Winter in Virginia State Parkscan be so beautiful!
Belmont Bay beach at Mason Neck State Park
This last round of school cancelations "snow days" resulted in very icy mornings, but by 10:00 am the temperature was up and so were the restless kids, a frustrated friend of mine told me. She said her kids were home and she needed to do something with them to help burn off some energy. I told her to grab some trash bags, pack a lunch and some hot chocolate and we'll head for the beach. Yes the beach!
Because the Potomac River is tidal, there seems to be a steady stream of trash that washes up on the shorelines of parks our state parks likeWestmoreland.
One of the reasons I have been very fortunate to get some great sunrise pictures over the years was my habit of getting to work very early, grabbing a trash bag and picking up trash along the beach before my work day started. I found it, in many ways, gratifying. I was doing something to help the environment, maybe even save some wildlife and sometimes I got to meet some very interesting park guests!
Sunrise on the shores of the Potomac River at Westmoreland State Park
You can't get much trashier than this, turning "Trash to Treasures"
Fossils and sharks teeth found while picking up trash!
Need to get the kids a little motivated?
Just remind them that under that trash many a shark’s tooth and fossil has been found! I have a jar of them sitting on my desk that resulted from picking up trash at Westmoreland State Park!
But before you go
- Check with the park to make sure the access roads in the park are clear
- Take gloves to protect your hands
- Take something to put your treasures in
Just a note, there are trash cans provided in the park to discard your full bags, and any ranger or park office will have extra trash bags if you need them.
So on a winter’s day if you and or your family are feeling the effects of "cabin fever”, bundle up, grab a trash bag and head out for a day of fun along the shoreline of aVirginia State Park.
Another benefit from getting trashy
It's great exercise too! As you are picking up that trash keeping in mind some of our programs this year that you can get trashy, I mean involved with:
- Trash to Treasures that takes place at many state parks during Earth Week in June.
- AnnualClean the Bay Day
- Stewardship Virginiaand other environmentally conscious programs offered too.
Check with your local park for the 2015 dates.
For more information on Virginia State Parks please clickhere.Parks along the Potomac River are:
- Mason Neckin Lorton
- sylvaniain Woodbridge
- Caledoniain King George
- Westmorelandnear Montross
Happy treasure hunting and getting trashy!