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Activities | New backcountry permits at Shenandoah, Red Kettle Campaign in full swing and more

Air Raid Juggling meets from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays at ACAC Adventure Central. Free. Club welcomes all experience levels and provides free lessons.

Albemarle County Parks and Recreation will offer free Christmas tree recycling from Monday through Jan. 21, 2024. Eight sites are open from 7 a.m. to dark daily: McIntire Recycling Center; Claudius Crozet Park; Greenwod Community Center; Chris Greene Lake Park; Darden Towe Park; Scottsville Community Center; Walnut Creek Park; and Simpson Park. Remove all decorations, lights, stands and nails from trees. Do not bring wreaths or yard waste. Recycled trees will be chopped into mulch, which will be available for free starting Jan. 22 at Darden Towe Park and Claudius Crozet Park.

Cat Action Team is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization serving Charlottesville and 12 surrounding counties to help homeless cats with trap/neuter/return programs, fostering, adoption, feral colony maintenance, food and support. Volunteers are welcome.

Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA is open to the public from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The shelter will remain closed on Mondays for deep cleaning and staff member training. Evening adoption appointments may be scheduled throughout the week by emailing, submitting an adoption application on the website or calling (434) 973-5959.

Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA is presenting a pet portrait fundraiser and the Giving Tree for pet supplies. (434) 973-5959.

City of Charlottesville Police Civilian Oversight Board will be accepting applications for one vacancy on the board through Feb. 29, 2024. Details: (434) 970-3794.

City of Charlottesville Public Works Department will offer a new tool to let residents track city snowplows during winter weather events. The new online portal uses automated vehicle location technology to track snow route progress and show people when they can expect to see plowing happening. Access will be provided through a posted link on the city’s website that will be activated during snow events.

The Compassionate Friends meets on Zoom on the second Tuesday of every month and in person on the fourth Tuesday of every month in the downstairs library of Church of Our Saviour on East Rio Road. The support group is for families who have lost a child of any age, for any reason. Free; no fees. or (434) 974-9314.

DMV is offering permanent farm-use placards for unregistered farm vehicles at all of its customer service centers. DMV-issued placards will be required starting July 1, 2024. Placards are $15 and remain valid for the lifetime of the vehicle, but they are not transferable. Applications are available online at

Hospice of the Piedmont offers general grief support drop-in groups at 3 p.m. Wednesdays on Zoom; call (434) 817-6915 to register. Remembering Our Children, a support group for parents who have lost children, takes place at 5:30 p.m. on the first Monday of each month on Zoom; call (434) 817-6915 to register. (434) 817-6949.

James River Good Works Group will continue its Helping Hands Christmas Food Drive through Dec. 30 to feed hungry people in the Scottville area. Cans and boxes of nonperishable foods can be dropped off at Baine’s Books and Coffee, Baked by the James, Rivertown Antiques, Truist Bank, W.F. Paulette Ace Hardware, Scottsville Library, Scottsville U.S. Post Office and the Town of Scottsville Office. Monetary donations will be accepted at the Town of Scottsville Office and online at Details:

Louisa County farmers affected by drought during the crop year may apply for assistance programs and emergency loans through the Farms Services Agency, a U.S. Department of Agriculture agency. A service center is at 39 Industrial Drive, Suite 1, in Louisa. Details: or (540) 967-0091. Ext. 2.

McIntire Recycling Center is observing its winter hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays and 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The center will be closed on Tuesdays. The new hours will be in effect until the change to daylight saving time on March 10, 2024.

Parkinson’s Care Partners Support Group meets at 10:30 a.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month at The Center at Belvedere. The meeting is part of the Virginia Chapter of the American Parkinson’s Disease Association Information and Referral Center of Virginia at UVa Health System. (434) 974-7756.

Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign 2023 will continue through Sunday. Volunteer bell ringers are welcome to sign up at Volunteers are serving at Walmart and Sam’s Club locations, Kroger locations, near Barnes & Noble in Barracks Road Shopping Center, Giant, Belk, Reid’s, Mincer’s and Great Valu in Crozet. (434) 295-4058.

Shenandoah National Park will start a new backcountry camping permitting system at 11 a.m. Jan. 11, 2024. Permits must be purchased through The current system of obtaining paper permits through the website and at designated park locations will end Jan. 10. There is a $6 permit fee and a $9 recreation fee per person. The new system will allow better tracking of backcountry use and help locate campers in an emergency. https://

Smith Aquatic Fitness Center lap and recreational pool (Zero Depth/Lazy River and Slide Pool) will be closed at certain times as a result of lifeguard shortages. The pool will be closed from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The fitness area upstairs will remain open as scheduled. (434) 970-3072.

Survivors of Suicide Loss meets in person on the first Thursday of every month at Church of the Incarnation and by Zoom at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month, including this Thursday. Send email address to for Zoom link. The group is for anyone who has lost a family member or friend to suicide. (434) 974-9314.

U.S. Small Business Administration announces that federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available. Small business, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in agriculture and most private nonprofit organizations with economic losses resulting from the drought may apply from Jan. 1 to Aug. 11. The declaration includes Page and Rockingham counties and the contiguous counties of Albemarle, Augusta, Greene, Harrisonburg, Madison, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren, plus Hardy and Pendleton in West Virginia. Submit completed loan applications no later than July 3, 2024. Apply online at under SBA declaration No. 20088.


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