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Outdoors & Environmental Newsletter | November 2011 | VBgov.com/Parks 
Register for Winter Wildlife Festival!

January 27-29, 2012 at Princess Anne Recreation Center


Bird WatchingRegistration is now available for the Winter Wildlife Festival! This three day festival provides you with the opportunity to witness winter wildlife in places like Back Bay and False Cape, Fort Story, First Landing State Park, Mackay Island, Whitehurst Tract, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel area and more! 

Sessions have a limited nu
mber of spaces, so register early to secure your spot! Sign up for sessions such as: 
  • Beginning Birding
  • Back Bay/False Cape Terra-Gator & Tram Tour
  • Owl Prowl
  • Rain Barrel Workshop
  • Urban Birding Tour
  • And new this year:
    • Wildlife Photography
    • Mackay Island Excursion
    • Twilight Aviary Tour
    • Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel & Back Bay/False Cape Day Tour 

Join us for the Festival Kick-off on Friday, January 27 at the Virginia Aquarium with a feature presentation of "Winged Migration," the fascinating Academy Award-nominated documentary by Sony Pictures brought to you free of charge by Back Bay Restoration Foundation.   

Be sure to stop by the Exhibit Hall at Princess Anne Recreation Center on Saturday, January 28 from 10 am to 4 pm and speak with Winter Wildlife Festival partners, including the Virginia Aquarium, Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, False Cape State Park, First Landing State Park, Lynnhaven River NOW, and the Virginia Beach Audubon Society. Learn ways to get involved with local efforts, and find out what the environmental groups and businesses are up to.  

There is no cost to attend the festival, but some sessions and excursions do have a fee.
Membership cards are not required for this event. Register now!  

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Know the Science Behind the Flying V 

 

Flying VThe temperature is dropping and the leaves are falling off the trees as nature is preparing itself for the change in seasons. Up from above you hear the honking and the familiar sight of the flying V. That's right, its migration time for many different species of ducks and geese (also known as waterfowl). But why do they fly in the V shape?

Scientists have found that migrating waterfowl choose the V formation for two reasons. The first is to conserve energy. Each bird flies slightly above the one in front of him, resulting in a reduction of wind resistance. Each bird takes a turn flying in front of the flock and falls back when they get tired. This way the flock can fly a longer distance without getting tired and stopping to rest.

The second benefit of the V formation is that it's easier to keep track of each individual bird in the flock. Each bird can see one another which assists with communication and coordination. Why are there more birds on one side of the V than the other? The simplest answer in this case is the correct one. There are simply more birds on that side. For more information, click here.  
Things That Go Bump in the Night

Nite hikeYou know they're out there. You hear them. You've seen the evidence. But what are they? Join us for our Family Nite Hike through West Neck Creek Natural Area on Saturday, December 10 from 7 to 8 pm. We'll explore the area, examine the evidence and find out what exactly is active in our parks while we sleep. This family-oriented hike includes opportunities to explore and discover as we hike to the Whitehurst-Buffington House, take in the night sky and enjoy a warm cup of cocoa. Be sure to dress for the weather and bring your flashlight! There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. Register soon as spaces are filling fast!

Family Nike Hike | 12/10 | 7-8 pm | No cost | #101659 - Register!  
The Life Cycle of an Aluminum Can

Aluminum cansJust like clockwork, you place your full blue recycling bin on the curb for pick up on your assigned day. When you bring the bin back to your house, it's empty. We all know that the items have gone to be recycled, but have you ever given it a second thought beyond that? What happens to the materials that get collected?

For an example, let's take a look your aluminum cans. Did you know that an aluminum can is 100% recyclable? According to TFC Recycling, aluminum is one of the most sought after commodities for recyclers. After being dumped in the recycling truck, your cans travel to a recycling facility where they are sorted and separated from the other materials. The aluminum is compacted into bales, which are then loaded onto trucks and transported to manufacturing facilities. From there, they'll be shredded, melted down and eventually reshaped back into cans. The new cans are shipped to beverage manufacturing companies, refilled with your favorite liquid refreshment, readied for shipment back to store shelves and eventually make it back to your home. Within 60 days of leaving the recycling facility, that new can might be right back in your blue bin waiting by the curb and the cycle continues.

Learn more about the recycling process of aluminum in this article by TFC Recycling. 
Please Note Our Upcoming Facility Closures 

 

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 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.