Saturday, May 18, FREE gardening/nature events for families and anyone interested in great outdoors

Learn and Grow Series with Art in the Garden

Linda Miller, Artist and Virginia Master Naturalist, will help children 7 and older create a botanical portrait in colored pencil or watercolor from plant materials they select in the Williamsburg Botanical Garden at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 18.  All materials are provided.  Class is limited to 25 participants so register in advance at The botanical garden is located in Freedom Park on Centerville Road in James City County;

Check out night-time creatures and the moon at New Quarter Park

Get outdoors to take a closer look at nighttime creatures and features at New Quarter Park on Saturday, May 18, from 8 to 11 p.m., according to a news release.

Begin by following Virginia Master Naturalists, Historic Rivers Chapter, to the white sheets and black lights they will set up in the picnic shelter area to attract spiders, moths, beetles and all sorts of bugs.  From 8 to 10 p.m., visitors may bring headlamps, flashlights, cameras and magnifying glasses to get a special looks at these creatures of the night.  There will be three or four observing stations where Master Naturalists will use insect guides to help with identification and explain the anatomy, physiology, and interactive role of bugs with other living things.

From 9-11 p.m., NASA/Langley Exchange Skywatchers astronomy club members invite the public to view the moon, Saturn, and M13 (a globular star cluster) through their telescopes.  See far into the night and learn more from the astronomers.  Early bird arrivals are welcome beginning at 8:30, before the sky is fully dark, when they can talk to the astronomers about their telescopes while they set up.  If you have them, consider bringing with you high-quality binoculars since the Moon can also be viewed well through them.

Please dim your vehicle lights when approaching the skywatching area.

New Quarter Park is located in upper York County at 1000 Lakeshead Drive, next to the Queens Lake neighborhood.  For more information, please call Parks and Recreation at 890-3500.

Marine Science Day at VIMS in Gloucester

Marine Science Day, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science’s annual open house, will take place on Saturday, May 18th from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on the VIMS bayfront campus in Gloucester Point, according to a news release.

Now in its 11th year, the popular event is offered free of charge and proceeds rain or shine. The goal of Marine Science Day is to give the public a behind-the-scenes look at how VIMS research in Chesapeake Bay and around the world helps protect and restore marine ecosystems. Visitors will be able to tour the Institute’s Teaching Marsh and Shellfish Hatchery, and speak with scientists at display booths to learn about the subterranean estuary, seagrass creatures, and equipment used on our research vessels.

VIMS’ honors a different animal each year during Marine Science Day, with this year’s choice being the oyster. Young visitors will be able to join in several activities related to oysters, including "Mollusc Tic-Tac-Toe” and "Oyster Reef Hide & Seek.”  Oysters will join other animals and plants in the Parade of Marine Life, a fun “parade” around campus allowing participants to show their artistic creations.

In addition, visitors can join in  10-minute “fast talks” on VIMS’ osprey cam, Facebook and Twitter at Marine Science Day, and pearls found in oysters.  A seafood cooking demonstration, a musical performances, and other events are also on the schedule. Details on these and all the other activities are available in the Marine Science Day program, which is available at

VIMS, a marine center, provides research, education, and advisory service to help protect and restore Chesapeake Bay and coastal waters. The Institute offers Master’s and Ph.D. degrees through its School of Marine Science, part of the College of William and Mary.


Posted by Kathy Van

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