Community groups in eight states participating in Hands Across Our Land

newspaperThe culmination of what was conceived last January during a conversation between Free Nelson Co-Chair Sharon Ponton and Nelson County activist Matt Dwyer will occur when communities in eight states take part in the Aug. 18 Hands Across Our Land.

“What could our world become if corporations were guided by environmental and social responsibility rather than greed?” said Free Nelson founder Rev. Marion Kanour, an Episcopal priest.

Marilyn Shifflett, Free Nelson Co-chair, visited the fracking fields in West Virginia and was profoundly affected by what she saw.

“It was hard to imagine greater impact than over 100 years of coal mining and then mountain top coal removal,” Shifflett explains, “but West Virginians are now being assaulted by the natural gas industry spanning larger residential areas, at a pace hard to imagine until seen, leaving an irreparable path of destruction in its wake. Hardly a stream or human has not been touched. Our visit was an eye-opener and heart opener.”

Ponton, HAOL’s project coordinator, has spent the last two months planning the campaign and recruiting grassroots groups to hold actions in their local communities.

“The energy companies have a divide and conquer strategy,” Ponton said. “They bully, intimidate and file lawsuits against landowners who refuse to allow access to their properties. On Aug. 18, we will stand as one, community by community, symbolically, building a human chain to stop them, illustrating our passion to protect our land, our families, and our planet.”

Hands Across Our Land has been promoted by the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, Beyond Extreme Energy, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, and the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club.


Hands Across Our Land Participants

Calvert County
3197 Lighthouse Blvd. Cove Point Beach, 6:30 pm
Contact Leslie Garcia,
Calvert Citizens for a Healthy Community

7 pm, elementary school in Myersville
Ann Marie Nau,
Myersville Citizens for a Rural Community

North Carolina
Cumberland County
2 pm Eastover Elementary School, 5174 Dunn Road, Eastover, NC
Contact Randy or Loreta Vines,, 910-797-3929
Or Luis E. Nino, 910-286-8838
Sponsor: Cumberland County Caring Voices

Halifax County
10:00 a.m., Halifax County Courthouse, 357 Ferrell Ln Halifax, NC 27839.
Sponsored by Concerned Stewards of Halifax County,
contact Valerie Williams 252-903-1340, or Cary Rodgers 704-465-8504,

Johnston County

Lee and Chatham Counties
Contact Debbie Hall,, 919 775-7506
Sponsor: EnvironmentaLEE and Chatham Citizens Against Coal Ash Dump

Stokes County
Walnut Grove, NC, 6:30 PM
SPONSOR No Fracking in Stokes

Youngstown, Ohio
Meet at Mr. Peanut Bridge at entrance to the B & O. SoYoungstown, OH:
12:00-3:00 p.m, B&O Station Banquet Hall, 530 Mahoning Ave, Youngstown, Ohio 44502.
Heidi Jo kroeck,, 330-797-9755

Medford, OR
Street demonstration on the corner of Highway 99 and Barnett, Medford, in front of the Burger King, 1055 Riverside Drive, with a day of action to stand in solidarity with other communities impacted by fossil fuel projects.
Contact Sarah Westover,, 541-531-8735

Pt. Marion, PA
Greene, Fayette, Westmoreland and Washington Counties, PA
Meet on the Monongahela River Bridge in Pt. Marion, PA at 12:30 PM (during the noon hour) and again at 6:30 PM.
Duane Nichols,
Sponsor: Mon Valley Clean Air Coaltion

Pulaski, PA
5439 River Rd. (Old Pulaski Road), New Wilmington. PA, 2 pm
Contact: Diana Ludwig,, 234-201-0492

Defend Big Bend
Please note this action will take place Friday, August 14, 2015 at corner of 5th and Holland, Alpine, Texas
Contact Cheryl Frances,

Augusta County
Braley Pond, 3 pm
Deirdre Skogen,
Sponsored by Wild Virginia

George Washington National Forest, 3:30 pm
In a field on the proposed. ACP route not far north of Braley Pond
Deirdre Skogen,
Sponsored by Wild Virginia

Augusta County
County Line event
Rock bridge which connects the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive
at Rt. 250, 5:15 pm
Jennifer Lewis,
Sponsored by Friends of Augusta and Free Nelson

Buckingham County
Union Hill Baptist Church, Union Hill Rd, Buckingham 5 pm
Then to 571 Woods Road, Buckingham, 5:45 pm
Chad Oba, 434 969-3229,
Sponsored by Friends of Buckingham

County Line event
Rt. 56 bridge over the James River, 6:30 pm
Chad Oba, 434 969-3229, chado108@me.con
sponsors Free Nelson and Friends of Buckingham

4:30 pm at the Free Speech Wall on the Downtown Mall at Charlottesville City Hall
Contact Kirk Bowers, engineer1950@yahoo.com434 296-8673
Piedmont Chapter of the Sierra Club

Chesapeake Bay Group of the Sierra Club will be holding their event at The corner of South Military Highway and Shell Rd. Chesapeake, Va. 23323 at 6 pm. This is close to the Chesapeake Energy Center, that would be fed by the pipeline and the end terminal of the ACP.
Jeff Staples,, (757) 647-0410

Franklin County
11 am – 18600 220, Rocky Mount, VA
11:45 AM – We move to 682 Summit Road to end of cul de sac on Grassy Hill Road near KFC
12:45 -move to Franklin Government Center for protest before Board of Supervisors meeting
Mark Laity-Snyder,
Sponsor: Preserve Franklin

Floyd County
Joint event with Preserve Bent Mountain
Meet at 11 am where the Blue Ridge Parkway joins 221. Bring your signs, bring your voices!
contact: Mara Robbins,, 540 745-3561
Sponsor: Preserve Bent Mountain and Preserve Floyd

Front Royal, VA
Meet at the Gazebo on Main Street at 4 pm for speakers, then March through town. wil go to Skyline Drive also.
Maya White Sparks,

Montgomery County
For directions tobthis action, please contact:
Tina Badger, forestchilde
Sponsor Preserve Montgomery

Nelson County
County Line event
Rock bridge which connects the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive
at Rt. 250, 5:15 pm
Marilyn Shifflett,, 434 826-0628
Sponsored by Free Nelson and Friends of Augusta

County Line event
Rt. 56 bridge over the James River, 6:30
Matt Dwyer,,434 962-4113
Sponsored by Free Nelson and Friends of Buckingham

12 noon, 8th and E. Cary St., downtown Richmond.
Wear blue!  Opportunity for Richmond to stand with the Counties and tell the Governor: “No New Pipelines”!! Marking ONE YEAR OF RESISTANCE!  We will be at Dominion Headquarters @ 8th and Cary. Then we will walk about 7 blocks up to the Broad Street entrance of the Patrick Henry Building, where the Governor’s office is located. We’ll tell the Governor: Stand with Virginians, not Dominion! Call if off!   Note about accessibility: this is about .4 mile walk, and some of it is up hill.
Contact Whitney Whiting,,
Sponsored by the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Virginia Chapter of the Sierra club, Virginia Student Environmental Coalition

Roanoke County
Bent Mountain
Joint event with Preserve Floyd
Meet at 11 am where the Blue Ridge Parkway joins 221.
Bring your signs and your voices
Contact Mara Robbins, 540 745-3561
Preserve Floyd and Preserve Bent Mountain

Salem Park, 5:30 pm
Debra Carter

West Virginia
North Central West Virginia
6 pm, West Union city park in West Union WV. We will be joining hands along Middle Island Creek a stream that has been heavily impacted by gas drilling.
Wayne Woods, 304-782-3054,
Sponsor: Doddridge County Watershed Association

Greenbrier County
Roncervete Park, 6:30 pm
Bring your boats
Leslee McCarty,, 304 646-7563
Sponsored by Greenbrier Watershed Association

Monroe County
Tuesday, August 18th at 1:00pm
1:00 – Carpool to venue (see carpool locations below)
2:00 – 3:30 Event
3:30 – 4:00 Return carpool

WHERE: OAK HILL FARM, located on Blue Lick Road – a narrow, one-lane road. **Please park at one of the two Carpool Locations below.**

Carpool Location #1: The Lindside Methodist Church, located at the northern end of Lindside. Howdy Henritz will organize carpooling to the venue.

(Directions to Lindside Church: coming from Peterstown on 219 N, church is on right side of road / coming from Union on 219 S, church is on left side of road. Look for a brick church with a large white auxiliary building and large parking lot)

Carpool Location #2: The old Greenville School in Greenville, WV. Maury Johnson will organize carpooling to the venue.

(Directions to the Old Greenville School: from Rte 12 in Forest Hill, turn left onto on Rte 122. Drive approx 8 miles and just before Liberty Gas Station in Greenville, turn right on Old Greenville School Road. Watch for large blue sign “Old Greenville School” located toward the end of the road, approx 2/10 mile)
Contact: Jessica Abramson,

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