By Mary Reid Barrow
See live wild animals, like birds and snakes, up close, learn about our waterways and natural areas, high-five wildlife mascots, and maybe win one of several bat house door prizes!
That’s just some of what you can do at the Virginia Beach Winter Wildlife Festival Exhibit Hall from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, January 28, at the Princess Anne Recreation Center.
The best that Virginia Beach has to offer from folks who care for our natural world will be on display. It is all free and open to the public.
The exhibit hall is a central focus for the month-long festival featuring speakers, excursions to wild places, workshops and more. If you want to find out about the festival and learn about our unique natural environment, this is the place to be.
And If you already are in love with the natural world around us, you’ll also want to be part of this gathering of 46 special groups and artisans, said Katie Webb who is with Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation and is in charge of the festival.
“My personal favorite thing about the Exhibit Hall is having the wildlife-supportive community together to celebrate,” Katie said.
LRNow, a festival partner, will be on hand with two tables devoted to programs and events. Sign up to be a LRNow Pearl Home on the spot and you’ll be entered into a raffle to win a free cooler bag stuffed with LRNow swag.
Say “Hello” to a rehabbed bird such as an owl or hawk with Nature’s Nanny Wildlife Rehabilitation. Talk to president and founder, Dana Lusher, who works to care for injured wildlife and educates us on the role they play in the natural world. Other rehabbers bringing live animals include Evelyn’s Wildlife Refuge as well as Wild Baby Raccoon Rescue. You will probably see a snake or two visiting with the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources and First Landing State Park too!
Look for groups such as Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge Society, Virginia Aquarium, Butterfly Society of Virginia, and the Virginia Department of Conservation Resources. Find wildlife artists and photographers with their works for sale, lots of children’s activities, and food trucks.
Besides learning about the world around you and those who care for it, next Saturday at Princess Anne Recreation center, you might become so fascinated that trips, excursions, and workshops in next year’s festival will be on your calendar too.
Spaces are still available for the keynote speakers next Sunday and some of the workshops and excursions. Find out more and register HERE.
LRNow would love to hear your nature news. Whether it’s about unusual plants or critters you see on your walks or find on the beach or tales of good folks who care for the environment, let firstname.lastname@example.org know.