Living the Wild Life

Posted on
Loblolly pine tree in the Park.
Loblolly pine tree in The Mariners’ Museum Park. Photographed by Amanda Shields.

When you take a walk along the Noland Trail or picnic at Lions Bridge, have you ever thought about the different plants and animals that call The Mariners’ Museum Park home? To date, we have discovered 523 different species live in the Park. This incredible number includes birds, insects, plants and trees, reptiles, and many more. Below are just a few highlights.

Trees   Read more

The White Oak Tree with a Hidden Past

Posted on
Image describing how to treat a tree from A Shade Tree Guide in 1918.
Image from A Shade Tree Guide by the New Jersey Department of Conservation and Development, 1918.

On the morning of August 27, 2011, Hurricane Irene blew through Newport News with high winds and rain. The Mariners’ Museum Park fared quite well with only 40 trees down, compared to 3,000 downed trees from Hurricane Isabel in 2003. However, once the storm had passed and the damage assessed, we discovered that the oldest known tree in the Park was one of the 40. A 355-year-old white oak tree in Williams Field. To say that Park staff was devastated is an understatement!

Luckily, the story doesn’t stop there! Upon closer inspection, we discovered a hidden history beyond its impressive age! There was concrete running through a majority of the tree, stabilized with what appeared to be handmade nails. Who put it there? How long ago was it put in? WHY was it put in? It was obvious that it had been there for a while. And we assumed that an injury of some sort had occurred to the tree and it was “fixed” with concrete. But for years, that’s all we had.   Read more

World Water Day – Monitoring the Water Quality of Lake Maury

Posted on

Happy World Water Day!

This is an especially important day for all of us at The Mariners’ Museum and Park.  Our mission is to connect people to the world’s waters, and through those waters, to each other.

On a day dedicated to the sustainable use of water, we thought we would talk about our efforts to monitor and conserve our waterway, Lake Maury.

Our Lake collects storm water from the city.  Because of this, the health of the Lake and the life it supports can change quickly due to circumstances outside of the Museum and Park’s control.   Read more