newswant to know how local government works sign up for the harrisonburg citizen academy

Want to know how local government works? Sign up for the Harrisonburg Citizen Academy

Crystal Graham

harrisonburgAn opportunity for the local community to learn more about city government and the services it offers is available through the Harrisonburg Citizen Academy.

The 12-week program, held every Thursday night from Aug. 25 to Nov. 10, allows participants to visit City of Harrisonburg departments and learn from staff members about the services they provide.

Applications are due Aug. 12.

“The Harrisonburg Citizen Academy is an excellent way for community members to learn more about what the city does to make Harrisonburg a better place to live, work and play every day,” said Michael Parks, the Harrisonburg director of communications. “Whether you’re someone interested in serving on a city board or running for City Council, or you’re just curious about how government works for you, this program has something for everyone.”

Attendees will have the opportunity to go in depth with each city department and ask questions about programs and projects, and get to check out the tools, equipment and vehicles staff use in the performance of their duties.

Classes run from 6 to 8 p.m. each Thursday night, with some alterations – the Sept. 1 class at Harrisonburg Public Works will run from 5:30 to 8 p.m. to allow for extra time, and the Harrisonburg Fire Department class will take place on two nights – Nov. 1 and 3. There also will be an optional Saturday class that will visit the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Regional Sewer Authority and Harrisonburg Water Treatment Plant on Oct. 8.

Participants are required to attend the majority of classes to be eligible for graduation which will take place at the Harrisonburg City Council meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 13.

For more information, visit

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.