Local Events

Gloucester Parks, Recreation and Tourism

Gloucester Parks, Recreation and Tourism Activities

 

 

 

 

SPRING BREAK PARKS PASSPORT CAMP

Parks, Recreation & Tourism is sponsoring a Spring Break

KIDS CRAFT MARKET

Parks, Recreation & Tourism is sponsoring a Kids Craft Market on Saturday, May 18 from 9:00 am-1:00 pm in the Courtcircle.  Youth ages 18 and under rent a booth to sell their crafts/art.  The fee for each 10x10 space is $25 and the deadline to register is Wednesday, May 1st.  If space is still available after May 1, there will be a $10 late fee.

BEAVERDAM TRIATHLON – Begin your training now.

Parks, Recreation & Tourism is sponsoring the first Annual Beaverdam Triathlon on Saturday, May 11 at 7:00 am for ages 16 and older.  The race consists of a 2.5-mile run, a 6.1-mile bike and a 1.9-mile paddle.  Mountain Bikes and recreational canoes and kayaks only, no street bikes or racing watercraft.  The fee is $50, and the registration deadline is Thursday, April 11th.

SPRING BREAK PARKS PASSPORT CAMP

Parks, Recreation & Tourism is sponsoring a Spring Break Parks Passport Camp on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, April 2,3,4 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm meeting at the Whitcomb Lodge.  We will travel to a state park to hunt fossils, to Richmond to hike the shores of the James River and to Norfolk to board a battleship.  Dress for the weather, bring a towel, lunch, drink and snack.  The fee is $80 and the deadline to register is Tuesday, March 26th.

THEY’RE PLAYING OUT SONG

Parks, Recreation & Tourism is sponsoring a Best Years Trip to the Riverside Center for Performing Arts on Wednesday, April 17 from 9:30 am to 6:45 pm.  A Neil Simon musical comedy.  The registration fee is $130 and the registration deadline is Tuesday, March 5th.

HOMESCHOOL PARK ADVENTURES

Parks, Recreation & Tourism is sponsoring Homeschool Park Adventures for local homeschool families on the 2nd Wednesdays of the month at Beaverdam Park from 10:00 am to noon.  Meet on March 13.  The fee is $10 per child and the deadline to register is Wednesday, March 6th.

GYMNASTICS

Parks, Recreation & Tourism is sponsoring 11 Gymnastics classes for ages 3 through 18 on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Botetourt and Wednesdays at Abingdon.  Classes begin the week of March 19.  On Tuesdays and Wednesdays Parent and Me for ages 3-4 years is from 4:45-5:15, $48 followed by Beginner 5-8 years from 5:15-6:00 or 6:00-6:45, $60 each followed by Beginner 6 and up from 6:45-7:30, $60.  On Thursdays at Botetourt Intermediate 7 and up classes are from 5:00-5:45-5:45-6:30 $60 and Advanced is from 6:30-7:30 $64.

BEST YEARS TRIP TO SUFFOLK MYSTERY AUTHORS FESTIVAL

Parks, Recreation & Tourism is sponsoring a trip to the Suffolk Mystery Authors Festival on Saturday, March 16 from 11:15 am to 8:15 pm.  Meet over 50 authors, hear their stories and have dinner on the way home.  The fee is $30 and the deadline is Saturday, March 9th.

Pre-registration is required for all events. For more information on these and other activities call PRT at 804-693-2355, email prt@gloucesterva.info or stop by our office 6382 Main Street.  For online registration visit https://www.gloucesterva.info/civicrec

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Olive Branch UMC Corned Beef & Cabbage Dinner

Olive Branch Global Methodist Church Men's Group will be having a Corned Beef & Cabbage Dinner on Friday, May 15th from 5-7 p.m. at the church located at 10833 Harcum Road(Route 606) in Gloucester. Eat in or Carry Out

There is no charge, but a love offering will be accepted to support the Olive Branch Men's community work during the year.

Gloucester County Clean Community

 

Gloucester County Clean Community would like to announce the 14th annual Clean Gloucester Day! March 22nd and 23rd. Pick a spot, grab some friends, register for supplies. Visit gloucesterva.gov/clean-community/events for more details or call 804-693-5370.

Clean Gloucester Day is part of the Great American Cleanup, a two-day effort to remove litter and improve community appearance across all 17 cities and counties in Hampton Roads. Community beautification projects include:

  • Removing litter from roadsides, neighborhoods, beaches, waterways, and parks for cleaner communities

  • Planting trees, flowers and community gardens to strengthen green infrastructure

  • Restoring nature trails, parks and playgrounds to encourage outdoor activity

  • Recycling old or unwanted items junking up your home or yard

  • Restoring business districts and thoroughfares to encourage economic development

Everyone has a role to play in keeping Hampton Roads beautiful. From individuals to families, school groups to civic organizations, small businesses to large corporations. YOU can make a difference for your community.

DAV Chapter 58

The Disabled American Veterans Chapter 58, located in Gloucester VA, at 6265 Professional Drive, directly behind the radio station. Their Certified Claims Service Officers can assist ALL Veterans and their dependents with submitting claims to the Veterans Administration at no cost. No appointment necessary, you’ll need a DD214, hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am to 2pm and they can be reached at 804-695-1558.

For a ride to Richmond or Hampton for appointment, call Keith Davis at 757-728-3148 to make arrangements.

Gloucester County Public Schools Special Education Office

Do you have concerns regarding your preschooler's development? Gloucester County Public Schools conducts screenings for preschool children as part of their Child Find Activities throughout the school year. Parents/Guardians should consider having their children screened if they are experiencing difficulty walking, talking, playing, and meeting developmental milestones. If you are interested in having your child screened, please contact your child's zoned school. Any further questions please contact the Special Education Office at 804-693-7880 or 804-693-7944.

Bay Transit Express

Bay Transit Express, a shared ride service, is introducing $1 rides in the newly expanded Bay Transit Express service zone. You will be able to start riding anywhere from Gloucester Point to the Gloucester Courthouse area.

You can book rides straight from your phone by downloading The Bay Transit Express App or call 804-693-6977, get picked up in minutes and commute or run errands without needing a car.

Newport News Park

12 Things You May Not Know About Newport News Park 

In 1966, the City of Newport News created a watershed around Lee Hall Reservoir to protect the quality of its water. That watershed was developed into Newport News Park. Since then, it’s been a gem in our city, providing trails, shade, a huge variety of wildlife, and much more. So much more, that you probably don’t even know about all this amazing park has to offer. We’ve outlined the Top 12 things you need to know about Newport News Park that will get you planning your next trip there as soon as possible!

1. It’s HUGE

One of the largest municipal parks in the United States, Newport News Park is nine times larger than New York City’s Central Park! At 7,711 acres, Newport News Park is an oasis in the middle of a large metropolitan city. The park is so large that it has its very own campground! 

2. It’s a great place to camp

Campers and outdoor enthusiasts find Newport News Park’s campground the perfect retreat. Its 188 campsites are spaciously arranged throughout the park’s natural woodlands. Camp here and you’ll be surrounded by many of the comforts of home, including electricity, heated showers, a laundry room, a small store for food and supplies, and 24-hour security. And, needless to say, pets are welcome, too!

3. It has an aero-model flying field 

Did you know that Newport News Park has an aero-model flying field? What’s that, you may ask? It’s a place for model aviation enthusiasts to fly their radio-controlled aircraft. The busiest flying times are usually Saturday and Sunday afternoons, weather permitting. The field has a paved 400-foot runway and a spacious 30-acre flyover area, along with bleachers for visitors and spectators.

4. It has miles of trails

The park also offers more than 30 miles of trails through forest, field, and marshland – with many native species to observe in their natural habitat. As you can imagine, the park is home to an incredible variety of native wildlife – deer, fox, raccoon and beaver, to name a few – all found in a thriving setting filled with lush woodlands, flowering meadows, and shimmering lakes. 

5. It has a center to rehabilitate wildlife 

The park even has a state- and federally licensed wildlife rehabilitation program, located at the Discovery Center. The staff there provides care to hundreds of injured or orphaned animals annually, enabling the animals to return to their natural environments, healthy and self-sufficient. We like to think of the Discovery Center as a “temporary haven” for wildlife when they’re most in need. The center also has numerous educational exhibits on display, which are open to the public.

6. You can rent a bike for $3

If you enjoy cycling, bring your own bike or rent one from the campsite office to hit the park’s popular 5.3-mile hard-packed, flat-surface multi-use trail. Newport News Park shares a long stretch of border with the Colonial National Historical Park and several of the park's biking and hiking trails cross over into this historical area.

7. It has ties to the Civil War

Speaking of history, did you know that Newport News Park is the site of some of the best preserved Civil War fortifications, earthworks and redoubts in Virginia? During the American Civil War, the park was the site of Battle of Dam No. 1. In the days prior to the battle, Confederate forces constructed rifle pits and other earthworks from which they held off the Union Army.  Because of this, the park is a designated stop on the official Virginia Civil War Trails network.

8. It has numerous playgrounds and horseshoe pits

Families with small children will be happy to know that Newport News Park has FOUR playgrounds, including one specifically made for younger children (found in Picnic Area 2). With four certified courts for horseshoes, there’s no better place than Newport News Park to play horseshoes, too, especially if you want to keep your own lawn back home pristine! Just remember to bring your own horseshoes, as the park does not provide them.

9. It boasts archery, golf, and a Japanese Peace Garden!

Additionally, it has an archery range, two 18-hole golf courses, and an 18-hole championship disc golf course in the arboretum area. Floral gardens at the park include a Japanese Peace Garden with an authentic tea house!

10.  It’s a great place to go fishing

For water enthusiasts, fishing is permitted in two large freshwater lakes, along with canoe, paddleboat, and Jon boat rentals. And don’t worry about bringing your own paddles, oars, or personal flotation devices – they’re all included in the rental.

11.  There’s a team-building course 

Organized groups looking for a physical and a mental challenge are invited to make a reservation to take the park’s “Ropes & Initiatives Course.” It features a progression of more difficult tasks, similar to an obstacle course. It can be a powerful tool for enhancing group dynamics.  

12.   There are lots of FREE programs there

 

OK, now that we know what Newport News Park has to offer, let’s talk about the many FREE programs scheduled there on a regular basis! Who knew the park offered the following activities?  

1. Archery Safety Lessons – A park ranger presents this one-hour presentation to teach general archery safety tips and discuss the rules and regulations specific to Newport News Park. You’ll also learn more about the art of archery. Call 757-888-3333 for dates and to register.

 2. Bird Walks – Since 1965, the Hampton Roads Bird Club has monitored the park’s bird population on a regular basis. Join club members in the parking lot of Picnic Area 1 at 7 a.m. every first and third Sunday of the month for some early morning birding. Take a stroll through the park and see what interesting species of birds live here. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars!

3. Friday Night Adventures – Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, you can bring your family to the Discovery Center at Newport News Park every Friday evening to learn about some of the amazing living creatures that make their homes in and around the park. Meet a park naturalist to discover facts about some of the park’s natural and historical features through nature walks, themed presentations, and hands-on activities. Topics range from beavers, snakes, and owls to bats, opossums, deer, raccoons, and other creatures inhabiting the park. 

4. Hayrides – Hop on a Saturday evening hayride to explore the park’s beautiful and diverse forest habitats. These family friendly adventures are led by park staff. Hayrides, which depart from the campsite office, are offered on select Saturday evenings between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Rides are free, but tickets are required and distributed at the Campsite Office on a first-come, first-served basis starting 30 minutes before each departure time.

5. Story and a Walk – Enjoy a fun nature story at the Discovery Center in Newport News Park and then take a short walk to discover what you can find around the park. Targeted toward preschool children and their caregivers, this program is held at 10 a.m. every second Wednesday of the month. 

6. Walking Club – This free walking program was created for adults over age 55 who want to get fit or stay fit. Walk through some of the parks most beautiful trails at 10 a.m. every Friday. Call 757-812-7905 to register.

Obviously, the only challenge you’ll have in visiting Newport News Park is selecting among all the fun programs and numerous things to do there! If you opt for one of the programmed activities, call first because a few of these activities are only offered during the summer months. For questions or additional information, call Newport News Park at 757-886-7912.

 

Riverside Hospice Agencies

Riverside Hospice Agencies are looking for volunteers for the Tappahannock and Gloucester offices. They are in need of patient companion volunteers, bereavement and spiritual support volunteers. 8 hours of free training is required and broken up in to two 4 hour days. Criminal background check and Tuberculosis test(covered by Riverside) are also required.

Becoming a hospice volunteer is one of the most rewarding things you can do for yourself and others.

For more information call Frannie Bernard @ 804-443-6130, 804-693-1111 or email to frances.bernard@rivhs.com.

Newport News Tourism

Newport News Tourism adds Bike Trails to its Website

Cycling is a hobby that can be enjoyed year-round in Coastal Virginia! As such, Newport News Tourism is happy to announce that a new online resource is now available for cyclists to find a variety of bike trails in the city. The trails, which have been added to our website, are separated into three categories: Road biking, Recreational biking, and Mountain biking.

 The trails cover many miles of local terrain, with varying degrees of difficulty. From a leisurely 2-mile paved trail in Riverview Farm Park to the beginner/advanced/expert mountain bike trails in Harwood’s Mill, there is something for all outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy!

A brief description of the six trails is provided, each elaborating on the scenic river views, wooded parks, historic homes, museums, lakefront areas, bridges, and urban streets you’re likely to encounter. 

Maps are available in two formats: Downloadable PDF files that can be printed and online/interactive maps accessible from the web.  The maps can be useful for planning your route in advance and include the following:

Road biking Route 1 – Local Favorite – 8 miles Route 1 – City Tour – 21 miles

Recreational biking Riverview Farm Park – 2 miles Newport News Park – 5.3 miles

Mountain biking Lake Maury Natural Area – 5 miles Harwood’s Mill – 5.9 miles

To make sure everyone takes the typical precautions when biking, we’ve also included a “Bike Safety” tab on the website, which includes basic bicycle rules of the road and cycling tips. For more information, click on “Bike Trails” from the home page of our website at www.newport-news.org.

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