April 19, 2011
The Virginia Museum of Natural History is celebrating the environment this week with events designed to educate and entertain.
More than 300 students from Henry County and Martinsville participated in the Earth Day at the museum event Friday to kick off the Earth Week Celebration from April 15-23.
Elementary and middle school students from Drewry Mason Elementary, Patrick Henry Elementary and Fieldale-Collinsville Middle School as well as homeschooled students participated in a variety of Earth- and nature-related activities Friday at the museum and in nearby J. Frank Wilson Park, according to a news release. The activities were led by museum education staff and educators from other community organizations. They focused on concepts related to water conservation, ocean environment, recycling and environmental harmony.
“It’s so much fun to celebrate Earth Day with so many children,” said Robin Jensen, youth education coordinator at VMNH. “It was a collaborative event. We had people from the Master Naturalists, the Danville Science Center, Fairy Stone State Park and the Laurel Park FFA all working with the museum to make this event a success. I hope that the kids had a good time and that we inspired each of them to help the Earth in their own special way.”
Earth Day at the Museum was the first of 16 events being held by the museum and its partners during its Earth Week Celebration. Each event is designed to engage the audience and increase participants’ awareness of nature and the many benefits of spending time outdoors, the release said.
“The Earth Week Celebration is an exciting opportunity for children and families to spend quality time together outdoors to gain a better appreciation for our natural world as well as realize that our community offers an enormous amount of exciting outdoor opportunities all year long,” said Tamara Poles, nature and outdoor education manager at VMNH. “One of the goals of the Martinsville-Henry County Community Nature Initiative is to provide more nature and outdoor programs and opportunities for the community, and we felt that Earth Week is an ideal time to showcase some of these programs.”
The celebration will include events ranging from an Earth Day 5K, which was held Saturday, to hands-on crafts and interactive presentations throughout the week. Friday will mark the return of “Screen on the Green” with the movie “Yogi Bear” shown outdoors at Hooker Field in Martinsville.
The week will culminate with a free Earth Day Festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Smith River Sports Complex. Games, crafts and prizes will be available as well as live music, a moon bounce, a rock wall, an obstacle course, an inflatable slide and kayaking.
For more information about the Earth Week Celebration and how to participate, visit www.vmnh.net.
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