Virginia Living Museum to celebrate Earth Day April 26
Watch the otter eat fishsicles and the red wolves play with mousesicles. Learn how to reduce your indoor and outdoor water use. Get free trees and canvas bags (while supplies last). See cars run on vegetable oil. Bring your smelly sneakers and used electronics to recycle.
It’s all part of Earth Day celebration Saturday, April 26 at the Virginia Living Museum, Newport News.
Visitors will learn ways to help the environment by reducing, reusing and recycling waste. And they can learn how to build, live and garden green as they explore the Goodson Living Green House and Conservation Garden.
Recycling will be a focus as the museum collects gently used books to benefit the Up Center, old sneakers for the Nike ReUse a Shoe Program, electronics equipment and batteries with Electronics Recycling of Virginia. Cell phones and juice pouches will also be accepted.
Earth-friendly vendors will show and sell green wares including Best Value Remodelers, It Works! Global, Lavaliers by Charles, Lynn Rene MacDonald’s 3D Works on paper, Oberweis Dairy, Owl Branch Bakery, Sunfish Custom Art & Jewlery, Thirty-one Gifts and Toadfish Enterprises.
Green exhibitors include: Butterfly Society, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Colonial Beekeepers Association, Electronics Recycling of Virginia, James River Association, Master Naturalists, Newport News Green Foundation, Newport News Waterworks, Seafood Watch, Sierra Club and Wildlife Response. Enjoy free samples of hormone-free milk and sustainable seafood.
Special activities are scheduled throughout the day for the animals on exhibit at the museum. Visitors can talk with the animal care staff as staff members demonstrate how they make the lives of the animals more interesting.
“We do enrichment every day to stimulate our animals, but this weekend we will be using a lot of novel items that aren’t found in the environment,” explained Animal Keeper Carrie Bridgman. “We’re trying to elicit natural behaviors. We want the animals to forage and work for their food, patrol their territory on the lookout for other animals, and just be more active in general. Mental stimulation is so important because our animals don’t have to deal with the everyday issues of living in the wild.”
At noon Kris Vehrs, executive director of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, will present a plaque recognizing the museum’s recent five-year reaccreditation by AZA. Visitors can watch a possum eat a celebratory cake of cornbread, minnows and fruit.
The Holt Native Plant Teaching Garden will be dedicated in the afternoon. The garden honors the ongoing support of Mary Sherwood Holt and her late husband, Quincy. As part of the garden dedication, Denise Green of Sassafras Farm will talk at 3 p.m. about the benefits of native plants, showcasing many of the 275 species on exhibit at the museum. This will be followed by a tour of the Holt Native Plant Conservatory by Horticulture Curator Bruce Peachee and the garden dedication.
There will also be tattoos and crafts for kids, thousands of native plants for sale and special live animal shows. Showing in the Abbitt Planetarium will be “Oasis in Space,” a search for water on neighboring planets. Shows are $4 plus museum admission.
The event is sponsored by Hutchens Chevrolet. Also on display will be cars that run on vegetable oil.
The museum is located at 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News, I64, exit 258A.
Spring hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Admission is $17 adults and $13 children (ages 3-12). Ages 2 and under and members are free.
YEAR-ROUND OFFER: Visit the Virginia Living Museum Admissions Desk with a MILITARY PHOTO ID and receive 10% military discount off a general membership or $1 off per family member for daily admission tickets.