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Outdoors & Environmental Newsletter | January 2014 | VBgov.com/Parks
Save the Date! Earth Day 2014
Saturday, May 3 | Mount Trashmore Park

Earth DayMark your calendar! The 2014 Earth Day Celebration will be held at Mount Trashmore Park on Saturday, May 3 (rain date: Sunday, May 4). This annual event showcases what it means to be green in Hampton Roads in a fun, family atmosphere with plenty of activities and entertainment for all ages. Vendor opportunities are available. Contact outdoors@VBgov.com for more information. 
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Winter is for the Birds! 


Gennets Temps might be hovering around freezing, but winter in Virginia Beach is still bustling with wildlife activity. Due to our position along the Atlantic Flyway, Virginia Beach, the Eastern Shore and northeastern North Carolina attract a lot of migratory birds in the winter months. Off our coasts, whales and seals venture down from their breeding grounds up north in search of food in our relatively warmer waters. Even our backyard bird feeders bustle with activity as foliage cover decreases and natural food sources aren't as abundant. 


Enjoying wildlife this time of year can be as simple as looking through your back window while sipping coffee, with a pair of binoculars and a field guide nearby, or as adventurous as bundling up and heading out to sea on a boat ride in search of seals, whales and pelagic (open water) birds. 


Want to jump start your knowledge of our local species, or partake in your next adventure? Then check out the many excursions the Winter Wildlife Festival has that are appropriate for all levels of outdoor enthusiasts. For the beginner, join us for Beginning Birding at the Virginia Aquarium where you can learn the tips for identifying different species by comparing birds in the aviary. Or, hop on the bus and take in the sights as we drive you to several "birdy" places throughout our city.


For those looking for more of an adventure, join us on the Chesapeake Bay Boat Trip as we head out to the "islands" of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge looking for pelagic birds and seals. Or why not travel with us down to Back Bay & False Cape to ride the tram through the refuge in search of elusive waterfowl and songbirds. A few spots are still available on most trips. The festival takes place January 24-26. Check our website for details: VBgov.com/WinterWildlife

Try Your Hand at Archery During Free Demo Days
Saturday, January 11 from 1-3 pm or Sunday, January 19 from 11 am - 12 pm

Archery as a sport has been around since ancient times where it was favored by the upper class, from the Egyptian pharaohs to the Chinese emperors. Tournaments became popular in England during the 16th and 17th centuries. Archery first became an Olympic Sport in 1900. It continued until 1920, and then after a 52 year break, it rejoined in 1972 where it has been on the roster ever since. Women were allowed to compete beginning in 1904, making archery one of the first sports to involve women in the Olympics. Today, Olympians can compete in two different events: FITA round and FITA round team where a total of 144 arrows are shot in rounds of 36 at four different distances.


Outside of the Olympics, archery has become more mainstream in the past few years thanks to appearances in pop culture such as The Hunger Games series and Brave. In recreational archery, a variety of bows are used including recurve, long, compound and crossbows, as well as a variety of targets. Beginners to the sport need to learn the basics of range rules, whistle commands, equipment, target scoring, shooting form and technique. 


See firsthand what all the hype is about! We have two upcoming opportunities to try your hand at archery. On Saturday, January 11 from 1 - 3 pm we will have our semi-annual Archery Demo Day at Kempsville Recreation Center. Additionally, as part of Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation's Open House event, we will have a bonus Archery Demo Day at Bayside Recreation Center on Sunday, January 19 from 11 am - 12 pm. Both demos are free and open to the public, with no membership required. Participants must be 6 years of age or older. 


We are also currently registering for our winter archery classes. Our Intro to Archery class is a great way to learn the basics and get comfortable with a bow. Half-day Beginner Archery Clinics are ideal for the person who wants to learn the basics but is short on time. Check out our Winter Programs & Activities Catalog for full class listings. 

5 Tips for Cleaning Using White Vinegar

Chances are good that you have a bottle of white vinegar hanging out in your pantry or kitchen cabinet. This powerhouse of a liquid can be used for much more than just cooking. White vinegar can also be your go-to cleaning solution that is both economical and eco-friendly. Check out these 5 tips for household cleaning with white vinegar:

1. Clean chrome and stainless steel apply a light misting of undiluted white vinegar from a recycled spray bottle and buff with a soft cloth.

2. Wipe away mildew - eliminate heavy mildew accumulations by using it full strength. For light stains, dilute it with an equal amount of water. 

3. Steam-clean your microwave - place a glass bowl filled with a solution of 1/4 cup vinegar in 1 cup water inside your microwave and zap the mixture for five minutes on the highest setting. Once the bowl cools, dip a cloth or sponge into the liquid and use it to wipe away stains and splatters on the interior.

4. Clean a coffeemaker - fill the decanter with 2 cups white vinegar and 1 cup water. Place a filter in the machine, and pour the solution into the coffeemaker's water chamber. Turn on the coffeemaker and let it run through a full brew cycle. Remove the filter and replace it with a fresh one. Then run clean water through the machine for two full cycles, replacing the filter again for the second brew.

5. Make an all-purpose cleaner - for glass, stainless steel, and plastic laminate surfaces, fill your spray bottle with 2 parts water, 1 part distilled white vinegar, and a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid.

For more ways to use vinegar, check out Reader's Digest's 150+ Household Uses for Vinegar.
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, administrative offices, staffed parks & park facilities will be closed on Monday, January 20 for Martin Luther King Day. 


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