Even at the end of the world it is good to be charitable. This year our charity proceeds will be going to the Virginia Living Museum. The Virginia Living Museum will also be providing presentations including live animal demonstrations.
The Virginia Living Museum has celebrated 51 years of stimulating knowledge, awareness and appreciation of the living world.
Created by two community organizations to promote science education, the museum continues to be a museum leader in its use of native wildlife to present its message. Museum visitors encounter more habitats, wildlife and plant species than would be encountered in a lifetime of outdoor adventures in Virginia. The exhibits showcase all of the state’s regions from the upland coves of the Appalachian Mountains to the salty offshore waters of the Atlantic Ocean and feature more than 250 different animal species, including 11 that are endangered or threatened.
Throughout its history, the museum has received strong community support, currently serving more than 7,000 member households and utilizing the services of 500 active volunteers. The private, non-profit museum also continues to hold itself to the highest standards – it is one of only 13 institutions in the country that is accredited by both the American Alliance of Museums and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. In 2015, the museum received the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Gold Award for Living Green in the Bay Watershed – recognizing more than 20 years of conservation education and practices. Its volunteer program is certified as a Service Enterprise by Points of Light.
For many years the Bald Eagle was the poster animal for endangered species. Now our national symbol is also a conservation success story. At the Virginia Living Museum visitors can see and learn about the bald eagle and 10 other animals that are on federal or state endangered or threatened lists. See red wolves, the most endangered mammal in North America, and the loggerhead, the only sea turtle that nests in Virginia. Also on exhibit are animals that are not as well known: the Blackbanded Sunfish, Eastern Chicken Turtle and the Roanoke Logperch. The VLM is the only place in the world that exhibits the logperch, a small darter that is native to the Roanoke River watershed. The museum participates in federal Species Survival Programs for the red wolf and seahorse, in the North Carolina Headstart Program for loggerhead sea turtles and in a shark research program with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. It administers the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program in Virginia and leads an area chapter of the citizen science FrogWatch USA.
The museum’s environmental education center, the living green Goodson House, demonstrates techniques and products to build and maintain an earth-friendly home. Its Conservation Garden promotes bay-scaping gardening.
At the Virginia Living Museum, students experience STEM science discoveries that simply can’t be duplicated in a school classroom. The museum’s indoor and outdoor exhibits are carefully designed to reinforce Virginia’s Standards of Learning for Science (SOLs) and national science standards. The museum offers a full menu of formal school programs that support STEM education in all grade levels, taught by a professional faculty of scientist/instructors. All school programs are grade-level targeted, fully correlated to Virginia SOLs and national standards, and combine inquiry-based investigations with real museum specimens and live animals for an unforgettable learning experience. For many students, the museum is their only hands-on experience with nature. The museum’s programs have been recognized by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. and Virginia Departments of Education for promoting achievement in science.
Currently, the museum features a traveling exhibit, NATURE CONNECTS: Art with LEGO Bricks through December 17th. This exhibit features 16 giant LEGO Brick sculptures of animals and nature themes. Also, the newest major attraction is a permanent dinosaur exhibit outside in a natural trail. The Dinosaur Discovery Trailtransports visitors to the amazing prehistoric world of these fantastic creatures with 16 static dinosaurs, 3 fossil huts, 4 dig pits, play area and create your own Dino Field Station of large wooden blocks. The outdoor Dinosaur Discovery Trail is open daily 9am – 4:30pm.
January 2018 come discover The Art & Science of Arachnids from January 20 – April 10. This traveling exhibit is not your typical “bug” exhibit. It is an exhibit on how arachnids are perceived by humans from a Science, Art and Culture perspective. The exhibit showcases over 100 live arachnids in an engaging and informative display. This hands on exhibit has 3 self-contained locked cubes entitled: Science, Art and Culture. The Science Cube area examines spiders and scorpions and introduces guests to arachnids and the role they play in medical research. The Arts Cube illustrates the importance of arachnids in music, literature and film. The Culture Cube discusses arachnid conservation, arachnids as food, and arachnid folklore and mythology.
The museum is located at 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News. It is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information call 757-595-1900 or visit thevlm.org.