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Outdoors & Environmental Newsletter | June 2014 | VBgov.com/Parks
Staycation with Parks & Rec!


Little Island

Summer is officially here! Looking for some fun ways to spend your time without breaking the bank? We've got plenty of free and low-cost activities to make your summer memorable. 


Enjoy the sun outdoors in the parks, cool off indoors at any of the community recreation centers and mark your calendars for our special events. View our staycation guide for ideas to keep you active all summer!

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Volunteers Needed for Fishing Line Clean Up

Saturday, July 12 | 9 am - 12 pm | Locations Across Virginia Beach  


Lynnhaven River Now coordinates an annual effort to remove discarded fishing line from our local waterways. Discarded line is dangerous to a wide variety of wildlife. Volunteers are needed to help with everything from getting line untangled from tree branches and bushes to removing hooks, bobbers, and sinkers from the collected line so that it can be recycled into underwater habitat structures for fish. The clean up is an opportunity to get hundreds of feet of line and hooks out of the environment, immediately reducing the danger of entanglement for water birds and animals. For more information or to register for this cleanup, call (757) 962-5398 or email Dana@LRNow.org

5 Tips for Getting Out On the Water! 


In Virginia Beach, we're lucky to be surrounded by water, especially this time of year. Kayaking can be an easy, fun and accessible way to experience our great waterways. From the Chesapeake Bay to Back Bay, our major rivers - the Lynnhaven, North Landing and Elizabeth - and every creek and lake in between, there are many opportunities to get out and view our city from this unique perspective. 


Basic kayaks are relatively inexpensive and can be bought at most sporting goods stores. There are also opportunities to rent them from various private companies as well as Munden Point ParkBefore heading out on the water here are some tips from our departmental kayak experts:


1. Know your waterway. 

- How can you access it? Check out our waterway access sites. In addition there are some privately owned ramps that will allow you to launch your kayak for a small fee. Our neighbors in Chesapeake and Norfolk also have lots of water access sites as well.


- Is it lunar or wind tidal? Lunar waterways are controlled by moon cycles and predictable far out, like the ocean. Wind waterways are affected by the direction and speed from which the wind is blowing, like Back Bay. Nothing is worse than getting stuck when the tide goes out! Visit a tide chart site such as this one to know what you're working with.


- What type of wildlife may you encounter? Remember, the best way to observe wildlife is from a distance. Leave them alone and they'll leave you alone! 


- Does it require a boating permit? Some waterways in our area, like those owned by the City of Norfolk, require permits even for non-motorized boats like kayaks. Not registering your boat and displaying the decal may result in a fine.


2. Plan your route. Prior to heading out, look at a waterways map or view the area on Google maps. Considering taking a GPS or phone to track your route - most waterways in our area are within cell phone service range.


3. Be prepared. Bring the proper essentials such as water, a hat, sunscreen, a light snack, a camera (waterproof and with a float strap!) and binoculars. Wear a personal flotation device; not only is it the law to have one on-board, but wearing it greatly increases your chances of being safe if something goes wrong. View the weather forecast before heading out and have an inclement weather plan. Don't stay in the water during a lightning storm!


4. Be aware of other boat traffic. Motorized boats are larger and may have a harder time stopping or turning. Be considerate and follow the rules of the water. Kayaks should hug the sides when encountering other boats and should minimize the time they cut across channels in the path of regular traffic. Consider wearing a bright colored hat or shirt so you can be seen in boat-busy areas.


5. Share your plan. Always tell someone where you're going and when you plan to return! 

If being in a guided group is more your speed, consider our guided kayak tours. We offer tours of waterways all across the city throughout the summer and fall. We even offer opportunities to kayak by moonlight at the beautiful Stumpy Lake. And we have special kayak days just for teens!
Family Fishing Clinic Wrap Up


We held our spring Family Fishing Clinic at Munden Point Park on June 7th. We had an incredible 89 youth participants and 105 parents in attendance for the program and perfect weather for a great day all around. Many participants caught fish - for most, their first ever - and one participant reeled in a three pound bass! It was a great experience for everyone involved. 

A big thank you to the Region 7 Bass Federation for their expertise and guidance! Thanks to the support of the Virginia Beach Sheriff's Community Fund, everyone enjoyed a hot dog lunch. We also gave away nine new fishing poles to participants during the raffle, courtesy of Dick's Sporting Goods. 
Save the date for the fall Fishing Clinic: Saturday, October 4. Registration will begin on Saturday, August 9. 
We've Got a Cleaner Bay Thanks to 1,200 Volunteers!


Over 1,200 volunteers joined forces with the City of Virginia Beach and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) to clean up 50 sites throughout the city for the 26th Annual Clean the Bay Day. These groups collected nearly 18,000 pounds of litter! 

In total, CBF reports that more than 110,000 pounds of debris was removed from 250 sites along the Chesapeake Bay in just three hours! Thank you to all who volunteered! Be sure to save the date for next year: Saturday, June 6, 2015. 

If you are looking for other opportunities to help keep our beautiful city litter-free, check out our Adopt-a-Program. And of course, you can take a bag out with you each time you head out. Pick up the litter now before it ends up in our waterways! 
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 Friday, July 4 for Independence Day. City parks will be open! 


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.