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Outdoors & Environmental Newsletter | February 2013 | VBgov.com/Parks 
Who's Having a February Birthday?

Black BearFebruary represents the month of love for humans and many other animal species, but for black bears, it's a time of birth. Female black bears usually breed every other year and cubs are born from early January to mid-February. Anywhere from 1-4 cubs are born at a time, weighing just half a pound to three-quarters of a pound, but they put on weight quickly. The cubs are raised by their mother for about a year and half, during which she teaches them what to eat and how to survive. When the mother is ready to breed again, she will send her yearlings to fend for themselves.
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Of the three bear species in North America, only the black bear is found in Virginia. The species is very adaptable as evidenced by it's vast range of habitats. Each spring, a black bear sighting in Virginia Beach seems to make the news as bears emerge from their dens and begin foraging for food. If you do see a bear, remember that black bears have a natural distrust of humans, and in most cases would rather flee than have an encounter with people. If a bear is up a tree on or near your property, give it space. Do not approach or gather around the base of the tree. By bringing your pets inside and leaving the immediate area, you give the bear a clear path to leave your property.
For more information on black bears, please visit VDGIF's website.

Source: Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries
See the Stars at the Mount Trashmore Star Party! 
Friday, March 22 | Dark - 11 pm | Mount Trashmore Park

Star PartyTake your stargazing to Mount Trashmore Park on Friday, March 22 for our annual Star Party! Come and observe night sky wonders through a variety of telescopes. Learn to identify constellations in the sky as they are pointed out by planetarium coordinator Chuck Dibbs and the Back Bay Amateur Astronomers. Offered in collaboration with the Virginia Beach City Public Schools Planetarium and local astronomy clubs, the event begins when the sky gets dark and goes until 11 pm.
A tent to experience ViewSpace will also be set up. ViewSpace is an exhibit from the Space Telescope Science Institute, home of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. Learn more about ViewSpace.
Anyone wishing to set up a telescope can also do so. The goal is to share the beauty of the night sky with anyone wishing to learn about it. Event is dependent on clear skies. Also, meet the Tidewater Alliance Star Wars Club - from a galaxy, far, far away, this fanforce will be at the event in full costume!

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Pardon Our Construction 

Construction at Trashmore
Widening the trail at Mount Trashmore Park
Several of our parks and facilities are currently undergoing some construction. Here's the scoop on what's being done:
Lynnhaven Boat Ramp & Beach Facility
The parking lot at this facility took a beating during Hurricane Sandy. We're performing the necessary repairs to get the lot back into shape before the busy season is upon us. We anticipate completion by the end of the month.

Mount Trashmore Park

If you've been to Mount Trashmore lately, you've probably noticed some heavy machinery and orange fencing. We're in the process of widening the existing trail to 12 feet and adding a new linkage to connect Kids Cove with the lakeside trail. Once the trail project finishes, we'll also be adding low- and high-impact fitness stations along the perimeter trail for those looking to enhance their workouts.

Princess Anne Commons Gateway Park
The Princess Anne Commons Gateway Park project is a major renovation of the former Princess Anne Park site. We've just completed Phase I of the construction which includes a new trail system, restrooms, extensive tree planting and expanded parking. We've also installed a light garden sculpture that was originally located at the former Virginia Beach Pavilion.
The second phase of this project will include new picnic shelters, playground equipment, and other park amenities such as benches and tables. Project completion for Phase II is scheduled for this spring.

West Neck Creek Natural Area
The wooden bridge located on the southeast corner of the Whitehurst-Buffington House will be removed in March due to irreparable deterioration of the bridge's supporting structure. You can still access this section of the trail system, but will be required to circumnavigate from the northern side of the trails. Replacement of the bridge is intended, pending available funding.
Recycled Float Parade Comes to Earth Day Celebration! 
Saturday, April 20 | 12:30 pm | Mount Trashmore Park

Re-cycleNew for the 2013 Earth Day Celebration, the first Recycled Float Parade competition has been established and is seeking your creativity and resourcefulness! Create a recycled float and enter to compete in the Junior Recycler Division (age 12 & under), Recycler Division (age 13 & up), or the Team Recycler Division (all ages). Prizes will be awarded to first and second place winners in each division.
The panel of judges will select the winners based on the most imaginative design, best use of reused/repurposed materials, and the environmental message. All floats must be comprised of repurposed or reused materials. Participants must be able to sit in, ride on, push, pull, or peddle their float. Floats must not be powered by engines of any type. Registration is free and available now! Get creative and join the fun!
Earth Day Exhibitor Opportunities Available  

Earth DayDo you belong to an organization that is committed to protecting the environment? Do you own a business that promotes going green? Have an idea how to make everyday life more eco-friendly? You should consider joining us as an exhibitor at our annual Mount Trashmore Earth Day Celebration!
Held this year on Saturday, April 20 (with a rain date planned for the following Sunday), this Virginia Green event is a great opportunity for your group or business to reach thousands of like minded people in a fun and engaging outdoor celebration.
There are two exhibitor categories: non-profit and commercial. There will be no fee for participating non-profit exhibitors unless selling a promotional product, then a $150 fee will apply. A $150 fee applies for all commercial exhibitors.
Get more information becoming a Commercial or Non-Profit Exhibitor.
Please Note Our Upcoming Facility Closures 


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

Seatack Recreation Center will be closed Monday, March 11 through Saturday, March 17 for annual maintenance.


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.