Supporting the walkers

Published 12:56 pm Thursday, July 13, 2017

When seeking to understand a concept that could affect thousands of people across three states and hundreds of communities, there’s no better way to learn about the impact than to see the people and places that could see the most change.

That’s just what the walkers who participated in “Walking the Line: Into the Heart of Virginia” did recently.

Dozens of people — with about six making up the core group — recently concluded a 150-mile walk across five counties along a portion of the planned 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) route at the intersection of Union Hill Road and Route 56 in Buckingham County.

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The event, which began June 17 and concluded July 2, was designed to connect with those who’ll be most affected by the proposed ACP. The walk concluded at the future site of a 53,783-horsepower compressor station that’s slated for Route 56 between Shelton Store and Union Hill roads, near where a sign reading “Our community, our land, our lives,” bordered by flowers and vegetation, was erected.

“We walked this walk and the walk was about connecting with the land and the water and the people to bring it all together — to celebrate what’s out there,” organizer Lee White said while standing alongside Route 56. “We didn’t walk to protest. We were not protesting against anything. We’re here to celebrate, and that’s why we’re all here today.”

We commend those who participated in the walk for seeking to understand and learn more about those who could be impacted by the ACP by taking several days from their busy schedules, braving the elements — notably the heat — to attempt to capture what impacts the project could have.

Our opinion that the ACP will be beneficial to Buckingham is not shared by everyone, especially by those living along its route or in the area of the proposed compressor station.

Activism and exercising fundamental rights as Americans, such as what the walkers, members of Friends of Buckingham and several project opponents have done, makes for a healthy democracy which can lead only to a more prosperous future for a community.