May is preservation AND wetlands month

The following is an update from Rob Orrison, publicity chair for this year’s National Interpreter’s workshop, November 10-14 in Virginia Beach!

All of us wear multiple hats – part naturalist, part historian, part scientist among others. The greatness of NAI is its diversity and breadth of knowledge of its members. This month, our history oriented members celebrate Historic Preservation Month and use this time to promote the importance of not just preserving historic structures and landscapes, but also INTERPRETING those resources.

NAI2015 will feature various local historic sites in and outside of Virginia Beach. Mostly known for its natural beauty and beaches, the City of Virginia Beach also operates several historic house museums. These include the Adam Thoroughgood House (ca. 1719), Lynnhaven House (ca. 1725) and the Francis Land House (ca. 1805). We are planning an off-site session that will visit each of these historic structures to not just learn about their history but also how staff and volunteers are building collaborations to make them successful and relevant in the community.

But let’s not forget that May is also National Wetlands Month! Interpretive opportunities abound in our wetlands and wetlands management areas. One of the nation’s most unique wetlands habitat is the Great Dismal Swamp located approximately 20 miles from Virginia Beach. The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge was created in 1974 and includes over 112,000 acres. Plans are in the works for an off-site trip to the Great Dismal Swamp for an all-day paddle adventure. You will follow a guide through the 3,100 acres of Lake Drummond and various channels of the swamp to explore this vast ecosystem.

NAI 2015 logoFinally, we can give you a glimpse into how the Conference schedule will be laid out. The conference will officially open with an evening off-site event on Tuesday, November 10th. Pre-conference sessions will take place on Monday and Tuesday, November 9th and 10th, followed by two days of sessions and activities followed by a day of off-site sessions on Friday, November 13th and another day of sessions on Saturday, November 14th. The scholarship auction will take place on Friday evening after our off-site sessions.

Our next update should have many more details and deadline for registration and volunteer opportunities. To stay up to date with be sure to “Like” our NAI 2015 Facebook page at We look forward to seeing everyone here in Virginia this November!

Rob Orrison, Publicity Chair #NAI2015

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