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Outdoors & Environmental Newsletter | January 2012 | VBgov.com/Parks 
Last Call for Festival Registration

GeeseRegistration ends this Friday, January 20 for the Winter Wildlife Festival excursions and workshops. While many of the excursions have filled, there are still plenty of opportunities available to take part in this exciting event. Most sessions have no fee, and transportation to off-site locations is provided at no cost. Don't miss this chance to learn more about the winter wildlife in your own backyard!

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Get On Target with Free Archery Demo Day!

TargetEver wondered if you could shoot a bow and arrow and hit your target? This is your chance to find out! Visit us at Kempsville Recreation Center on Saturday, February 11 between 11 am and 3 pm for our free Archery Demo Day.

This open house style event provides you with the opportunity to learn how to properly shoot a bow and arrow. We'll teach you the techniques and give you plenty of practice time to hone your skills. All equipment will be provided. Archery Demo Day is open to everyone age 6 and up, but children under 16 must have a parent present.

If you have already had your hands on a bow and are looking for more, consider our Intro 2 Archery or Intermediate Archery classes in March. These 4 week classes are only $59 per person (ages 10 and up).
If the Binoculars Fit...

BinocularsWhether you're star gazing, birding, backpacking, or viewing your favorite sports team, good binoculars are essential. There is no one size fits all answer to buying binoculars. A variety of factors should be considered to ensure you are buying a model that best suits your needs.

Binoculars are one of those items in which you really do get what you pay for. With this in mind, think about the purpose of your binoculars. What will they primarily be used for? What will you be viewing and what environments will they be in?

When shopping for binoculars, you'll see them described by two numbers. The first is magnification and the second is the diameter of the objective lenses. For example, 8 x 42 binoculars have a magnification of 8, meaning the object will appear 8 times closer than it would during unassisted viewing.
A higher magnification, although great for seeing more detail and making the image appear larger, also means binoculars that are heavier and harder to focus with a shortened field of view. Depending on what you're viewing, sometimes less is more. The same goes for the objective lens. The bigger the lens, the more light they let in allowing you to see in various light conditions.

Binoculars generally fall into three different size categories: full-size, mid-size and compact. Full-size binoculars have 40mm and larger objective lenses which function well in low-light situations and are best for serious wildlife viewing and for use on boats. The larger lenses means the binoculars are going to be relatively large and heavy.

Mid-size binoculars have 30-39mm objective lenses, making them a bit smaller and lighter than full-size options. They are ideal for wildlife and sports viewing, but might still be too heavy for backpacking.

Compact binoculars have less than 30mm objective lenses, so they are an ideal size and weight for backpacking. They can be less comfortable for extended periods of use.

No matter your hobbies or own personal interest, with a little research you can find the right pair of binoculars for you. For more information, please visit http://www.rei.com/expertadvice/articles/binoculars.html. 
Space Available at Free Showing of Winged Migration


GeeseSeeing wildlife films on the big screen is always a treat; not only do you get a unique perspective on how animals interact without the influences of human behavior, but you also get a chance to view details of individuals and populations that are often impossible to observe - even with an experienced eye.

For the 2012 Winter Wildlife Festival Kickoff, our friends with the Back Bay Restoration Foundation are bringing a showing of the Academy Award nominated movie, Winged Migration, to the IMAX Theatre at the Virginia Aquarium free of charge! This movie gives a bird's eye view of the magnificent migrations that occur globally every year on all seven continents.

One of the stars of the movie is the snow geese, whose impressive migration numbers can be seen locally during the winter months. Winter Wildlife Festival excursions to Mackay Island, Back Bay and the Whitehurst Tract provide opportunities for these populations to be observed.

You and your family can join us for this free festival kickoff! There is no cost, but registration is required. Contact us at 385-0426 or outdoors@vbgov.com to register. Registration for the movie will be accepted until Thursday, January 26. This movie is rated G and runs approximately 90 minutes. Refreshments will be available for purchase before the movie.  
Please Note Our Upcoming Facility Closures 


Woodstock Skate Plaza will be closed January 18-27 for concrete repairs. 


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.