Elk…in the Park?

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In other blogs, we’ve talked about the goals of the Park as they pertained to planting. However, one of the main goals for Anna Hyatt Huntington (renowned sculptor and wife of Archer Huntington) was to have a wildlife sanctuary. She sculpted live animals, when she could, to give life and realism to her work. For several years, we had a permitted wildlife sanctuary in the Park! Of the projects from the early years of the Park, our wildlife endeavor was the longest, lasting until almost 1950.

Work on securing wildlife for the Park didn’t begin until a year after the start of a majority of the construction. The Lake was a big component of the wildlife sanctuary and accordingly, its completion was necessary before animals could come in. The first permit we applied for was with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for a waterfowl enclosure in August of 1931. In that first application, we asked for 35 Canada geese to put in a goose range in the Lake. Dr. Albert K. Fisher, ornithologist and President of the American Ornithologists’ Union, served as our wildlife consultant. In August of 1932, he wrote that the goose range, “will be one of the finest, if not the finest, in the United States.”   Read more

Living the Wild Life

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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

Enjoying the Beautiful Outdoors

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Lion's Bridge
Lion’s Bridge

With the arrival of Spring and sunny, warm weather, I am reminded of all the fun things the museum has to offer outside of the building (especially as my office is rather chilly). It seems as though a lot of people don’t already know this, but the museum owns 550 acres of property, including the Noland Trail and Lake Maury. Part of the vision of our founder, Archer Huntington, was to create an outside space for the public to be able to enjoy along with the museum. Lake Maury was created by constructing a dam (the Lion’s Bridge) near the James River.

Many people in our community are very familiar with Lion’s Bridge as it is a frequently visited area. I mean, what’s not to love? There are a few places to sit down and enjoy beautiful weather while also getting great views of the James River and Lake Maury while the majestic lions stand guard. Every November festive wreaths are placed around the necks of the lions to help bring in the Holidays, which has become a popular event in the community. As for the history of the lions, they were sculpted by the museum’s founder’s wife, Anna Hyatt Huntington (click HERE to learn more about her), ca 1932.   Read more