A Mindful Walk in the Park

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Trees in the Park from a bridge
Autumn in the Park. Photo courtesy of Brock Switzer/The Mariners’ Museum and Park.

Mindfulness. What comes to mind (no pun intended) when you hear this term? Some might think of certain religions, or yoga, maybe meditation. For some, when this term gets thrown around, the first reaction is groaning and a roll of the eyes. For others, this term is like an unfathomable goal – something that they think they can never achieve.

But why is this? I asked myself this question while taking a walk in the Park during my lunch break one day. My coworkers and I had been working on the content for our new outdoor educational enrichment program where students practice mindfulness in the Park, and I needed a change of scenery to help spark some creativity. As I walked along the path of the Noland Trail pondering this stigma around mindfulness, a million other thoughts popped up in my head. “I wonder if I have any new emails waiting for me at my office.” “What updates do I have for everyone for our department meeting later?” “What am I going to cook for dinner?” And of course, “Man, it is SO HOT outside, I should head back to the AC before I start sweating.”   Read more

Abuzz with Activity in the Bumblebee Learning Garden

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2021 City Nature Challenge (https://citynaturechallenge.org/)

2021 City Nature Challenge Results

The last time I posted, it was the City Nature Challenge (CNC), an international bioblitz! In 2021 the Hampton Roads area did pretty well considering we are still coming out of a pandemic. There is also always room for improvement– stay tuned for our exciting CNC efforts for 2022!    Read more

From Waters to Mariners’, The Making of a Lake

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Did you know Virginia has only two natural lakes? The rest are man-made, including our very own Mariners’ Lake! It holds the title as the first, and the oldest, project started on the grounds of The Mariners’ Museum Park. Before the purchase of the land surrounding it, The Mariners’ Lake was a salt marsh creek called Waters Creek, sometimes incorrectly referred to as Watts Creek. You can learn more about that, here! Apart from the vision of creating a maritime museum, Archer Huntington (our founder and owner of the Newport News Shipyard) and his wife Anna Hyatt (renowned sculptor), wanted to create a wildlife sanctuary. They also wanted a place to display several of Anna’s sculptures. The rural setting and proximity to the Shipyard helped to make this spot the ideal location. You can read more about why this area was chosen, here.

Although our official birthday is June 2nd, planning for the Lake and Park began months prior. In December of 1929, internal memos show that land acquisition was already being discussed and negotiations had started. In a memo from Homer Ferguson, President of the Newport News Shipyard, to Archer Huntington:   Read more

A Great Plan Creates Great Plants

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The Mariners’ Museum Park was meticulously planned out. Early goals of the Park included a wildlife sanctuary and a tree of each species found in Virginia. Land purchases began in March of 1930 and lasted for three years until 44 parcels had been purchased, ultimately equalling over 820 acres, to make these dreams a reality. Our original Park extended from the James River shoreline to modern-day Jefferson Avenue. 

As the land purchases were completed, work began on the roads to access the Park. As you can see from the map above, all roads were on the edges of the Park except for Warwick Boulevard, then named only Route 60. Both Archer Huntington, the founder of our Museum and owner of the Newport News Shipyard, and his wife Anna Hyatt, renowned sculptor, thought to keep all roads on the exterior of the Park enhanced its beauty and created a true wildlife sanctuary.   Read more

Celebrate Pollinator Week June 22-28, 2020

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Bee in beardtongue flower
Calico beardtongue with a fuzzy, busy visitor!
Photo courtesy of The Mariners’ Museum and Park

Today’s post is in honor and celebration of Pollinator Week

Warning: This post is full of cute bee butts!   Read more