Outdoor Header
Outdoors & Environmental Newsletter | November 2009 | VBgov.com/Parks
Save the Date for the Winter Wildlife Festival: January 30
Mother and Daughter with BinocularsPlan to attend the Winter Wildlife Festival on January 30 for the chance to observe seals at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, see whales in the ocean, discover owls at First Landing State Park and view other winter wildlife at various locations throughout Virginia Beach.  Learn how to identify a variety of animal species, while getting energized to go green!
The festival will focus on environmental education and wildlife and will feature local excursions, educational sessions and outdoor vendors. The exhibit hall at Kempsville Recreation Center will be open from 9am to 3pm, with the educational sessions and excursions running at various times during the day.
In order to visit the exhibit hall and participate in the educational sessions and excursions, you must first register for the festival's main registration (available 12/1 via #93636 on EZreg). There is no cost to attend the festival, but some sessions and excursions do have a small fee.  Once you are registered for the festival, you can choose which sessions to attend.
Excursions include: Back Bay / False Cape Terra Gator & Tram Tour, Beginning Birding*, Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel Excursion*, Fort Story & First Landing Bird Walk, Owl Prowl, West Neck Natural Area Excursion, Whale Watching*, Whitehurst Tract Excursion
Educational sessions include: Backyard Habitat, Birding Basics, Kayak Pool Sessions, Rain Barrel Making*, Snow Geese of Tidewater
* denotes additional cost
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:  
Repurpose Everyday Things.  Learn new ways to use items you already have in your house. From dryer sheets to lemons, coffee filters to vinegar, these tips will allow you to utilize what you have instead of shopping for more.  You'll reduce waste and increase your savings!
Quick Links
Our Website  
Preparing to Paddle: Tips for Purchasing a Kayak
Buying a KayakWhen to Buy: Off season is the best time of the year to buy a kayak for price; however, it's also when the selection is limited. In July or August, retailers want to clear their current stock to make room for the new models for next year.

Type: Ads or descriptions for kayaks are written for those who were somehow born knowing all about kayaks! It's not so apparent for someone new to the sport. To clear away some of that confusion, you need to understand two distinctions: brand and type.  Continue reading...
Give Kayaking a Try!  Learn in the Safety of a Pool
Indoor Pool Kayak Sessions (age 13 & up): Join us at Seatack Recreation Center for a chance to experience kayaking in the comfort of an indoor pool. We will have sit on top, single and tandem kayaks available for use, or bring your own boat if you have one. This is a great opportunity to get on the water and not have to worry about the weather outside. Register online using the links below or visit any recreation center.

90996 | Friday, December 11 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm | $16
90997 | Friday, December 18 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm | $16
Outdoor Adventures Continue in December
Our Outdoor Programs Team is committed to developing exciting and educational programs for all members of your family.
Mom and Son in ParkEarth Buddies (ages 6-10) - Kids will enjoy exploring Red Wing Park with a guided hike led by our knowledgeable staff, followed by an outdoor activity. Grab your backpack and water and get the kids outside to enjoy nature.
90883 | Saturday, Dec 12 from 2-3:30 pm at Red Wing Park | $5

Trail Blazers (age 14 & up) - Explore West Neck Natural Area on a guided nature walk.  Feel free to bring your binoculars as this woodland area provides an excellent winter habitat for a number of bird species. Learn about environmental impacts and ways sustain our natural areas from the Outdoors staff.
90875 | Wednesday, Dec 2 from 10:00-11:30 am at West Neck Natural Area | $5
Tell Us What You Want!Tell Us What Programs 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!     
Meet Thelma, the Norway Rat
ThelmaThis month we would like to introduce Thelma, the Norway (brown) rat.  Thelma was born in April 2008 and enjoys spending time with her sister, Louise. 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 Norway Rats
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.
Outdoors Footer