accepted, and no caustic solvents, toxic or hazardous materials or petroleum based liquids will be permitted.

3)  Tree limbs and brush must be cut in lengths no greater than 4 feet and neatly piled by participant along with qualifying household/business items near the curbside of the property or customary pick up site to be easily visible and accessible from the road by Town Solid Waste personnel.

4)  Town employees will not be responsible for cutting or removing tree trunks or tree limbs with a diameter of 4 inches or greater.

5)  The Solid Waste Supervisor will not be required to remove the qualifying material mentioned above if resident or business owner has failed to notify the Halifax Town Hall to schedule a pick-up.

Community Clock Project - It's Time to Purchase a Paver

As part of ongoing revitalization efforts, a vintage-style clock acquired by the Halifax Village Association (HVA) is to be placed in front of the Halifax Marketplace at 209 South Main Street.  The clock and surrounding plaza will be a wonderful new focal point on Main Street for the town, and will eventually serve as a multifunctional gathering spot.

Support the Halifax Village Association's efforts to construct this new centerpiece in historic downtown Halifax and become part of history by purchasing your paver to be placed in the Community Clock Plaza.  Two sizes are available for purchase. 

4" x  8" engraved paver for $100 (up to 3 lines with 18 to 20 characters per line).

8" x  8" engraved paver for $200 (up to 6 lines with 18 to 20 characters per line).

Paver samples, order forms & brochures will be available during Halifest on October, 26th from 9am to 4pm at the Halifax Village Association (HVA) booth

For more information contacty Marsha Hite, HVA President, at 434-476-2164 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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