The stars shine brighter in Halifax County, VA

Sustainable and Beautiful

Located in South Boston, Oak Grove has had an electric car charging station for five years, one of only four in Halifax County. Motorists who arrive in hybrids or electric cars get a third night free.

The inn was the state’s first to have a solar photo-voltaic system to generate clean electricity. Oak Grove has 48 solar panels, including 32 from Halifax County Solar Cooperative, with a power of 3.9 kw and 9 kw per installation. The solar panels provide 82% of the inn’s electricity.

To pay for the other 16 panels, the inn used a Virginia Land Conservation Incentives Act program to preserve the land in perpetuity, a move that made it eligible for tax breaks to make up for the lost property value. Oak Grove then sold the tax breaks and used the proceeds to pay for the solar array.

“Global warming is causing hurricanes, tornadoes, rising oceans and other catastrophes,” says Pickett Craddock, the innkeeper. “I believe in sustainable energy to preserve our planet,” Surveys have also shown that 87% of global travelers are looking to travel more sustainably in 2021.”

Tom Griffith of Virginia Green Travel lauds her efforts. “A passionate commitment to sustainable practices is what makes Oak Grove Bed & Breakfast special. I am personally inspired by their long-lasting enthusiasm for environmental stewardship in support of green tourism in Virginia.”

Oak Grove isn’t new to renewable energy. From 1905 to the mid-1930s, the inn had a windmill that stored electricity in a Delco battery in the basement.

In other green efforts, the inn recycles, has a compost pile for vegetable scraps and has installed “low-e” energy-efficient storm windows on the south side. The owner installed central a/c and heating using a 15 SEER heat pump.

There is optional linen service, and sheets and towels are dried on a clothesline. Rain barrels collect water, the inn has a tankless electric hot water heater, and it uses LED and compact fluorescent lighting.

Sustainable energy is just one feature of the inn, which was built in 1820 and opened as a bed & breakfast in 1988. Oak Grove has 380 acres for hiking and biking and plenty of features for children, including a tire swing, games, and a sandbox. Guests are served a gourmet breakfast with such delicacies as its own Cluster Springs egg puff and lemon pancakes.

Guest rooms at Oak Grove include the Family Suite, the “Library” and a new “Treehouse” room high among the many oaks.

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