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Outdoors & Environmental Newsletter | November 2012 | VBgov.com/Parks 
Register for Winter Wildlife Festival! 
January 25-27, 2013 | Princess Anne Recreation Center

WWFRegistration for the 2013 Winter Wildlife Festival is now available!  This three-day festival provides you with the opportunity to witness winter wildlife in places like Back Bay and False Cape, Pleasure House Point, Mackay Island, Whitehurst Tract, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel area and more!  New sessions for 2013 include:
  • Pleasure House Point Bird Walks
  • Back Bay & False Cape Birding
  • Intermediate Nature Photography
  • Photography Field Session
  • Day-long trip to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and Fisherman's Island (Adults only)
  • Children's Activities by Princess Anne Library
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And of course we have plenty of returning favorites like the Back Bay/False Cape Terragator & Tram Tour, First Landing Bird Walks, Owl Prowls, Exhibit Hall and more. Check out our festival website for more information and to download a registration form. Sessions have a limited number of spaces, so register early to secure your spot! 


Our kick-off speaker this year will be writer and wildlife illustrator, Julie Zickefoose. Julie is a Bird Watcher's Digest contributor and a former NPR commentator. She will be speaking about her newest book, The Bluebird Effect: Uncommon Bonds with Common Birds, which gives an intimate, eye-opening look at the rich mental and emotional landscape of birds and WWF Logowas chosen as Oprah's Book of the Week in April 2012. The event kick-off will be held at 7 pm, Friday, January 25 at Kempsville Recreation Center. This event is free, but registration is required. A book signing will follow with copies of The Bluebird Effect available for purchase.

Hurricane Sandy Impact & Relief Benefit

Lynnhaven Boat RampFortunately, Virginia Beach escaped the severe damage that New Jersey and New York experienced during Hurricane Sandy. In spite of this, high winds and heavy rain caused damage and flooding in several parks throughout the city. Those hardest hit were Little Island Park, Lynnhaven Boat Ramp & Beach Facility, and Grommet Island Park. Parks and Recreation staff worked diligently to clean up storm debris, assess and repair damaged areas, and ready our facilities for reopening. View photos of the storm damage and cleanup effort.

While park operations are getting back to normal in Virginia Beach, communities to the north are still recovering and in need of aide. One of the local fundraising efforts to help those who suffered massive devastation is Sandler Center Cares: Sandy Relief Benefit.

The Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, in partnership with Sinclair Communications, invites you to attend this free fundraising event with musical performances by Hampton Roads' favorite bands, food sampling from local restaurants, beer and wine sales, and a silent auction. Join the local community for the Sandy Relief Benefit on Tuesday, November 20 from 5-9 pm inside the Sandler Center. Money will be raised through donations at the door, silent auction items, and beer and wine sales. All proceeds benefit American Red Cross Superstorm Sandy Relief. For more information about the event or ways you can contribute, contact Jason Ratliff at (757) 385-2528 or jratliff@sandlercenter.org.
Be Prepared with a Car Survival Kit  

Survival KitLiving in Hampton Roads usually means a relatively mild winter. But think back just two years ago in late December when the area received nearly a foot of snow overnight! No matter where you live, a car survival kit is always a good idea. Some items to include in your kit:
  • Water
  • Snack food like granola bars, preserved fruits (raisins and cranberries) and peanut butter packets
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Windshield scraper and small broom
  • Road salt, sand or cat litter for traction
  • Shovel
  • Cell phone and car charger
  • Pocket knife
  • Matches and small candles
  • Blanket
  • Hat and gloves
  • Large trash bag which can be used as a poncho or tarp if needed
  • Florescent flag and whistle to signal for help
  • First aid kit
  • Jumper cables
  • Emergency flares and reflectors

Also, try to make it a habit of keeping your gas tank at least half full. View more tips from Ready Wisconsin.

Got Cold Feet? Time to Re-Think Your Socks

We often don't think about the importance of our socks when hiking or exercising until it's too late. Whether your feet ended up cold, wet or blistered, it probably could have been avoided with a different choice of socks. When hiking or running, it's necessary to find socks that reduce friction between your foot and the shoe or boot. Here are some helpful hints in determining what to buy:

SocksCotton - Although strong, cotton is terrible at wicking away moisture, which increases the friction between your foot and shoe. It also is not very elastic, so it will lose its shape quickly. While inexpensive, these are not your best option to wear while exercising or hiking.

Wool - Will keep your feet dry, as wool absorbs moisture, but shrinks easily. When buying, look for a wool blend if you wish to stay warm.

Acrylic - Runners, this is a great material for you. It reduces friction, gives good cushioning while running, and keeps feet fairly dry. It is softer than wool, which is always a plus.

Olefin - This is one of the strongest fibers and best at wicking away that unwanted moisture. It does lose elasticity easily though, so look for a polyester blend with it.

When buying socks, take your time and look for the ones that will fit best with your activities. Remember, you want your feet dry and friction free. During the winter months, look for ones that will keep your feet warm. There are many different blends out there to fit your needs. Look for more info from REI and Bass Pro Shops.
Please Note Our Upcoming Facility Closures 


Bow Creek Recreation Center is closed for a long-term modernization project. Expected re-opening is Fall 2014. 

All Virginia Beach Recreation Centers, Owl Creek Tennis Center, administrative offices, parks & park facilities will be closed on November 22 & 23 for Thanksgiving.  


Don't forget that your membership is good at all 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.