Outdoors Header
Outdoors & Environmental Newsletter | November 2010 | VBgov.com/Parks
Where's All the Wildlife? 
Bird FeederJust because the weather's getting colder and the trees are losing their leaves, doesn't mean that local wildlife disappear. In fact, winter can be a great time to observe wildlife. Why not put a bird feeder outside your back window this year? You'll not only help our feathered friends, but you'll allow your family the opportunity to observe many different types of these fascinating creatures close up (just make sure to keep the cats indoors!)

To figure out exactly who your visitors are, use a bird field guide, or check out this cool online eNature field guide. This website also has interesting articles, a section where you can "Ask the Expert," quizzes (like test your Winter Wildlife IQ) and local wildlife lists.

And if you're ready to learn more, why not check out our upcoming Winter Wildlife Festival in January. Read more about this event in the article below.

Quick Links

Upcoming Programs & Events

12/11 | Family Nite Hike | Stumpy Lake | FREE*

12/18 | Earth Buddies | Stumpy Lake | $5*

*program requires advanced registration
Register Now for the Winter Wildlife Festival! 
January 28-30, 2011 | Princess Anne Recreation Center

Screech OwlRegistration is now available for the Winter Wildlife Festival to be held on January 28-30, 2011. Sessions have a limited number of spaces, so register early to reserve your spot for the chance to observe winter wildlife in places like Back Bay and False Cape, Fort Story, First Landing State Park, Whitehurst Tract, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel area and more! You can also sign up for sessions that will teach you how to begin birding, how to make a rain barrel and how to create a backyard habitat that is attractive to both you and wildlife. The full list of excursions and educational workshops is below.

Excursions: Back Bay/ False Cape Terra-Gator & Tram Tour, Beginning Birding, Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel Excursion, Fort Story & First Landing Bird Walk, Owl Prowl, Urban Birding, Whale Watching, Whitehurst Tract Excursion

Workshops: Backyard Habitat, Birding Basics, Rain Barrel Making, Snow Geese of Tidewater
Stop by the exhibit hall at Princess Anne Recreation Center and speak with our Winter Wildlife Festival partners to see what local groups and businesses are doing to promote environmental sustainability. We'll also have children's activities available, so bring the kids!

The exhibit hall will be open on Saturday, January 29 from 10 am to 4 pm, with the educational sessions and excursions running at various times throughout the weekend. Membership cards are not required for this event.

There is no cost to attend the festival, but some sessions and excursions do have a fee. Register now! 
All Owl Creek Boat Ramps Available for Use

Attention boaters! All six piers and bulkheads at the Owl Creek Boat Ramp are again available for use. Three piers and bulkheads were closed in March, but renovations have been completed. This facility provides 24-hour access to Rudee Inlet for both motorized and non-motorized watercraft. Owl Creek Boat Ramp is located at 717 General Booth Blvd., next to the Virginia Aquarium, and there is no fee to use the facility.
Reap the Benefits of the Outdoors All Year Long
Father and Son OutdoorsSometimes you just don't want to go outside. When it gets chilly outside, it seems much nicer to stay in the comfort of your own bed, covers pulled up over your head, or cuddled up on the couch with a good book and a warm cup of coffee! Not that either of these are bad choices, but you should get outside. There are many benefits to getting outside year round, including improvements to both your physical and mental health.
If you have children, you already know what can happen if they do not have a healthy/safe place to exert their energy! So, take the family outside and play some football, plan a hike, go star gazing, comb the beach, or fly a kite! This article on getting outdoors in the winter provides helpful hints and ideas for enjoying the colder weather coming up.
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