Photos by Heather Bell
Radford Mayor Dr. Bruce Brown celebrates a proclamation in honor of Local Government Education Week with students and teachers from Radford High School at Monday’s council meeting. RHS Senior Daniel McManus (second from left) will serve as this year’s mayor during RHS’s upcoming Student Government Day, set for April 27. The day allows students to shadow local government officials to see how government works. McManus is pictured with fellow RHS seniors Susannah Marshall (left) and Tyler McDaniel and RHS teachers Cameron Sellers and Mean Mooney (right).

Spring has sprung, and that means Radford is gearing up for its annual Environmental Awareness Month in April.

Radford City Council passed proclamations in honor of Environmental Improvement Month, Arbor Day and Earth Day at its Monday meeting. From a regional outdoor expo in Bisset Park to Arbor Day plantings, school programs and more, the city is making plans to help citizens contribute positively to their local environment.

A signature event for the month is the Virginia’s Outdoor Lovers Expo, set for Saturday, April 22 in Bisset Park.

Radford was chosen to host this year’s expo by event organizers Appalachian Spring, a 19-county Southwest Virginia community/economic development initiative focusing on eight key natural resources in the region, including the New River.

Radford Commission for Beautification and Municipal Forests Chairman David Horton (right) accepts the Arbor Day proclamation from Radford Mayor Dr. Bruce Brown at Monday’s city council meeting. The City has several tree plantings planned to commemorate Arbor Day, celebrated on April 28.

“We are really excited for the outdoor expo,” said Radford City Manager David Ridpath.

The expo “is designed to bring excitement and awareness of the spectacular outdoor recreation opportunities in Southwest Virginia,” per the event website (

Highlights include a paddle-boarding demo pool, a virtual reality booth, boat displays, outdoor living workshops, Acroyoga demonstrations, food vendors, a beer garden, live music, children’s activities and more. Nearly 100 vendors will be on-site.

Arbor Day is also a big focus of the month, with tree plantings planned for throughout the city. Radford Commission for Beautification and Municipal Forests Chairman David Horton attended Monday’s council meeting for the passing of the Arbor Day proclamation and said he is proud the city has officially honored the day for the last 10 years.

“We’ve been celebrating for a decade and that’s a good thing,” said Horton, extolling the benefits of trees from environmental to economic.

“Trees are good no matter what, so plant more trees,” he said.

Volunteers and city staff will be planting trees on the new section of Park Road between Wildwood Park and the high school back entrance, as well as along the Riverway. The city has also given out nearly 700 tree seedlings to residents to plant on their properties. Horton encouraged residents to consider planting some of Radford’s four varieties of signature trees, which include the Eastern Redbud, Sourwood, October Glory Maple and Foster Holly.

The city has events planned throughout the month, from a showing of The Lorax movie at the library on Saturday, April 2 to the Highlander Half Marathon and 8K, set for April 29. For a full list of events, check out the Radford city website ( The city is also offering half price pick up for household debris, furniture/large items, brush and lawn clippings. Orders must be placed through the public works department and pre-paid by April 30 to qualify for reduced pricing.

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