Each Virginia State Park held special earth day events for the public on the weekend of April 21-22, 2012, here is a recap from some of the day's events!
Caledon Natural Area held a Trash to Art Event
Carol a Caledon Natural Area Volunteer shares these images and recipe from the Trash to Art Earth Day-weekend.
The giraffe was the "Best in Show" winner!
The Recipe for a FANTASTIC Earth Day Celebration
1 location to hold the event
2 park employees to give permission and support
7 creative, dedicated planners
1 group to cook a lunch
heaps of trash
lots of people to pick up trash
One person thought it would be a good idea to hold a trash clean up at Caledon Natural Area. He also wanted to make it fun and free. He talked with a local artist who got inspired to connect picking up trash to making trash sculptures. She in turn enlisted an artist friend of hers to help. The three organizers took a ride to the beach and collected trash for awhile. The artists turned their trash into a darling sculpture. The idea blossomed. The other planners were gathered and one thing led to another.
Because of the efforts of the 7, the following people/ organizations became part of the recipe:
1. NSWC Federal Credit Union Dahlgren sponsored many radio spot advertisements
2 . Chief Petty Officers Association of NSASP South Potomac furnished lunch
3. The Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts (FCCA)
4. The Alice Ferguson Foundation who furnished trash bags and gloves
5 . Photographers from FCCA , Free Lance Star, NSASP base paper, King George Journal
6 . Girl Scout Troops 5075, 3723, and 3071
7. Rappahannock Community Services Board
8. DECA from King George High School
9. Aegis Training and Readiness Command (ATRC)
10. King George High School NJROTC
11. Boy Scout Troop 172
12. Naval Base Health Clinic
13. Families, and individuals
At LEAST 167 people cleaned the shore of the Potomac River at Caledon with much enthusiasm. Great fun was had by all through the creation of a dozen sculptures. Awards were given to many for their creative way of turning trash into art! Gateway Community Church youth were awarded the best in show for their masterful creation of a giraffe!
But the real result was that from a seed of an idea blossomed a clean beach - the filling of an eighteen cubic yard dumpster more than half full of trash, a fun day, new friendships and a deepened sense of ownership and respect for the area at Caledon Natural Area.
Come see the park
yourself! Become part of the recipe for the continued love of nature!
The beach is ready! Come on out and spend the day at Caledon Natural Area
Mason Neck State Park held their annual Eagle Festival this weekend. Among those festivities were programs presented by Reptiles Alive, The Raptor Conservancy of Virginia and The Wildlife Ambassadors. Van Trips to the Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge, hay wagon rides, canoe trips and pony rides were also among the activities. 21 organizations were on hand with informational displays. Among them were Ducks Unlimited, Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries, Bureau of Land Management, Quantico Orienteering Club, Fairfax County Urban Forest Management Division, Virginia Master Naturalists, Audubon Society of Northern Virginia, Virginia Blue Bird Society and The Izaac Walton League. Musical entertainment provided by Anthony James Band.
Mason Neck’s annual Eagle Festival was held on Saturday April 21st.
Mason Neck State Park with an estimated 3,300 visitors attending the festivities!
Douthat State Park reported they made recycled flower pots from newspaper, and we also had a program for nature printing and fish printing. Sunday the weather turned bad and they had a low turnout for the scheduled events.
Fairy Stone State Park held special earth day events like tree identification hikes, water quality testing, newsprint pots with seeds and nuts, and more from the Blue Ridge Foothills and Lakes Chapter of Virginia Master Naturalists!
Kids enjoying fun with the Master Naturalists at Fairy Stone State Park
Natural Tunnel State Park Earth day event
2012 marks the 9th year the Friends of Natural Tunnel have provided the program “Earth Day Rummage Sale.” The group asks for rummage sale donations soon after Christmas. Normal items they receive are clothing, books, dishes, and other odds and ends. This year they received a foosball table, a gas grill, and a very large picture to sell. The sale took place at the Amphitheater for two days. During those two days the group raised over $2,000. Stuff that is left over is donated to a clothing center in Gate City and the rest of the stuff to an auction. The combine age of the ladies that spend time pricing, getting stuff out for the sale is over 340 years between six men and women. This year the weather was cold and wet.
Belle Isle State Park
Earth Day canoe trip highlighting the values of wetlands. In addition to up-close wetland study, we also discussed the origin of Earth Day, and some environmental pioneers.
Pocahontas State Park
had a special visit from Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell to participate in an Earth Day event. (See previous article here
highlighting this event!)
The plans for Earth Day at Grayson Highlands were shaping up nicely. Chief Ranger Kevin Kelley had a full day of work in the high country planned for 15 – 20 area volunteers. However, things don’t always turn out as planned. Despite warmer than normal temperatures for much of the spring, the weekend forecast was bleak, with rain showers and freezing temperatures expected. The volunteers decided that the weather was going to be too harsh, and called the park to cancel.
Meanwhile, Boy Scouts of America Troop 68 out of Jamestown, North Carolina was visiting Grayson Highlands State Park for their annual April camping trip and hike into the high country. As Kevin was checking the troop into the campground on Friday evening, he mentioned his volunteer dilemma. The scouts jumped at the chance to help, and chose to push their hike back into the afternoon in order to have time to work on the planned projects.
On Saturday morning, the scouts woke to a morning much better than expected. The rain held off until later in the afternoon and the weather wound up being much better than the forecast had predicted. The scouts were able to help transplant trees, straighten existing signs, install new signs and still have time to hike up to the Pinnacles to enjoy the best view in the park.
Grayson Highlands State Park
staff members would like to thank the scouts of Troop 68 for their willingness to help and the great work they did!
As always check our events database for your preferred park and dates of your visit! There is always something fun going on at Virginia State Parks! Click here to see what is happening at your favorite park!