Outdoors Header  
Outdoors & Environmental Newsletter | November 2013 | VBgov.com/Parks
Register for Winter Wildlife Festival!


Registration for the 2014 Winter Wildlife Festival is now open! 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 2014 include: North Landing River Birding, First Landing Nature Walk, and Chesapeake Bay Boat Trip. Check the festival website for trip details. 

Connect with Us!

Like us on Facebook    View our photos on flickr    View our videos on YouTube

The event will be held January 24-26, 2014 and will feature educational workshops, outdoor excursions, children's activities and an exhibit hall at Princess Anne Recreation Center. The Festival Kick-Off features keynote speaker, Noah Strycker, Associate Editor of Birding magazine, well-known writer and "bird man." Strycker will discuss his latest project, Bird World, a book about the fascinating parallels between bird and human behavior. There is no cost to attend the kick-off, but registration is required. 


How to Register

Registration is available online through EZreg (with your client barcode & family PIN), in-person at any Virginia Beach Recreation Center, or by mailing in a registration form

Lake Lawson/Lake Smith to Close for Improvements


The Lake Lawson/Lake Smith Natural Area is a 42-acre preserve with more than 12,000 feet of shoreline located in the northwest part of the city at the corner of Shell Road and Northampton Blvd. The site is comprised of three wooded, waterfront peninsulas that can be viewed on this aerial map


Beginning on Monday, November 18 through summer 2014, the area will close for a long-term construction project that involves many significant improvements to the site. Guided by the Lake Lawson/Lake Smith Master Plan, which was established in December 2010 with input from the public, Phase I improvements include: 


- New boat ramp

- Formalized car and trailer parking

- Stabilization along the shoreline to prevent erosion and re-establish native vegetation

- Several fishing and overlook platforms

- Floating crew dock 

- Pedestrian bridge to connect the north and south parcel

- Renovations to the existing soft surface trail along with installation of hard surface trails 


Future improvements will also include the installation of a park office, restrooms, picnic shelter, park benches and a playground. 


Though the natural area surrounding Lake Lawson and Lake Smith is being improved by the City of Virginia Beach, the City of Norfolk still owns the water/reservoir and 25 feet around the water. As such, Norfolk currently controls the use of water regulations, including the requirement for a boat permit to use the water. 

Enjoy the Food Less Traveled Through CSA Membership 


If you are always on the look out for fresh, seasonal produce, you may want to consider signing up for a CSA. CSA stands for community-supported agriculture and it's basically a partnership between a farmer and consumer, where the farmer offers "shares" of produce for the consumer to purchase. As a CSA member, you pay at the onset of the growing season for a share of the anticipated harvest. Once harvesting begins, you receive weekly shares of seasonal vegetables and fruits.


So why sign up for a CSA instead of just going to the grocery store's produce section? Here are a few good reasons:


- Support local farmers;

Get the freshest seasonal produce;

- Enjoy convenient one stop pick-up of your share;

- Try new foods and new recipes;

- And last, but not least - be green! Not only do you cut out the travel, you also cut way down on the packaging of your food.


Don't wait for your food to travel around the world to get to you. Eat locally and enjoy the food less traveled! Check out Buy Local Hampton Roads' Local Food Finder to see which local farms offer CSA memberships.

Discover New City Parks with Park Finder

Looking for a new park to explore? Want to find a kayak launch? Try out Park Finder, a tool that allows you to search for a city park by name, location and/or amenities. Search results display both in a list and on a map, and selecting a park allows you to view details including address, amenities, hours and driving directions.


You can use Park Finder on your desktop computer, laptop, tablet and on most smartphones. We've added a link for Park Finder on our homepage, or you can go directly to VBgov.com/ParkFinder


We'd love to hear your feedback! Email fun@VBgov.com and let us know what you think.
Please Note Our Upcoming Facility Closures

Bow Creek Recreation Center is closed for a long-term modernization project


All Virginia Beach Recreation Centers, Owl Creek Tennis Center and administrative offices will be closed on Thursday & Friday, November 28 & 29 for Thanksgiving. Staffed parks will be closed on Thursday, November 28 only. 


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 you or 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.
Outdoors Footer 
Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation is accredited by CAPRA,
the certifying agency of the National Recreation and Park Association.