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Outdoors & Environmental Newsletter | October 2009 | VBgov.com/Parks
Tell Us What Programs You Want!
Tell Us What You Want!We're looking for your input on the type of Outdoor and Environmental programs you'd like to see us offer. Please respond to this email (or email fun@vbgov.com) with your ideas and we'll use your feedback to assist in developing future programs and events. We look forward to hearing from you!     
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Coming in January: Winter Wildlife Festival
The Winter Wildlife Festival, a partnership between Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation, Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and the Virginia Aquarium, will be held at Kempsville Recreation Center on Saturday, January 30th.  This event will focus on environmental education and wildlife and will feature local excursions, educational sessions and outdoor vendors.  Look for more information, including how to register, in the November newsletter.
Go Green, Save Green Tip of the Month
Whether it's related to the environment or the economy, green is all over the news lately.  Here's this month's tip to reduce your environmental impact and save money:  
InsulationInsulate.  Here are some tips concerning insulation that will reduce your carbon footprint while making your home more energy efficient preparing for the winter.
  • Insulate your attic to avoid losing up to a third of your heating through the roof.  This traps heat rising from below, prevents the sun baking your home in the summer and could cut your annual CO2 emissions by up to 1 tons. A typical pound of insulation saves twelve times as much energy in its first year in place as the energy used to produce it.
  • Choose insulation with a high R value, which is a measure of thermal resistance. The greater the R value, the more effective it will be at resisting heat flow.  Check out this buyer's guide to choose green insulation.
  • Apply weatherstripping around windows and doors. This is an inexpensive and relatively easy way to minimize heat loss.
  • Replace old windows with double glazed to cut a home's heat loss by up to 20% and reduce CO2 emissions by about 1,500 lb every year.
  • Use window draperies. Uninsulated draperies can cut heat loss through windows by a third, and insulated draperies can reduce it by half.
  • Insulate under your first floor and you could cut your home's heating loss by up to 25%.
Try Something New with the Outdoors Team
Our Outdoor Programs Team is committed to developing exciting and educational programs for all members of your family. Here is just a taste of what we are offering in the coming month:

Family Adventure
Scavenger HuntA Hunting We Will Go: Break out your hiking shoes and a camera and blaze on over to First Landing State Park with your family or friends to compete in a scavenger hunt. The hunt will take you throughout the park as you search for and solve clues. Each clue found will have to be captured with a photo. Put together a team of 3-4 people and start studying up on your outdoor knowledge. Youth 12 and under must be registered with an adult.
Age 6 & up | Sunday, Nov. 15, 1 - 4 pm | First Landing State Park | $30 / team | Register now!
Haunted Walk: As we stroll down the trail at West Neck Natural Area, you'll be introduced to some of the spooky animals that call Virginia Beach home.  After the walk, we'll sit around a bonfire to hear ghost stories told by local historians.  This event is perfect for the whole family to get outside and have fun together!
Age 6 & up | Friday, Oct. 30, 6 - 8 pm | West Neck Natural Area | $5 | Register now!

Rock Climbing Just for Teens
Rock On:
Climb on board to try your hand or expand your skills in rock climbing and traversing. We'll meet the first 4 weeks at the traversing wall to learn about hand holds and get used to bouldering. Week 5 we'll head to Seatack Recreation Center to experience higher wall climbing.
Age 13-17 | Thursdays, Nov. 12 - Dec. 17, 6 - 7:30 pm | Great Neck Rec | $45 | Register now!
Archery for Teens and Adults
ArcheryIntroduction to Archery: This four-week course will teach the basics of archery. Participants will be taught whistle command techniques to move between stages. Archers will learn responsibility, sportsmanship, discipline and respect. Participants will be working in small groups to share equipment.
Age 12-16 | Tuesdays, Nov. 3 - Nov. 24, 6 - 7:30 pm | Kempsville Rec | $62 | Register now!
Age 17 & up | Mondays, Nov. 2 - Nov. 23, 7 - 8:30 pm | Kempsville Rec | $62 | Register now!

Target Time: Finally...a safe place for you to practice all your archery skills. Target time is available to those who have taken Archery Basics with us or archers who are familiar with the safety rules and whistle commands. Compound bows and arrows are provided.
Age 12 & up | Tuesdays, Nov. 3 - Nov. 24, 7:45 - 8:45 pm | Kempsville Rec | $59 | Register now!
Reap the Benefits of Outdoor Recreation
Five reasons why you and your family should take part in outdoor recreation:
  1. Family OutdoorsPsychological benefits. Outdoor recreation reduces stress, increases self esteem, confidence and creativity.
  2. Physical benefits. Outdoor recreation increases aerobic, cardiovascular and muscular fitness.
  3. Social benefits. Outdoor recreation leads to increased pride in your community and opportunities to spend time with like minded individuals.
  4. Economic benefits. People who participate in outdoor recreation tend to be more productive at work. It provides job opportunities and the preservation of natural areas needed for outdoor recreation increases property values.
  5. Environmental benefits. Increased environmental awareness and concern which result from outdoor recreation can lead to increased involvement in environmental issues.
New Launch Site for Kayaks and Canoes
Birdneck LaunchVirginia Beach Parks and Recreation has been working with the Lynnhaven River NOW Stewardship and Access Committee to develop more access sites in the Lynnhaven River watershed.  Through these efforts, we're happy to announce the opening of the Birdneck Launch, which provides the public with non-motorized boat access to the Lynnhaven River. 
To reach the new launch site, turn west on Old Virginia Beach Road from Birdneck Road (501 City Grill is on the corner) and follow it to the end. Take advantage of these warm October days and go for a paddle!
Meet Lola, the Eastern Screech Owl
LolaThis month we would like to introduce Lola, an Eastern Screech Owl that was acquired from Raptor Conservancy of Virginia in October 2008. Lola was unable to return to the wild due to a permanent injury to her left eye. She is part of the environmental outreach program used by the Outdoor Programs Team to help educate youth about local wildlife.   
Learn how our experienced educators can bring a program to your group by contacting Katie Whanger at (757) 385-0426, or email
More about screech owls
Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation believes all of our diverse citizens have a right to participate in community recreation and we are committed to creating equal access for everyone who may have a challenge or barrier. If you or your child requires additional support, we can help.  Learn more about our accommodation and inclusion services.
We welcome your comments and questions.  Feel free to email us at fun@vbgov.com.
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