VNPS ANNUAL MEETING 2014

VNPS 2014 Annual Meeting: ‘It’s the Water’
October 17 – 19th 2014
Virginia Beach Resort Hotel & Conference Center

The South Hampton Roads Chapter invites you to the 2014 Annual Meeting of Virginia Native Plant Society.

Please join us in exploring the only zone 8 habitat in the commonwealth of Virginia, as well as some zone 7. We have field trips to state parks, city parks, organized gardens and wilderness areas. An added bonus this year is that we are offering two full-day field trips on Friday and one on Sunday.

Reservations & Directions

To accommodate members who want to take advantage of these and other attractions, the Virginia Beach Resort Hotel is offering the same great conference rate from October 14 through October 21: $109 per night, single, double, triple or quad.  Mention the Virginia Native Plant Society when making reservations!  Please make your reservations by Friday, October 3, to be able to use that rate.

Our events will all start from the Resort Hotel, located at 2800 Shore Drive, Virginia Beach, Va. 23451, 757-481-9000 or 800-468-2722. Breakfast can be added for an additional $13 per person per breakfast.

The hotel is on Shore Drive at Great Neck Road, Virginia Beach. From Williamsburg, Richmond, west and north, take I-64/I-295 through Hampton, through the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel. Take exit 282 North onto U.S. 13/Northampton Boulevard, go 4.7 miles, then merge right onto U.S. 60/Shore Drive east toward the beaches, for 3.8 miles. When you cross North Great Neck Road, you will see the Virginia Beach Resort Hotel and Conference Center on your left. Make a U-turn at Oak Street, and the hotel will be on your right.

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Schedule of Events

Friday October 17th

8:45am - 4:00pmFriday all day field trips
5:00pm - 6:30pmRegistration
5:30pm - 6:30pmEvening social hour with cash bar
6:30pm - 8pmBuffet Dinner
8:00pmSpeaker: Karen Forget, Director, Lynnhaven River Now. Karen will go over Lynnhaven River Now's programs with Virginia Beach to improve water quality through neighborhood programs, oyster restoration and the addition of subaquatic vegetation.

Saturday October 18th

8:45am - 4:00pmField trips. Departures will be staggered, beginning 8:45am through 9:15am.
5:30pm - 6:30pmEvening social hour with cash bar
6:30pm - 7:30pmBuffet Dinner
7:30pm - 8:00pmAnnual business meeting and elections.
8:00pmSpeaker: Chris Moore, Chesapeake Bay Foundation senior scientist for Hampton Roads. Chris will speak about the Foundation’s efforts to improve water quality in and around the Chesapeake Bay. He will also describe the new Brock Center, a LEED-certified building that will be the Foundation’s Hampton Roads headquarters, the landscaping around Brock Center, and the Foundation’s participation in Pleasure House Point Park.

Sunday October 19th

8:45am - TBDField trips. Departures will be staggered, beginning 8:45am through 9:15am.

Field Trips

Friday and Sunday Field Trips: This is new territory for the VNPS Annual Meeting, at the request of several people who expressed interest in multiple full-day trips. They will be limited in nature, and we will contact you with directions.

Box lunches will not be available on Friday or Sunday, so you should make arrangements for your own food and drink.

Saturday Field Trips: Optional box lunches are available for $17 and must be ordered in advance (see registration form).

Those going on full-day field trips should order a box lunch or bring their own. For half-day trips, there are restaurants in Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Chesapeake, or you may reserve a box lunch.

  • Field trip starting times will be staggered, departing between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.
  • Trips are either full-day (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) or halfday.
  • Morning trips will last until 11:45; afternoon field trips will begin at the field trip location promptly at 1:45 p.m. and end at 4 p.m.
  • We may limit participation on field trips.
  • We expect to have our programs rain or shine, so, come prepared for either.

Need More Info?

For more information on field trips, contact Steve Stasulis (Stasulisss@hotmail.com). For other information, please contact Karen York (540-837-1600 or vnpsofc@shentel.net).

Registration confirmations will be sent by e-mail. Field trip information, including your name tag and directions, will be in the packet you receive when you check in at the Virginia Beach Resort Hotel.

Friday Full-Day Field Trips: Options

1. Cypress Bridge Swamp Natural Area Preserve, Zuni. This 380-acre Preserve borders the Nottoway River for more than three miles and is home to trees estimated to be more than 1,000 years old. The Preserve hosts the largest Carolina ash in the nation, the largest swamp cottonwood and former champ overcup oak and water tupelos. There is no public access to this Preserve. It has unsure footing and limited established trails. Byron Carmean will lead.

2. False Cape State Park/Back Bay Recreation Area. This is one of the last remaining undeveloped areas on the Atlantic Coast, with 4,321 acres and 5.9 miles of beachfront. It is very primitive; park access is only by foot, bicycle, or beach transport TerraGator. Terrain ranges from flat and sandy beaches to scrub pine to swampy land, with a large variety of plants. Back Bay has an entrance fee (not included). Vickie Shufer and Gary Fleming will lead.
Saturday Full-Day Field Trips

Saturday Full-Day Field Trips: Options

3. Zuni Pine Barrens, Zuni. This Preserve of more than 1,000 acres in Isle of Wight County offers longleaf pine, loblolly pine, and turkey oak and is noted for dwarf violet iris, Carolina jessamine, pink lady’s-slipper, sheep laurel, wild ginger and ipecac spurge, though many of these may already be dormant. Adjacent to Antioch Pines and Blackwater Ecological Preserve, this park is very primitive, with limited trails and unsure footing. Lytton Musselman or graduate student Peter Schafran, Old Dominion University, will lead.
4. First Landing State Park, Virginia Beach. $5/vehicle entrance fee. The site of the first landing of Jamestown colonists in 1607, this park is 2,888 acres in area, with 20 miles of trails and 1.5 miles of sandy Chesapeake Bay beach frontage. The park is well developed but has sections that are more primitive. It features unusual habitat, bald
cypress, lagoons, rare and unusual plants and maritime forest ecology. Mike Aherron and Beth Richardson will lead.
5. Savage Neck Dunes and Magothy Bay Natural Area Preserves, Eastern Shore. $24/auto bridge toll to the Eastern Shore. The 298-acre Savage Neck Dunes Preserve contains outstanding Chesapeake Bay beach, dune, and maritime forest communities. The 286-acre Magothy Bay Preserve encompasses woodlands, forested wetlands, and extensive salt marshes. There may be good birding opportunities, as this is timed during fall migration. Dot Field will lead.
6. Cypress Bridge Swamp Natural Area Preserve, Zuni. This 380-acre Preserve borders the Nottoway River for more than three miles and is home to trees estimated to be more than 1,000 years old. The Preserve hosts the largest Carolina ash in the nation, the largest swamp cottonwood and former champ overcup oak and water tupelos. There is no public access to this Preserve. It has unsure footing and limited established trails. Byron Carmean will lead.
7. False Cape State Park/Back Bay Recreation Area. This is one of the last remaining undeveloped areas on the Atlantic Coast, with 4,321 acres and 5.9 miles of beachfront. It is very primitive; park access is only by foot, bicycle, or beach transport TerraGator. Terrain ranges from flat and sandy beaches to scrub pine to swampy land, with a large variety of plants. Back Bay has an entrance fee (not included). Vickie Shufer and Gary Fleming will lead.
8. Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Suffolk. $15/person tour fee payable to the tour leader.  Due to hunting season the inbound auto road will be closed. There will be a 4½-mile hike or bicycle ride (in each direction) on an open trail in addition to the tour; this is a strenuous hike. This swamp and lake have rich flora and fauna and are a geologic wonder. Penny Lazauskas will lead.
9. Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, Virginia Beach. $15/person entrance fee. This is an easy walking tour on their nature trail along the creek. The aquarium also has 800,000 gallons of aquariums, live animal habitats, 300 hands-on exhibits, an aviary, and two animal touch-pools. After the nature trail and garden tour, you may enjoy the Aquarium, or you might make this a half-day tour in the morning and go to another half-day tour in Virginia Beach, Norfolk or Chesapeake. Dusty Bourgeois will lead.

Saturday Morning Field Trips: Options

10. Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, Virginia Beach. $15/person entrance fee. This is an easy walking tour on their nature trail along the creek. The aquarium also has 800,000 gallons of aquariums, live animal habitats, 300 hands-on exhibits, an aviary, and two animal touch pools. Dusty Bourgeois will lead.
11. Hermitage Museum and Gardens, Norfolk. Hermitage Gardens features both a formal garden and a wellplanned, primarily native buffer garden that replaced an invasive Phragmites bog. This is an easy walking tour. Yolima Carr, ground curator will lead the tour, providing an in-depth look into the history and future of the gardens.
12. Norfolk Botanical Garden Native Plant Trail, Norfolk. $9 per person entry to the garden. Native plant trail has a great variety of trees, shrubs, and ferns, and both dry and wet areas. Other features are a longleaf pine stand, a bottomland hardwood forest, a bald cypress/water tupelo swamp and an Atlantic white cedar swamp. The garden has miles of trails, a wildflower meadow, a butterfly habitat and substantial nonnative rose gardens, azaleas and crape myrtles. You could make this an all-day event as well. Theresa Augustin will lead the walk on the native plant trail.

Saturday Afternoon Field Trips: Options

13. Weyanoke Sanctuary, Norfolk. This sanctuary has an urban setting, with native trees, shrubs, ferns and perennials maintained by volunteers. This easy walking tour dovetails nicely with the Hermitage Museum and Gardens.  Debra Mosher will lead.
14. Indian River Park and Natural Trail at Chesapeake Care Clinic, Chesapeake. The 91-acre city park includes a 70-acre natural area, while the trail contains a a riparian buffer planted with native trees. The park consists of a large number of mixed mature hardwoods and pines, as well as shrubs and perennials. A small creek meanders through the through the property. Rogard Ross will lead the park tour, while Phil Johnson and Ed Bradley will lead the nature trail tour.
15. Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve and Paradise Creek Nature Park, Portsmouth. Hoffler Creek, a 142-acre sanctuary for urban wildlife, contains four distinct habitats: a tidal creek and expansive salt marsh; a riparian pine and hardwood forest; a native wildflower and grass meadow; and a nontidal brackish lake. The preserve has interpretive trails winding through each of the habitats. Helen Kuhns and Kirsten Halverson will lead. The Elizabeth River Project opened Paradise Creek to the public in June 2013. It has two miles of trails around the new wetland and restored forest. This was a collaborative effort of the Elizabeth River Project, the City of Portsmouth and the Virginia Port Authority designed to give new life to the Elizabeth River. Sarah Sumoski will lead.

Sunday Morning and Full-Day Field Trips: Options

16. Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Suffolk. Full-day tour! $15/person tour fee payable to the tour leader. This tour is accessible by car (as opposed to Saturday’s, for which hunting precludes driving in). This swamp and lake have rich flora and fauna and are a geologic wonder. Penny Lazauskas will lead.
17. First Landing State Park, Virginia Beach. $5/vehicle entrance fee. The site of the first landing of Jamestown colonists in 1607, this park is 2,888 acres in area, with 20 miles of trails and 1.5 miles of sandy Chesapeake Bay beach frontage. The park is well developed but has sections that are more primitive. It features unusual habitat, bald cypress, lagoons, rare and unusual plants and maritime forest ecology. Led by Vickie Shufer.
18. Norfolk Botanical Garden Native Plant Trail, Norfolk. $9 per person entry to the garden. Native plant trail has a great variety of trees, shrubs, and ferns, and both dry and wet areas. Other features are a longleaf pine stand, a bottomland hardwood forest, a bald cypress/water tupelo swamp and an Atlantic white cedar swamp. The garden has miles of trails, a wildflower meadow, a butterfly habitat and substantial nonnative rose gardens, azaleas and crape myrtles. You could make this an all-day event as well. Theresa Augustin will lead the walk on the native plant trail.
19. Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve and Paradise Creek Nature Park, Portsmouth. Hoffler Creek, a 142-acre sanctuary for urban wildlife, contains four distinct habitats: a tidal creek and expansive salt marsh; a riparian pine and hardwood forest; a native wildflower and grass meadow; and a nontidal brackish lake. The preserve has interpretive trails winding through each of the habitats. Helen Kuhns and Kirsten Halverson will lead. The Elizabeth River Project opened Paradise Creek to the public in June 2013. It has two miles of trails around the new wetland and restored forest. This was a collaborative effort of the Elizabeth River Project, the City of Portsmouth and the Virginia Port Authority designed to give new life to the Elizabeth River. Sarah Sumoski will lead.
20. Northwest River Park, Chesapeake. These 763 acres of pristine wetland and forest habitat bordering the Northwest River have an extensive trail system with more than seven miles of winding trails. There are freshwater marshlands and a bald cypress swamp. This is a moderate hike with some elevation change. Dr. Dean Bohon will lead.
21. Pleasure House Point and Brock Environmental Center, Virginia Beach (if open by then; under construction at press time). This facility will offer 118 acres of water, tidal marsh, sandy shores and maritime forest. One of the largest undeveloped parcels on the Lynnhaven River, it was saved from development by the city of Virginia Beach, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Trust for Public Land. Brock Center will be the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s local headquarters and the home of its environmental education programs. The landscaping will be based on native plants and designed to absorb runoff and reduce silt running into the river. Chris Moore (Chesapeake Bay Foundation) and Michael Moore (City of Virginia Beach) will lead.

Please click the button at right to register!