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Outdoors & Environmental Newsletter | October 2011 | VBgov.com/Parks 
Stepping Off the Beaten Path 

 

Sometimes we get so caught up in the daily grind that we end up on auto-pilot, sticking to our routines and traveling the same roads. Don't forget to give yourself a break every now and then! A great place to start might be a trip to see the Whitehurst-Buffington House, a 1793 farmhouse located in the West Neck Creek Natural Area.

Fall is the perfect time of year to explore West Neck Creek Natural Area. The cooler temperatures have nearly eliminated the mosquitoes and the leaves are just starting to change color. To access the area, head out to North Landing Road, just across from the Municipal Center. Begin in the municipal lot and follow the paved trail to the bridge, then turn right onto a soft trail. The Whitehurst-Buffington House will be in a clearing a little ways up.

West NeckThe other 2.5 miles of trails start once you cross another bridge that you can reach by heading left into the woods behind the house. (Insider tip: The trails can get quite soggy after a lot of rain, so either go when it hasn't been raining or wear shoes you don't mind getting a little muddy.) 

Prefer to explore in a group? Join us for the 4th Annual Haunted Walk at West Neck Creek Natural Area on Saturday, October 29 from 6-8 pm. This program is spooky rather than scary, and allows you and the family to meet some traditional Halloween animals that live in our area. You'll also enjoy stories around our bonfire and fun children's activities. Legend has it the house is haunted by a child-friendly ghost; come see what you think!

Haunted Walk | 10/29 | 6-8 pm | $2 | Register now!   
Explore Your World - Crab Creek

Kayak Crab CreekCrab Creek is part of the Lynnhaven Inlet and located just under the Lesner Bridge. You've probably driven past here many times without realizing the treasure located below. This liquid trail will take you behind Thoroughgood where you have the opportunity to paddle through the water, take in the beautiful sights and sounds and see several different water birds in their natural habitat.

Sound interesting? Join us for a Kayak Tour of Crab Creek on November 5 from 9 am to noon. We'll provide all of the equipment, so you can just sign up and show up!

Kayak Tour | 11/5 | 9 am - noon | $18 | Register now! 
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Upcoming Programs & Events 

 

10/25 | Explore Our Parks | Great Neck Park | $5*   

 

10/ 29 | Outdoor Haunted Walk | West Neck Creek | $2*   

 

11/5 | Kayak Tour | Carolanne Farms | $18*

 

*requires advanced registration 

SAVE THE DATE! 

 

Winter Wildlife Festival 

January 27-29, 2012

Princess Anne Recreation Center

   

Witness winter wildlife all around Virginia Beach, whether it's following fascinating bird activity or the musings of harbor seals near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Learn what it takes to properly observe and identify wildlife.

 

Free and open to the public (with a fee required for some sessions), this event includes educational workshops and engaging excursions that are sure to captivate outdoor enthusiasts, both novice and expert.

 

Registration will begin November 15. 

Celebrating Hallogreen?!

Pumpkin CarvingWhat is orange and black and green all over? It's the new Halloween! This year, try incorporating some green tips into your Halloween rituals.

When you're shopping for that perfect Halloween costume, think beyond the big box stores and check out your local thrift store. You might be surprised by some of the unique finds and the value you get for your money. It'll also help keep yet another plastic costume from heading straight to the curb on November 1st!  

Ready to head out the door? No need to purchase one of those plastic carryalls for your child to use just once. Consider using a reusable canvas tote or even an old pillowcase to bring home the goodies. 

Between Halloween and Thanksgiving, many people venture out to buy pumpkins and gourds to accompany their fall decorations. Be sure to get the maximum use out of those fresh decorations and be kind to the environment in the process.

When you are carving your pumpkin, don't throw out the seeds! Save them, clean them up and place them on a flat baking sheet with a little butter and salt. They'll bake up into a tasty treat. The other pumpkin leftovers can go into your compost to help re-grow other vegetables. Gourds can actually be preserved and made into lovely bird houses or used for other craft projects. 
Please Note Our Upcoming Facility Closures 

 

Bayside Recreation Center will be closed for maintenance through October 16. The pool at Bayside will be closed through October 23. 

 

The pool at Seatack Recreation Center will be closed for renovations until late November.   

 

All Virginia Beach Recreation Centers and Owl Creek Tennis Center will be closed on November 11 for Veteran's Day. They will also be closed on November 24-25 for Thanksgiving.   

 

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.