Monday, April 28, 2014

May Day Plant Walk 6 PM

Come join us on May 1 at 6 PM for a fun and free activity: walking to the greenstone quarry, and learning about plants and birds along the way.  Here's more from Board member Sally Thomas:

"A pleasant way to spend the evening of May Day!  There will be an informal wildflower/birding walk in the evening of Thursday, May 1.  Meet at 6 pm at the old barn in Darden Towe Park where Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center's keelboat is perched.  The walk will go to an old quarry at the edge of the Rivanna River, about a one-mile distance.  All along the way, Robert Jennings of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation will answer questions and describe interesting plants and birds.
An easy walk but wear long pants, proper footwear and bring insect repellent if you wish.
Sponsored by the Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation."
Robert C. Jennings
Chesapeake Bay Foundation Grassroots Field Specialist
Blue Ridge, Piedmont, and Valley Region of Virginia
cell phone  484 888 2966

More Photos from the Dogwood Parade

President Fran Lawrence lets visitors on the Red Pirogue before the parade.

As the Red Pirogue launched, we passed a group of Clydesdales

Like all good explorers, Hermi had brought a snack along for the ride.

A bumblebee stayed on my hand as I waved to the crowds.  At one point, it clutched to my finger as if its legs had suction cups on them.

Fran Lawrence, Chauncy Hutter and Chauncey's eleven-year-old granddaughter Hermi

John Conover's three-year-old granddaughter brought along a plastic explorer's knife and wore a hat with feathers.

My godson could be seen in the Charlottesville marching band.

We make the uphill climb thank to Digs Inc.!

Nat Bryant, Hermi, and I stood at the front of the boat waving.

A backward look at the crew...

Cotton candy for sale.

We make the turn towards High Street.

As we complete our journey, the Clydesdales are right there with us.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Crew: The Dogwood Parade 2014

Vice Mayor of Charlottesville, Dede Smith, sees us off in the Red Pirogue

Chauncey Hutter and his granddaughter Hermione arrive in their roadster

Lewis & Clark President Fran Lawrence in front of our Float Your Boat Float

Executive Director Alexandria Searls in one of Chauncey Hutter's river hats

Hermi, Chauncey, and Fran, all in river boat hats.  Chauncey used to be captain of a James River batteau

Nat Bryant, Winx and Fran Lawrence

Board member John Conover boards with his granddaughter

Friday, April 25, 2014

We're in the Dogwood Parade Tomorrow!

The Lewis & Clark Exploratory Center is Number 47 in the Dogwood Parade line-up tomorrow!  We're taking the Red Pirogue on a ride!  (Thank you, Anne Tufts, for the beautiful trailer.)  So look for us in the big red boat going up Market Street...  The parade starts at 10:50, so 11:30 is probably a safe bet for when we'll be on the hill.  Visitors welcome pre-parade alongside the County Office Building.

Our new banner graces the side of the boat

At Darden Towe Park, waiting to be pulled out by Digs and Co

Last year's Dogwood Parade participant, Captain Lewie, descendant of Seaman the Newfoundland, Meriwether Lewis's dog

Monday, April 21, 2014

Boots, Critters, and Maps! The Photos

We had a wonderful time this past Saturday testing the water in the Rivanna River and in Trevillian Creek. Mary Loose DeViney, Grace Wilkinson, and Kyle Emery led the way.  Mary Loose is a Rivanna Riverkeeper, part of the Rivanna Conservation Society's efforts towards keeping the river healthy through the efforts of dedicated volunteers.  Grace and Kyle are graduate students in Environmental Science at the University of Virginia, and both have a strong background in river monitoring.

Here we have Kyle dipping into Trevillian Creek to test the turbidity.

 In this photograph, Mary is identifying the shade of the symbol to assess turbidity.

The water is definitely tinged with the orange of Virginia clay.

 Increased turbidity makes it harder for underwater plants to receive light for photosynthesis.

Above, Mary is comparing a water sample to various  colors to determine its pH.  The pH is close to neutral, which is good news for the river.

Here Grace approaches with a water sample from the vernal pool.

A crawfish that has seen better days...  (Or should I say "Crayfish"?)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Boots, Critters, and Maps! Saturday, April 19 10 AM to 12 PM

Is the water in the Rivanna River clean enough?  What sort of creatures live in the water?  Come join the Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center at Darden Towe Park to answer these questions from 10 AM to 12 PM.  All ages welcome!  You'll scoop up macroinvertibrate creatures, test the water in the Rivanna River and its tributary, Trevillian Creek, and troop around in the mud with our nets and boots.  Afterwards you can make your own river map to remember what you've discovered.  Mapping is a Lewis and Clark skill for everyone to learn!

Meet us at 10 am on the lower terrace of the new Lewis and Clark building, or come after 10 and follow our signs down to the river.  To get to the building, take a left within Darden Towe Park, and follow the road up the hill and down to our new building.  We'll have signs to guide you at the park entrance too.  See you on the river!  You can call 434-996-7282 if you need more directions.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Get Ready for Butterflies!

Monticello's Tufton Farm just donated to the Lewis & Clark Exploratory Center enough seeds for 10,000 or more plants that will help monarch butterflies in their long migration.  We'll be giving some of them away this coming Saturday from 10-2 as part of the Outdoor Adventure Day at Darden Towe Park.

Come join us outside our new building for butterfly art projects, plant specimens, and seed plantings!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Outdoor Adventure Day April 12

The Lewis & Clark Exploratory Center is taking part in the Green Adventure Project's Outdoor Adventure Day Saturday, April 12th at Darden Towe Park, from 10-2.  We are inviting visitors of all ages to come do special activities related to the Monarch butterfly: art projects to increase awareness of the butterfly, and a milkweed planting project to increase habitat and make the Center a Monarch Waystation.  The event is free, and there will be other fun activities hosted by other groups.

You can start your visit at the Green Adventure headquarters, the shelter next to the soccer fields, and then walk your way down to us on the terrace of our new building.  We'll have an array of Monarch butterfly children's books to draw inspiration from, and we'll be handing out milkweed seeds for you to plant at the Center and for you to take home. There will also be original art related to monarchs available for viewing.

Hope to see you there!