The Northern Neck will be “Wet, Wild and Wonderful” from April 4-9.
The week will begin with a talk at the Northern Neck Chapter of the Audubon Society at 7 pm on Monday, April 4, at Grace Episcopal Church. The talk will focus on birds around vernal or temporary spring pools.
On Tuesday, April 5 a hands-on wetland investigation will take place beginning at Shiloh School at 11:00. Hughlett Point Natural Area Preserve. Participants are encouraged to bring a lunch and wear sturdy, waterproof boots.
On Saturday, April 9 a wetlands program for kids and their families will take place at Belle Isle State Park. Programs will be structured to allow scouts to earn points towards badges, but are open to everyone. Elementary kids can “muck” in a wetland from 9:00 to 10:00 am with a wetlands expert, and from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. middle and high school kids can enjoy a more in-depth look at the wetlands. Participants should wear waterproof boots and prepare to get dirty. Reservations are required as space is limited. Call (804) 462-5030.
The programs will be led by Mike Hayslett, the Naturalist-in-Residence and Director of the Virginia Vernal Pools Program at Sweet Briar College.
A wildlife biologist with specialties in wetlands and "herptiles", and an enthusiastic birder, Hayslett travels the state championing the conservation of these special environments and their lowly denizens.
Called "Virginia's leading vernal pool expert", Hayslett has explored and studied seasonal wetlands for three decades (beginning with his childhood "magic pool" in the Allegheny Highlands). With a Master's degree in Environmental Studies from Longwood University, Hayslett's presentations and workshops are a lively combination of scholarly information and entertaining stories. Don't miss this opportunity to learn more about the fascinating world of Life around Temporary Waters and Permanent Wetlands!
The programs are free and open to the public, and are sponsored by Three Rivers Environmental Educators (TREE), a regional alliance of formal and nonformal educators who teach about the environment; Hull Springs Farm; Northern Neck Chapters of VA Audubon, Master Gardeners, Master Naturalists; and Northern Neck Soil & Water Conservation District.
Reservations for camping may be made through our reservation center by calling 800 933 7275. The center is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. but is closed all state holidays. You can also make reservations on line any time day or night. Reservations may be made up to eleven months in advance. Same day camping and cabin reservations, when sites are available, must be made through the reservation center.