Dominion Energy supports eco-friendly places to visit this summer
Whether your idea of summer fun is exploring museums or trails, star-gazing or watching river otters at play, environmental grants from the Dominion Energy charitable foundation support a variety of eco-friendly summer venues and activities in the region.
“In Virginia and North Carolina, we’ve awarded $255,000 to support local parks, gardens, museums and aquariums that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and walks of life,” said Hunter A. Applewhite, president of the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation. “These public venues add beauty and vitality to our community, and they provide great options for summertime learning and fun.”
Here are some eco-friendly summer destinations to consider in Virginia and North Carolina:
- Dyke Marsh (Alexandria, Va.) – Enjoy nature on a self-guided or guided walking tour with an experienced birder. The Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation provided the Friends of Dyke Marsh with $3,000 for educational brochures used by park visitors.
- Goochland Park (Goochland, Va.) – Take a leisurely stroll, picnic or paddle along the James River at Tucker Park at Maidens Crossing. Using a $10,500 Foundation grant, the Friends of Goochland Park plan to build an elevated pedestrian walkway to connect to portions of the park dissected by a public road.
- Henricus Historical Park (Chester, Va.) – Experience living history at a reconstructed English fort and Indian settlement along the James River. The Henricus Foundation was awarded $25,000 for Indian interpretive programs and environmental education.
- Huntley Meadows Park (Alexandria, Va.) – Explore a wetland wildlife sanctuary or join a birdwatching group. The Foundation provided the Friends of Huntley Park $5,000 to provide environmental education to At-Risk students.
- Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center of Virginia (Charlottesville, Va.) – Learn about the history of Lewis and Clark with hands-on activities, carpentry or hiking. The center received $17,500 to improve accessibility for individuals with special needs.
- Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden (Richmond, Va.) – Enjoy beautiful gardens, learn about pollinator plants and let your children cool off in the water play fountain. The botanical garden was provided $25,000 to restore Glen Stream, a small stream with serious erosion problems.
- Maymont (Richmond, Va.) – Tour a Victorian mansion, explore the gardens or watch river otters play. The park received $10,000 from the Foundation for educational outreach programs.
- Naturebridge (Prince William, Va.) – Enjoy a variety of naturalist-led hikes and nature programs for the entire family, as well as special summer programs for teens. The park received $10,000 for environmental science education.
- North Carolina Aquarium (Roanoke Island, N.C.) – Visit the new Dominion Energy-sponsored jellyfish exhibit and enjoy other cool aquatic animals.
- Occoquan (Woodbridge, Va.) – Try your hand at conservation art or join a rain barrel workshop. The Friends of the Occoquan received $5,000 for a rain barrel program to conserve water.
- Pocahontas State Park (Chesterfield, Va.) – Camp, boat, fish, swim, bike, hike or enjoy a cool summer concert. The Foundation granted the Friends of Pocahontas State Park $10,000 to expand its trail system.
- Sylvan Heights Bird Park (Scotland Neck, N.C.) – Take your family on a scavenger hunt or explore outdoor sensory stations and fossil digs near the playground. The Foundation provided $2,000 for the park to construct “sensory stations” to encourage outdoor nature play.
- The Children’s Science Center (Fairfax, Va.) – Treat your family to a day of fun exploration and learning with a variety of hands-on activities. Dominion energy provided $10,000 for an urban bird educational project.
- The Elizabeth River Project (Portsmouth, Va.) – Enjoy kayaking, bird watching or riverside yoga at Paradise Creek Nature Park. The Foundation gave $25,000 to expand its programs for At-Risk-Youth.
- Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center (Virginia Beach, Va.) – Experience hands-on exhibits, nature paths, marshlands and a large variety of marine life and animals. The aquarium received $22,500 from Dominion Energy to rescue, rehabilitate and release sea turtles inadvertently hooked by anglers in the Hampton Roads area.
- Virginia Institute of Marine Science Foundation (Gloucester, Va.) – Sign up for a lecture, discovery lab, or wetland workshop. The institute was awarded $25,000 to provide Discovery Labs for the public. The labs are designed to increase the public’s knowledge and understanding of the local environment.
- Virginia Living Museum (Newport News, Va.) – Learn about Virginia’s vast array of birds, mammals and reptiles through hands-on activities or planetarium shows. The museum will use its $9,500 grant for “Pop-Up Discovery Stations,” mobile displays that teach about conservation.
- Virginia Museum of Natural History Foundation (Martinsville, Va.) – The museum has partnered with Natural Bridge State Park (NBSP) to develop and install new exhibits and environmental education programs at NBSP that will enhance visitors’ experience. The museum received $10,000 from the Foundation for the exhibits.
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