Unless you have visited a Virginia State Park, you may not know that one of our primary missions is education. We are very proud of our environmental and historical interpretive programming and special events. Visitation to interpretive programs in Virginia State Parks set a new record in 2008.
During the economic slowdown of last year, people visited state parks in near-record numbers. While in the parks, many visitors took advantage of interpretive programs. In 2008, more than 306,000 people attended interpretive programs.
Virginia State Parks are great field trip destinations for classes and offer programming based on Virginia’s Standards of Learning. But families in record numbers are participating in programs offered year round at all of our Virginia State Parks. Sometimes it’s just a leisurely stroll down a trail as the Park Naturalist points out signs of the native flora and fauna. Evening nature hikes are also very popular fare. The darkness heightens the experience as participants listen to the varied night life.
2008 welcomed new “101” style programming, named for introductory level coursework in colleges. We offered camping 101, campfire cooking 101, canoeing and kayaking 101, and many other basic skills classes. You don’t have to be worried about not knowing how to participate in outdoor recreation. Our State Park staff will help show you how!
Another popular program was also new in 2008. Virginia State Parks offered “GPSGames” with introductory programs and GPS rentals at all of our state parks. GPS stands for Global Positioning System. Thanks to the precise orbits of satellites around the Earth, people have reliable access to a global navigation system through hand held units.
A world wide phenomenon associated with GPS units is known as geocaching, which is like a treasure hunt. You may tap into this technology at your local state park! You may rent a unit at a park for a full or half day. Ask the park for information on approved park caches as well as any special GPS programs that they may offer. In fact, Fairy Stone State Park is offering a GPSprogram on March 7th.Click interactive events listing page. It is easy to search by park, type of event or program and date range to find an adventure for your family.