Help the bay with a Be the Bay T-Shirt. Photo from bethebay.com.
Darling birdhouses at Merrifield Garden Center. Photo by Merrifield Garden Center.
A special coffee roast, in honor of the James River. Photo from jamesriverassociation.org.
Rain chains are prettier than downspouts. Photo from h2ocollect.com.
Selecting gifts for your Chesapeake Bay-loving friends need not be difficult! Here are our top 10 bay-centric gifts:
1) "Lynnhaven River, Restoring a Legend"
- This new book by the folks at Lynnhaven River Now
tells the story of the cherished river through photos and personal narratives. It's a coffee table book that surely won?t collect dust on the coffee table. Click here
for purchase information.
2) "Peace, Love & Oysters" T-Shirt
- These sweet shirts by Be the Bay
are perfect for river lovers. Plus, 10 percent of each purchase goes toward bay restoration projects.
4) Gift cards to locally owned garden centers - Many of Plant More Plants? business partners are small and locally owned. We heard Colesville Nursery is giving 10 percent off gift card purchases this week. More Plants. Less Runoff. Healthier Bay.
6) "The Flora of Virginia" - The ultimate manual of Virginia plants is fresh from the publisher! It's an update to the only other flora Virginia's ever had, which was published a mere 250 years ago. Be sure to get a first-run copy while supplies last.
7) Annual membership to a local organization - The bay watershed is home to many organizations doing important work to keep our waters healthy. Consider the Potomac Riverkeeper, Blue Water Baltimore, Anacostia Watershed Society, Friends of the Rappahannock and Friends of the Lower Appomattox, to name just a few.
8) Composting supplies - Even in winter, you can begin building better soil and lessening the burden on landfills. Local city or county governments often sell composting bins to residents for a discount. For example, Arlington County sells Presto bins to residents at only $20 a pop. Make sure you have enough wrapping paper for these babies!
9) James River Blend Coffee - Great coffee starts with clean water. Blanchard?s, a small, family-owned roaster based in Richmond, has joined with the James River Association to create a special blend for America's founding river. A portion of the proceeds from each bag sold supports the JRA.
10) Rain barrels and rain chains
- Our friend Kim Usry at H2O Collect reminds us these make wonderful gifts! Check out www.h2ocollect.com
for cool rainwater-harvesting tools.
Julie Buchanan is a public relations specialist for the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and manager of the Plant More Plants social sites. She lives in Richmond.