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Community Digest

December 2022

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Your monthly digest of all things Albemarle. Thank YOU, our community, for another great year.

📽️🎞️ 2022 Year in Review

In our 2022 Year in Review, we highlight some of the work we’re proud to have performed in service to you, our community. We also share ways you can stay informed, updated, and engaged with us, as we value and appreciate your input! View the full-length version on YouTube or click below 🔽 to watch.

There's also the option to review shorter video segments from our 2022 Year in Review video playlist. At the end of each video, check out the video card options and watch in any order.

Albemarle County 2022 Year In Review Highlights

If you haven’t already, stay informed with what’s happening in the County by subscribing to our e-newsletters, following us on social media channels, visiting our website at, or by visiting our Engagement Hub at

Upcoming: Plastic Bag Tax Goes into Effect on Sunday, January 1, 2023 in Albemarle County 

Bring Your Own Bag-Albemarle 2023

Effective January 1, 2023, Albemarle County will be enacting a five-cent tax on disposable plastic bags given to shoppers during checkout at grocery stores, convenience stores, and pharmacies. Visit our website to view FAQs and access a toolkit for businesses.

The Virginia Disposable Plastic Bag Tax is meant to address the impacts and costs of disposable plastic bags in the community and encourage the use of reusable bags.

The money collected from this tax will be utilized to purchase and distribute reusable bags to vulnerable populations and fund environmental education and litter clean-up programs.

Beginning in January 2023, Albemarle County staff will distribute reusable bags at select locations throughout the county to recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). These bags will help to avoid additional costs during checkout and also encourage the use of reusable bags that benefit the environment. Stay tuned for more information as dates and locations are confirmed. 

Is your business affected by the plastic bag tax? Details about the tax and how to file and pay can be found at

Additionally, you can download this toolkit that includes materials for you, your employees, and a poster to place in your store. Download the kit today and plan ahead.

Learn More & Access Additional Resources
Bring Your Own Bag-Albemarle 2023

Albemarle County Parks and Recreation (ACPR) Updates-

Free Christmas Tree Recycling Has Begun! ♻️

The Parks and Recreation Department will operate seven drop-off sites from December 26, 2022, through Friday, January 20, 2023. The hours are daily from 7 am until dark.


Christmas tree recycling sites:   


*The recycling location on McIntire Road may be congested. Please consider Darden Towe Park as an alternate location, especially for large loads. 

Please remove all decorations, lights, stands, and nails before dropping off trees. And remember, the sites are only accepting discarded Christmas trees, please do not bring yard waste or wreaths.


The recycled trees will be chipped into mulch and the mulch will be available for FREE starting Monday, January 23, 2023, at Darden Towe Park and Crozet Park.


The County's Christmas Tree Recycling Program has been helping residents discard trees and reduce the impact on our landfills since 1988. The program collects approximately 2,300 Christmas trees each year and turns them into mulch.

Upcoming: New Park Hours at Two Albemarle County Parks Effective January 1, 2023

Effective Sunday, January 1, 2023, the hours of operation for Totier Creek Park and Beaver Creek Park will be changed to 7 am to dark. This change will bring these parks into alignment with the rest of the Albemarle County parks system and provide consistency and clarity to park users visiting parks throughout the county.

Learn more about the upcoming new park hours and tree recycling details on our website.

Upcoming Prescribed Burn Information

Did you know prescribed burns help support forest ecosystems, recycle nutrients back into the soil, control invasive species, and more? This winter, the Virginia Department of Forestry is working with the Ivy Creek Foundation and Albemarle County Parks and Recreation to do a prescribed burn in the North Field at Ivy Creek Natural Area and Historic River View Farm.

The exact date is to be determined and depends upon weather conditions. The park will be closed to visitors on the day of the burn once a date is decided, so please look out for future notification once a date is set. 

Recap: Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) Community Read Fall 2022 Event

Albemarle County Fall 2022 Community Read

Thanks to everyone who was able to participate and support our Fall 2022 Community Read! Earlier this month, we hosted an in-person Community Read Dinner Panel Discussion at the Yancey Community Center. During the panel, we discussed, dined, and heard from active community leaders within the Esmont community.

📽️In case you missed attending the in-person event or the virtual live-stream, review the recording here.


Here's more information about our Fall 2022 Community Read, and the book we chose, Esmont Virginia by Andi Cumbo-Floyd. Learn more about this and previous Community Reads at

Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Winter Weather and Preparedness

Be Storm Ready! We are at the beginning of our region’s winter weather season. Now is a great time to take stock of your household’s preparedness for snow, ice, and power outages. We never know when that winter storm may arrive so be ready! Prepare a checklist of things to do when you hear that a winter storm is possible.

Download an Emergency Kit Checklist

Learn ways to prepare your home and car for weather and power outages by clicking here.


Share with your neighbors! Check on your friends, family, and neighbors in the days leading up to a winter storm to see how you can help anyone who may need assistance preparing for a storm. Share resources, this email, or the flyer below with your networks to ensure everyone has the tips and best practices they need to remain safe during winter storms.


Stay safe, Albemarle! Here are additional ways to prepare ahead, before a disaster strikes, from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM).

ACFR Winter Safety Flyer 2022

Albemarle County Fire Rescue (ACFR) Honors Two Firefighters with Awards for Valor

Recently, ACFR recognized the valiant work of Firefighters Christopher Oakley and Benjamen Noble with ACFR's Award for Valor, a recognition for ACFR members who have demonstrated exceptional bravery, selflessness, and commitment to the mission. 

During a recent response, these two men displayed calm, skill, and courage despite being faced with odds, not in their favor. And, most importantly, their exemplary actions undoubtedly resulted in their saving the life of a trapped resident.

Before presenting the award to Firefighters Oakley and Noble, Fire Rescue Chief Dan Eggleston described the incident that prompted the nomination for this prestigious award. That description can be found here at and on ACFR's Facebook page.

Thank you to Firefighter Christopher Oakley and Firefighter Benjamen Noble for your courageous actions and strong work.

Recap: ACFR Recruit Graduation

This month, ACFR is proud to introduce its newest class of firefighters. During a 12-week abbreviated recruit school led by ACFR career staff, a class of six firefighters with previous experience, also known as lateral recruits, went through skills evaluations, learned the ACFR way of firefighting, and reviewed the ACFR emergency medical services treatment protocols. Additionally, they became certified as child passenger safety technicians and learned new skills in technical rescue as well as advanced firefighting.

This group of firefighters was selected for their varied backgrounds and they will bring a wealth of experience to our department. We welcome John Barger, Calvin Nguyen, Michael Parker, Zach Poole, Eric Sadlon, and James Williams.

ACFR Image of New Firefighters

Also pictured: Captain Dan Spearin, Senior Firefighter Sean Ryan, and Firefighter Robert Greene.

ACFR will be recruiting again! Those with a passion to serve Albemarle County are encouraged to visit for more details and resources to be ready when the application period begins.

Recap: Albemarle County Police Department (ACPD) Santa Patrol

Earlier this month, Santa, his elves, and the Grinch, along with their ACPD friends, handed out gifts, goodies, and merriment during two Santa Patrol events in several neighborhoods including Barracks West Apartment, Townwood Community, Rio Hill, the Scottsville Boys and Girls Club, Southwood Community Center, Timberland Park Apartments, and others.

Broadband Accessibility and Affordability Office (BAAO)-

Launch of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Bridge Program

This month, BAAO announced the launch of an Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Bridge Program and its first provider partner, Comcast. The program will increase broadband savings for eligible households and promote digital inclusion throughout the county.

Developed as a supplement to the federal government's Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)– which provides eligible households with a credit of up to $30 per month toward internet and/or mobile service – the ACP Bridge Program will provide eligible Albemarle County residents with an additional $20 per month credit. A public service announcement about the Albemarle County ACP Bridge Program can be found here.

Community members in Albemarle County who are interested in participating in this program must first check eligibility for ACP and enroll in the program with a participating provider by visiting Comcast customers residing in the county that qualify for ACP can enroll in ACP with Comcast and the Albemarle ACP Bridge Program by calling 1-800-Xfinity or by visiting

More information about the ACP Bridge Program can be found on the County website. Any internet service provider in Albemarle County that is participating in the ACP is eligible to participate in the Albemarle County ACP Bridge Program. Read more about the launch and the ACP Bridge Program.

County Office Upcoming Closures

Upcoming Office Closures

Our offices will be closed on Monday, January 2 in observance of the New Year's holiday. Offices will reopen Tuesday, January 3, 2023, on a regular schedule.

We'll also be closed Monday, January 16 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Offices will reopen Tuesday, January 17, 2023, on a regular schedule.

Public safety departments will operate as usual for both upcoming closures.

Learn about more upcoming events and keep up with the latest happenings in the county by visiting

Have You Visited Our Online Engagement Center?

We are looking forward to providing you with a variety of robust tools designed to enable you to share your expertise, ideas, and feedback with us on a regular basis.

Please visit the site and register to access current and future projects.

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We have a new podcast! The Let’s Talk Albemarle podcast seeks to foster community participation through the exploration of important topics in Albemarle County. Listen free on Apple Podcast, iHeart, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, or our website.

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