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Outdoors & Environmental Newsletter | January 2011 | VBgov.com/Parks 
Get Prepped for Spring!


Rain Barrel
Rain barrel photo by Ken_Mayer via Flickr, (Creative Commons)

Although most of us are probably thinking more about snow shovels than garden shovels right now, it's never too early to brainstorm what you want to do with your yard come spring. In fact, dreaming of warmer days *might* even make the frigid temps a little more bearable!


There are many things you can do to make your yard more visually appealing and at the same time more environmentally friendly. One great idea is to use a rain barrel. Rain barrels collect rain water and store it so it can be used for gardens, house plants or even to fill birdbaths.  


Want to make your own rain barrel? Our Winter Wildlife Festival partner, Lynnhaven River NOW, will host a Rain Barrel Making Workshop from 10 am - 12 noon on Saturday, January 29 at the Princess Anne Recreation Center. For just $65, you and your family can make a rain barrel to take home. Installation instructions will also be provided. The cost is per barrel, so take this opportunity to do something good for the environment as a family!


Learn more about the importance of rain barrels and get other earth-friendly tips on Lynnhaven River NOW's website on Gardening & Lawn Care. And for more ideas on creating the ideal wildlife-friendly backyard, why not consider attending the Backyard Habitat Workshop as well? Also held at Princess Anne Recreation Center on Saturday, January 29 (1:30 - 2:30 pm), this session will be led by a Department of Game & Inland Fisheries biologist and will give you lots of ideas on how to see more wildlife in your yard and get you excited for spring!

To register for these sessions and more, please visit our festival website.  

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Environmental Exhibitors Wanted! 
Do you own a business or belong to an organization that promotes a healthy environment?

Apply to be an exhibitor at the Winter Wildlife Festival's Exhibit Hall to be held on Saturday, January 29 at Princess Anne Recreation Center. The Exhibit Hall is free and open to the public and will bring an audience of outdoor enthusiasts.

For more information, please email Katie Whanger at kwhanger@vbgov.com.
Resolve to Get Involved in Your Community 


On the TrailWe're three weeks into the new year and it's likely that many have already gotten sidetracked from their resolutions for 2011. Even with the greatest intentions, follow through can be difficult. Make a resolution that you can keep! Resolve to get involved in your community through our Trails Club.


The Trails Club is a group of individuals who meet once a month to work on one of our local trails. We clean the area, clear out debris and trim the trail so it is in good shape for visitors to enjoy. This small commitment will provide you with the opportunity to meet new people and make a difference in Virginia Beach. If you are interested in helping out with this group, please contact the Outdoor Programs Unit at 385-0472. Happy Trails!

Join Us for a Family Nite Hike


West Neck CreekBundle up the kids, grab your flashlight and head out to two of Virginia Beach's hidden treasures, West Neck Creek Natural Area and Stumpy Lake. 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. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. Participants must be age 3 or older and parent or guardian must attend with youth.


Saturday, February 12 | West Neck Creek | 8-9 pm | Register!

Saturday, March 12 | Stumpy Lake | 8-9 pm | Register!

Last Chance to Register for Winter Wildlife Festival


It's the final call for the Winter Wildlife Festival registration! Spaces are filling quickly, but many sessions still have spots available! The Winter Wildlife Festival takes place January 28-30 and includes educational workshops and engaging excursions. Registration ends on January 21, so sign up today!


Be sure to stop by the Exhibit Hall at Princess Anne Recreation Center, 1400 Nimmo Parkway, and speak with our Winter Wildlife Festival partners. You'll also learn ways to get involved with local efforts and see what conservation groups and businesses are doing. Children's activities available too!
Visit VBgov.com/WinterWildlife for a full list of excursions and educational sessions along with registration information.

Please Note Our Upcoming Facility Closures 


Bow Creek Recreation Center will be closed February 28 through March 6 for maintenance.  


Seatack Recreation Center will be closed March 14-20 for maintenance.


The pool at Kempsville Recreation Center will be closed through Spring 2011 for renovations.


Don't forget that your membership is good at all six Virginia Beach Recreation Centers! If your usual center is closed for maintenance, take the opportunity to visit another center. Use this locator to help you find one!

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 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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Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation is accredited by CAPRA,
the certifying agency of the National Recreation and Park Association.