Park of the Month: First Landing State Park
Picnic Tables? Check! Fire-rings? Check! Volt Meters? Check! Pipe Valves? Check!
Waking a Sleeping Giant
Running a First Landing State Park's Manager, leads a great team of Maintenance, Education, Housekeeping, and Administrative staff. Bruce and his staff have started gently waking the sleeping giant and getting the campground ready for you!
Maintenance Ranger Shawn Waldrup puts finishing touches on the new park office and check-in area
A New Park Office
Today he is doing a walk-through of the new park office area located in the Chesapeake Bay Center. Concerned about visitor comfort and safety, Bruce drew up a long-term plan to improve visitor experience in the park. The first part of this plan is to move the park office and create a reservation check in area in the air-conditioned, multi-use Chesapeake Bay Center that features area information, the First Landing Museum, and eventually, an educational wet lab and it even has Wi-Fi!
The new check-in counter features big screens with park information, programs, and weather updates
No More Waiting in the Hot Sun
Visitors will still need to pass through the contact station to pay parking fees. Those with reservations will be directed to the new Park Office in the Chesapeake Bay Center to complete the check-in process. No more waiting in the hot sun, and hopefully, no more long lines of cars snaking out onto Shore Drive.
City of Virginia Beach Visitor Specialist Peggy Breslin can help with restaurant and attraction information
While that project is being completed, Bruce checks on other Park Rangers and part-time staff who are prepping fire-rings and picnic tables, laying gravel, straightening or replacing campsite markers, and putting up new "site-specific" reservation signage. Starting this year, certain sites in the campground will be available for specific reservation–meaning that visitors can designate and reserve a particular campsite before arriving at the park. Click here for more information on the "site specific" reservation initiative.
First Landing is a pilot site for the new site-specific reservation system
With one staff member, Jennifer Huggins, at a 20-week law enforcement academy and another staff member, John Thurston, who retired last week; the park is looking for part-time staff to fill in the gaps. Apply directly at jobs across the state.
Ranger John Thurston will be missed as he retired January 30, 2015. The park is hiring for a variety of part-time positions.
Annual Cabin Maintenance
With just about 30 days left to get the campgrounds open, Bruce turns his attention to some much-needed cabin maintenance going over a work list with his Chief Ranger of Maintenance Perry DeMay and Assistant Manager Charlie Whalen. Because the cabins are open year-round and because we allow reservations 11-months in advance, cabin maintenance is planned well in advance due to seasonal reservations and budget availability. A few cabins are getting fresh paint, HVAC updates, and deck repairs. If you ever notice something that needs repair during your stay, call the park or make a note of it on cabin comment card.
Chief Ranger Perry DeMay leads a team of full-time and part-time staff managing the maintenance needs in the park
Check Your Gear & Be Prepared
The weather is always changing in coastal Virginia so if you have a late Winter/early Spring camping reservation be sure to prepare for forecasted weather with appropriate clothing, weatherproof tents, sleeping bags, and weatherproofing materials for your RV. Now is the time to go through your outdoor gear and make your To-Do List.
1. Check tents and sleeping bags for tears; repair as needed.
2. Check tent poles for integrity; replace if needed.
3. Check bike tires; make sure extra inner tubes and repair kits are on hand.
4. Check RV tires and plumbing system. Refill fluids as needed.
5. Check flashlight batteries, lantern mantles, and propane tanks.
6. Restock emergency first aid kit.
7. Download Virginia State Parks Pocket Ranger app to your phone. Click here for info.
8. Map out your trip to First Landing or other Virginia State Parks. The VDOT 511 app is very helpful. The 64/264 interchange and the Lesner Bridge in Virginia Beach are all slated for construction in 2015. Plan your route accordingly.
9. Make reservations for a long late winter/early spring weekend to test your gear. Call the Virginia State Parks Customer Service Center at 1-800-933-PARK.
10. Check in at the new First Landing park office area in the Chesapeake Bay Center and enjoy your outdoor weekend!
We are excited to see you at First Landing State Parkin the 2015 camping season soon!