DCR-Guided Tour

First landing state park bald cypress swamp 2

TOUR NAME: DCR-Guided Tour 

DATE: Saturday, March 21

DURATION (ROUND TRIP): 9 am – 6 pm, full day trip 

PRICE: $30

DESCRIPTION: Meet our guide! Rebecca O Wilson from DCR (Longleaf Pine Restoration Specialist; Department of Conservation and Recreation, Natural Heritage). She will spend 3 or 4 hours with our group. Many of us have seen Rebecca’s power point presentation of the conservation efforts of the Longleaf Pine, but now we can follow up with an actual visit to these sites! If you missed her presentation at Norfolk Botanical Garden, check out this link for some important background information: https://www.nature.org/en-us/about-us/where-we-work/united-states/virginia/stories-in-virginia/va-how-we-work-longleaf-pine/  We will begin at Garland Gray Forestry Center, then head to Chub Sandhill Trail, then off to visit Piney Grove Preserve, home to Virginia’s rarest bird, the red-cockaded woodpecker. Once numbering in the hundreds of thousands, these birds have been drastically reduced because of the loss of their exclusive old-growth pine tree habitat. Due to pine forest restoration efforts at Piney Grove, in 2019 18 breeding groups of red-cockaded woodpeckers were documented. Bring your binoculars in hopes of viewing the elusive red-cockaded woodpecker. We will walk the Constance Darden Nature Trail. It is an easy 0.3-mile walk. We may be able to take a walk along the road where there is the best chance of spotting the red-cockaded woodpecker (as long as we can find a legal, safe place to park the bus and leave it). The group needs to stay together as a group. We have applied for a DGIF Special Use Permit so that we might be fortunate to make a stop at Big Woods Wildlife Management Area, but that is TBD. They may also require each individual (you) to get a day access pass for $4 each online. Standby for guidance on this. Some other important notes: there will be limited access to the restroom (and there is no RR on the bus), so we will improvise and hope to find a service station or country store. We will bring a pop-up porta-potty in a pop-up tent to be used only in a real emergency). Regarding lunch and snacks, there is absolutely no food, drink or gum permitted on the bus. Your water bottle is allowed, of course. We have coolers and ice packs to stow away food you bring with you. Bring food items that are easy to snack on while walking the trails. If the majority of the group votes for a stop at the Virginia Diner (the only eatery in that area), then please be prepared by bringing some money for your lunch. When will we be back at REI? Well, most of The Nature Bus tours have a very specific return time. Not this trip because we will enjoy what our guide has to show us at the several stops and not be concerned with the time. We will meet her at 11 am, spend 3 or 4 hours with her, then possibly head to Virginia Diner. So, it is estimated that we will be back at REI around 5:30 or 6 pm, and this is traffic dependent.

*Open to Master Naturalists and their friends and family first; then open to the public to fill up any unsold seats. 

WHAT’S INCLUDED:
– Air conditioned/heated new vehicle
– Transportation
– All fees (gasoline, special use permit, $150 donation to NAPF, Natural Area Preservation Fund; excluding food/drink)
– Expert pre-planning services, however this will be in collaboration with the Master Naturalists, so we will need one person to act as the on-board guide the day of the tour (sit in the front guide seat with mircophone; specific responsibilities)

THINGS TO BRING:
– Cash/card for your food, drinks (or pack a lunch; we have coolers on board the bus)
– Your printed/digital ticket (or your cell phone ticket)
– Printed/signed waiver (or you can sign one on the bus)
– Photo ID
– Cash/Card for your lunch
– Water bottle
– Rain jacket
– Closed-toed/tennis shoes
– Snacks (granola bars, trail mix, etc.)
– binoculars and magnifying glass if you have these
– Tip for your guides

*We go rain or shine, see our weather policy FAQson the  page

*YOUR FEE INCLUDES TRANSPORTATION, TOUR GUIDES, ADMISSION FEES, AND/OR RENTALS WHEN APPLICABLE. FOOD/DRINK NOT INCLUDED. BRING $ FOR LUNCH OR PACK YOUR SACK LUNCH. WE HAVE COOLERS ON BOARD.
*ALL OUR TOURS INVOLVE WALKING; GUESTS SHOULD EXPECT VARYING DEGREES OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. *WE GO RAIN OR SHINE, SO DRESS FOR THE WEATHER. TICKETS ARE NOT REFUNDABLE. *WE DEPART EXACTLY ON TIME PLEASE ARRIVE 15 MIN BEFORE SCHEDULED DEPARTURE

 

  • March 21, 2020 - March 28, 2020
    9:30 am - 6:00 pm