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Outdoors & Environmental Newsletter | January 2010 | VBgov.com/Parks
How to Choose Hiking Footwear
from REI.com
 
BootsChoosing the right footwear may well be the most important decision you make as a hiker or backpacker. The shoes or boots you choose must be comfortable, durable and protective, mile after mile.  Learn how to evaluate footwear based on the type of outings you take and the best fit.  You'll also learn about the differences in materials used to construct the boots.  Continue reading...

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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:  
 
CFL LightbulbUse Natural Sunlight and Lighting Technologies. A large portion of household electricity use is for lighting. Take advantage of natural light and newer lighting technologies to reduce your electricity consumption and spending:
  • Take advantage of natural light.  Paint walls in light color, keep drapes, shades and blinds open during the day to let light in and make sure windows are clean.
  • Replace incandescent bulbs with halogen of low-energy compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL). Each CFL uses only a quarter of the electricity of an incandescent bulb and last up to ten times longer.
  • If you replaced a quarter of your lightbulbs with CFLs, you could save around 50% on your lighting bill.
  • If every household in the US were to switch one bulb to a CFL, they'd avoid the same amount of pollution as produced by a million cars.
  • Focus lights just where you need them, rather than lighting up an entire room.
  • Put your outdoor security lights on motion sensors.
Storm Drain Marker Project Resumes in March

Storm Drain MarkerThe Storm Drain Marker Project was implemented to help increase public awareness of the environmental effects of dumping down storm drains. Storm water pollution is a major source of our nation's water quality problems. Water that runs off streets and buildings picks up litter, motor oil, excess fertilizers and other pollutants as it makes its way into natural waters. A study showed that 50% of the pollution in the Chesapeake Bay is due to storm water runoff.
 
How can you help?  Volunteer to adhere 4-inch stainless steel markers on storm drains with the message "Drains to...(with the specific watershed)."  There are over 30,000 storm drains to be marked in Virginia Beach, but it only takes 5-10 minutes to adhere the stainless steel marker on each drain. This program is an excellent project for families, scouts and other groups.  All materials are provided, simply volunteer your time!  Contact us at 385-0472 and provide your name, phone number and the streets where your group wants to volunteer.
Outdoor Fun in the Month Ahead
 
Friday Night Family Hikes - Bundle up the kids, grab your flashlight and head out to one of Virginia Beach's hidden treasures, West Neck Natural Area. Join us as we hear the sounds of the night, check out the stars and have a warm drink on this fun family night hike.
#93667 | Feb 5 | 8:00 - 9:00 pm | $3Family Outdoors
#93675 | Mar 5 | 8:00 - 9:00 pm | $3
 
Get the Kids Outside - Research has shown that exposure to nature has positive impacts on a child's physical, emotional and mental development. Join our outdoor programs staff as we discuss the national 'No Child Left Inside' movement and introduce you to some of our new departmental outdoor programs. Learn the benefits of getting the kids outside and how you can save your children from 'nature deficit disorder'!
#93669 | Kempsville Recreation Center | Feb 9 | 7 - 8:30 pm | no cost
 
Gearing Up - Looking at getting back outdoors?  Want to know the latest and greatest equipment available?  Join the experts from Blue Ridge Mountain Sports as they discuss what types of equipment and gear is necessary to make your experience safe and pleasurable.  This session is for both the novice and experienced outdoors person.
#93668 | Bayside Recreation Center | Feb 10 | 7 - 8:30 pm | no cost
Meet Neptune, the Eastern Kingsnake
 
NeptuneThis month we would like to introduce Neptune, the Eastern Kingsnake. Neptune was acquired in May 2006 from a local wildlife rehabber. Kingsnakes are harmless and often prey on venomous snakes in the wild. Neptune 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
outdoors@vbgov.com.      
 
More about Eastern Kingsnakes
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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