Monday, December 30, 2013

52 Ways to Use Your VRPS Membership: Week 53 - BONUS WEEK - Words from Great Minds

by Nancy Turnage, VRPS Central Office

I've searched all the parks in all the cities and found no statues of committees.
Gilbert K. Chesterton

Gilbert Keith Chesterton, better known as G.K. Chesterton, was an English writer, lay theologian, poet, dramatist, journalist, orator, literary and art critic, biographer, and Christian apologist.

Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning.
Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and the third President of the United States. He was a spokesman for democracy and the rights of man with worldwide influence.

People who cannot find time for recreation are obliged sooner or later to find time for illness.
John Wanamaker

John Wanamaker was a United States merchant, religious leader, civic and political figure, considered by some to be the father of modern advertising and a "pioneer in marketing." Wanamaker was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

If you watch a game, it's fun. If you play it, it's recreation. If you work at it, it's golf.
Bob Hope

Bob Hope, born Leslie Townes Hope, was an English-born American comedian, vaudevillian, actor, singer, dancer, author, and athlete who appeared on Broadway, in vaudeville, movies, television, and on the radio.

The bow cannot always stand bent, nor can human frailty subsist without some lawful recreation.
Miguel de Cervantes

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was a Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright. His magnum opus, Don Quixote, considered to be the first modern European novel, is a classic of Western literature

Turn resolutely to work, to recreation, or in any case to physical exercise till you are so tired you can't help going to sleep, and when you wake up you won't want to worry.
B. C. Forbes

Bertie Charles Forbes was a Scottish financial journalist and author who founded Forbes Magazine. 

If bread is the first necessity of life, recreation is a close second.
Edward Bellamy

Edward Bellamy was an American author and socialist, most famous for his utopian novel, Looking Backward, a Rip Van Winkle-like tale set in the distant future of the year 2000.

Monday, December 23, 2013

52 Ways to Use Your VRPS Membership: Week 52, Prep for the Holidays

by Nancy Turnage, VRPS Central Office

Creative tree ideas for your organization that utilize the 7 R's:  reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose, refurbish, reclaim, rethink.

Happy decorating!  Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 16, 2013

52 Ways to Use Your VRPS Membership: Week 51, Ideas from Up Above

Monday, December 9, 2013

52 Ways to Use Your VRPS Membership: Week 50: Batlingo like Karst and Spelunking

by Nancy Turnage, VRPS Central Office

Most of the information below is courtesy of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and a caving blog they published on 10/10/2012.

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation:  Virginia Natural Heritage Karst Program
Cave and Karst Protection

Virginia has 27 karst counties in the western part of the state in the Valley and Ridge region:

What Exactly is Karst?
Karst is a landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks including limestone, dolomite and gypsum. It is characterized by sinkholes, caves, and underground drainage systems (Fig. 1). Nearly all surface karst features are formed by internal drainage, subsidence, and collapse triggered by the development of underlying caves (Palmer, 1991). Rainwater becomes acidic as it comes in contact with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the soil. As it drains into fractures in the rock, the water begins to dissolve away the rock creating a network of passages. Over time, water flowing through the network continues to erode and enlarge the passages; this allows the plumbing system to transport increasingly larger amounts of water (Gunn, 2004). This process of dissolution leads to the development of the caves, sinkholes, springs, and sinking streams typical of a karst landscape.

So, to sum:

  • Karst - a landscape resulting to a significant degree from the dissolution of bedrock
  • Karst - landscapes are most commonly underlain by limestone and dolostone bedrock.
  • Karst - landscape features include sinkholes, sinking and losing streams, caves, and large flow springs.
  • Karst - landscapes are characterized by underground drainage networks that commonly bypass surface drainage divides.
  • Karst - landscapes provide and support habitat for rare animal and plant species, including bats, cave-adapted invertebrates, plants that grow on the surface and at springs and seeps, and fish and mussels living in streams and rivers fed by karst springs.
  • Karst - landscapes supply water for many Virginians. Land use activities place these water supplies at risk.
  • Rivers leading to the Chesapeake Bay start in and flow through karst topography in Virginia.

DCR's Project Underground is a source of interdisciplinary instructional activities, and its staff conducts workshops and in-service training programs. These materials and workshops are designed for classroom teachers, cavern, park, museum, and nature center staff, or any youth-oriented group leaders.

The program - The purpose of Project Underground is to create and build awareness of and responsible attitudes toward karst and cave resources and their management needs. The project is an environmental education program designed to promote better understanding of caves and karstlands. It is a supplemental program for use by educators of kindergarten through high school age students. Participants in Project Underground activities will gain an understanding of how the underground environment is an important part of the total environment.
Workshops - Project Underground materials are available through workshops held in An Imageyour area. During these workshops, you will participate in hands-on activities, learn more about caves and karst ecology, and expand your knowledge and teaching skills. You will also meet and share ideas, information and resources with other professionals.
Facilitator training - Project Underground is based on the Training the Trainer model. Interested educators are trained to be certified workshops facilitators. You receive more in-depth information on caves and karst and the community issues surrounding them.

Happy spelunking!

Monday, December 2, 2013

52 Ways to Use Your VRPS Membership: Week 49, Smile for the CAM

by Nancy Turnage, VRPS Central Office

Consider attracting new patrons to your organization with a webcam.  They are easy to install and maintain.

Top 5 Webcams in Virginia, according to me:

#1 Cheetah-Cam:  5 new cheetah cubs and their mom, Lana, at the Richmond Metro Zoo
WARNING:  Cheetah-Cam can be addicting.  Watch them sleep, eat, play, pounce, snuggle.

#2 Virginia Beach Boardwalk Cam at 32nd and Oceanfront
Need a beach break?  Checkout the Cam and watch the rollerbladers, cyclists, and waves roll in.

#3 Backyard Birdfeeder Cam
No time to commit to the Audubon Society?  No problem.

#4 High Bridge Cam

Get a distant, seasonal view of one of Virginia's most spectacular state parks as seen from Ashland Plantation.  The picture refreshes approximately every 60 seconds.

#5 Virginia Commonwealth University Ramcam
The very cool thing about this Cam is that viewers can control the camera for 20 seconds.

AUTHOR'S NOTE:  I was referred to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries James River "Shad Cam" at Bosher's Dam, which runs late March through early June.  So, while it is currently "offline", mark your calendars to return:

Over the past 35 years, populations of American shad, hickory shad, alewife, blueback herring, striped bass, and other anadromous fish species have steadily declined in Virginia.  VDGIF, in collaboration with a number of other partners, has been working to bring back these fish, mostly by restoring access to historic spawning areas throughout coastal Virginia.  In the James River, these species were known to spawn as far upstream as Eagle Rock until two sets of dams, in Lynchburg and Richmond, cut off over 400 miles of the river and tributaries.  In 1999, a fishway was constructed at Bosher's Dam, providing fish with access to 137 miles of the James River and 168 miles of its tributaries for the first time in nearly 200 years.  A camera at the fishway provides visitors a peek into this incredible journey as the fish return to spawn in the spring.

For more on webcams in Virginia, visit: