Checking In

First, we hope that everyone is safe, healthy, and weathering the uncertainty of this time as best they can.  Everyone we know is scrambling to adjust to a new normal and the many challenges of the pandemic. We are continuing with our conservation work, but at a slower pace.

All of our Youth Outreach programs have been canceled through May. In the meantime, we are developing online resources to help kids connect with the outdoors. One of these resources is a DIY stream field trip guide for parents to help their 4th graders learn about watersheds, similar to the NRLT’s stream field trips they would have participated in this spring.

Some good news – we recently received a $24,000 grant from the Leggett Foundation that will go toward trail construction and forest enhancement for the Brush Mountain project. Work on trail planning continues, and work on trail building will resume when it’s safe to do so. Although we don’t know when the need for social distancing will end, we very much look forward to the day these trails will be open to the public for gathering and recreation.

In the meantime, we’d like to share a little adventure and inspiration from your sofa. The Banff Centre is providing “Adventure At Home” – award-winning films from past years of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour. We hope you enjoy them and share them with friends and family.

If you’re looking for a kid-friendly outdoor activity, check out the City Nature Challenge. Find any plant, animal, fungi or insect within Town of Blacksburg limits, take a picture, and upload it to iNaturalist app between April 24-27. Or, become a citizen-scientist and upload what you find to the app anytime.

We hope you can safely get outside and enjoy some spring sunshine and the comforts of nature.