South Building Update: Our Watershed

South Building Update: Our Watershed

​​Have we mentioned how excited we are about our new South Building? One exhibit that is sure to see a lot of action is the outdoor watershed model, ​Our Watershed, made possible through the generous support of Jane P. Batten. Through lots of hands-on opportunities, we hope that this area will inspire children and adults alike to discover the wonders of water and better understand the impact we have on waterways.

Here is a glance at the exciting fun we are eagerly anticipating:
  • Play with model mountain streams, manipulating a variety of structures to divert and change the water flow. 
  • Conduct playful experiments at our water tables.
  • At the Rain Garden and House Exhibit, made possible by GEICO, guests can start  a rain shower on a cottage roof and watch the water run-off into rain barrels and the rain garden.  While adults pick up tips on how to make their home and yard more watershed-friendly, our youngest guests will enjoy digging for worms and playing the "Flush the Toilet" game.
  • Learn ways to reduce marine debris in the ocean, especially plastics. Instead of celebrating with balloons, why not release bubbles! At the Bubbles Not Balloons Exhibit, sponsored by Princess Anne Garden Club and Ann W. Host, everyone will have fun creating their own giant bubbles and playing with environmentally-safe bubble foam.
  • Discover how marshes and oysters improve water quality and learn how natural habitats are important to healthy watersheds. Guests can build an oyster castle structure along the shore and conduct an experiment to determine why marshes are good at slowing runoff.
  • Be a marine scientists for the day aboard the "RV Ocean Explorer," collecting marine life to study in the lab or identifying whales and dolphins. This Research Vessel and Dock Exhibit will become a reality thanks to the generosity of the Alison J. and Ella W. Parsons Fund of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation.  
  • Learn about sand and beaches at an activity station featuring a Build-A-Beach wave table or relax on our very own Coastal Beach, made possible by The Oceanfront Inn and Vakos Family, while young ones play in the sand box or pretend to be ghost crabs crawling through tunnels.
  • Pretend to be the boat captain.
  • Prepare for a SCUBA dive.
  • Climb a cargo net.
  • …and MORE!
Watch for this exciting new exhibit soon to be found behind the renovated South Building and the new Veterinary Center. The area has been cleared and the work to prepare the site for construction is underway. We look forward to seeing you in Our Watershed in 2021!

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