RICHMOND – Earth Day, April 22, is intended to help people focus on the health of the planet. Virginia State Parks offer a week of activities and events where you can get involved and make a difference.
All 36 Virginia State Parks will offer educational programming and volunteer opportunities April 16-24, many of which are part of the biannual Stewardship Virginia campaign. Registered Stewardship Virginia volunteers will receive a certificate of appreciation signed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
A list of state park programs and projects can be found here: http://bit.ly/VSPEarthWeek2016.
Park entrance fees are waived for visitors participating in volunteer projects. Some projects require advanced registration, so visitors are encourage to contact parks for additional information.
Projects and programs include an alternative energy demonstration at Westmoreland State Park, the annual plant sale and workshops at the Southwest Virginia Museum and a special Earth Week-themed program on both Saturdays at Holliday Lake State Park.
While tree plantings, pollinator gardens and cleanups are common, unique programs include Caledon’s Annual One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Art contest where volunteers clean up the beach and create art from the collected trash. At Leesylvania State Park, visitors can help build a 48-square-foot greenhouse out of two liter bottles.
In celebration of the 80th anniversary of Virginia State Parks, six parks will host a BioBlitz: Chippokes Plantation, Hungry Mother, Natural Tunnel, Powhatan, Sky Meadows and York River state parks.
A nationwide event supported by National Geographic, in a BioBlitz, teams of volunteer scientists, families, students, teachers and other community members work to find and identify as many species of animals, microbes, fungi and other organisms as possible. Virginia BioBlitz 2016 is being conducted in partnership with the Virginia Geographic Alliance [https://php.radford.edu/~vga/?page_id=7032]