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Outdoors & Environmental Newsletter | July 2011 | VBgov.com/Parks 
Welcome to the Dog Days of Summer


Drinking Water in ParkAs the summer season treks onward, those 90 degree days with a heat index of 100 and up become more prevalent. The "dog days of summer" are upon us. The phrase dog days, refers to the hottest, most sultry days of summer. For all of us in the northern hemisphere, this means from early July to early September. The name comes from long ago in ancient times, and it refers to the dog star or Sirius, which is the brightest star in the night sky.  


At certain times during the year, Sirius will rise and set in conjunction with the sun. When this occurred during the summer, ancient Egyptians and Romans argued that it was responsible for the summer heat, by adding its heat to the heat of the sun. The time period 20 days before to 20 days after the conjunction was called the "dog days of summer" because it coincidentally fell at the time of year when it was very hot.  


Just because the temperatures are up, don't lock yourself indoors! Plan a visit to a tree-covered park with plenty of shade like Great Neck Park or Bayville Farms Park or make it a beach trip with a visit to Little Island Park or Lynnhaven Boat & Beach Facility and take a dip in the ocean to cool off. We also have some wonderful natural areas offering ample tree covered trails for a refreshing walk at West Neck Creek and Stumpy Lake. Just remember to stay hydrated! 

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Stumpy Lake Canoe/Kayak Launch  


Construction has begun on the new canoe/kayak launch at Stumpy Lake Natural Area. The launch will be located just after the causeway from Indian River Road near the entrance to Stumpy Lake Golf Course. The launch will provide first time ever water access to Stumpy Lake.  


Construction is expected to be complete this fall. We'll keep you posted as progress is made.

Kids Love Getting Back to Nature!


Back 2 Nature Campers The first week of Back 2 Nature Camp was a huge success! Campers had the opportunity to experience kayaking on Lake Smith, hiking and swimming at First Landing State Park and archery at Munden Point Park. For many, this was their first time doing these activities and in some cases, their first time visiting these locations. Add in a variety of games, daily visits from live animals, cool crafts and the "find of the day" competition and our campers left each day tired, but smiling!

Back 2 Nature camp was created to allow participants the chance to explore nature and try different forms of outdoor recreation in a safe, fun environment. In fact, many studies have shown that being in nature has a positive impact on the mental and physical health of our children. Read more about Getting Into Nature with Your Kids.

We still have spots available for our third week of camp which runs August 8-12. Transportation leaves daily from Kempsville Recreation Center each morning. Sign your kids up today for a week of camp they'll never forget! Register in person at any recreation centers. Cost of camp is $160. For more information, contact the Outdoor Programs unit at 385-4461.

Swimming, Fishing, Boating, Crabbing & More!


Boat RampJust off of Shore Drive, near the Lesner Bridge is one of the best local hideaways in Virginia Beach. The Lynnhaven Boat Ramp and Beach Facility, nestled away at 3576 Piedmont Circle, is the perfect place for your next nautical adventure!

Lynnhaven Boat Ramp has the distinction of being the only public boat ramp in Virginia Beach that provides direct access to the Chesapeake Bay! It costs $8 to launch a boat for those with saltwater fishing license, and $15 for those without. Or you could save, and purchase a $125 launch pass that can be used all year long. If you prefer to canoe or kayak, there is a location to launch non-motorized craft as well.

If you're more of a beach-goer, there is a pathway under the Lesner Bridge that leads directly to a beach area on the Chesapeake Bay. Since the bay waters are much calmer than the oceanfront, this is a perfect location for families to come and bring their children. It's very family-friendly, with a short walk from the parking lot to the beach and fewer crowds than the oceanfront, particularly in the summer.

BeachSome of the amenities of this local treasure include restrooms and changing areas, an outdoor rinse area and vending machines. If you're carrying a cooler, you'll be happy to know that ice is available for sale on-site, so no last-minute runs to the store required!

If you'd rather fish or crab than go for a swim, head down the path to the beach and make a right. This side of the beach does not permit swimming, but is a welcome location for fisherman and crabbers alike.  

Parking is only $3 for Virginia Beach residents and $5 for non-residents. There is also designated parking for towed trailers. Be sure to arrive early on weekends to secure a space, as parking is limited.  


Lynnhaven Boat Ramp and Beach Facility is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and staffed by Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation, so what are you waiting for? Check out one of Virginia Beach's hidden gems!
Please Note Our Upcoming Facility Closures 


The pool at Seatack Recreation Center will be closed for renovations beginning August 22 and lasting approximately three months.

Great Neck Recreation Center
will be closed for maintenance from August 29 to September 5. 


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.