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Oldest African Penguin in the U.S. Lives in Metro Richmond

Penguins are pretty darn cute and our area has the country’s oldest cutie.

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The Metro Richmond Zoo published the picture above along with the news that ET (pictured) turned 39 recently. ET is an African penguin and her birthday makes her the oldest living African penguin in captivity in the United States on record.

In the wild African Penguins make it to about 15 and usually 20 in captivity.  Typically, African Penguins live to be roughly 15 years old in the wild and into their 20s in captivity. You go ET.

The Metro Richmond Zoo is open year round Monday – Saturday from 9:30 am – 5:00 pm. Located in Chesterfield County off of Hull Road.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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Downtown

Last Call for Storm Drain Art Submissions

Local artists you can make a difference in our watershed but your deadline for entries is February 2nd

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From RVAH2O

The deadline for submissions is fast approaching, and we’d love to see YOUR ideas for Richmond’s fifth annual Storm Drain Art Project. Local artists ages 18 and older are invited to submit storm drain designs between now and Sunday, February 2, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.

We’re looking for art that paints a picture of how important it is to keep our river – and our drinking water – clean. All four finalists will receive a $400 stipend and publicity for their artwork on drains in Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom.

  • Submit your design using the template on the RVAH2O website.
  • Help promote the goals of the City of Richmond’s RVA Clean Water Plan – a five-year roadmap for reducing pollutant discharges into the James River, starting with wastewater, stormwater and the combined sewer system.

ENTER TODAY!

Don’t wait – visit RVAH2O.org or call 804.646.8131 for details and submission rules.

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Downtown

Locations of over 20 pop-up parklets announced for 2019 celebration of Park(ing) Day

The 20+ pop-up parks in Richmond will be ready for visits by the public by 9:00 a.m. and will remain open until about 4:00 p.m. on Friday, September 20th.

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On Friday, September 20th, over 20 Richmond design, architecture, creative firms, and artists will participate in the global event called Park(ing) Day. Started in San Francisco in 2005, Park(ing) Day is an annual celebration of public space in the city in which people independently but simultaneously turn parking spots into temporary public parks, art installations and other creative uses of space for others to enjoy.

Venture Richmond – the downtown leadership organization – is coordinating this year’s Park(ing) Day event, including a design/build competition to be judged by a panel of notable Richmonders. The person, organization, or business associated with the winning pop-up park for Park(ing) Day will have the opportunity to take their urban park to the next level by partnering with Venture Richmond and the City of Richmond on the creation of a more permanent parklet installation in the downtown area for people to use every day of the year.

The 20+ pop-up parks in Richmond will be ready for visits by the public by 9:00 a.m. and will remain open until about 4:00 p.m. on Friday, September 20. The judging will take place between 10:30 a.m. and noon, and the winners will be announced at a happy hour and awards ceremony starting at 4:30 p.m. at Bar Solita in the downtown Arts District.

“Venture Richmond is really excited to be taking the lead on coordinating Park(ing) Day in RVA this year,” said Director of Riverfront and Downtown Placemaking, Max Hepp-Buchanan. “For us, the opportunity to activate our downtown streets with mini-parks for the day, while simultaneously raising awareness of and promoting the City of Richmond’s parklet program was something we just couldn’t pass up. We look forward to working with the City of Richmond and some of our participants in the near future to install permanent parklets, adding more public space to our increasingly vibrant downtown streets.”

An interactive map showing all Park(ing) Day locations can be found below.

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Downtown

Local nonprofit hosting James River Park hike to support low income youth, get kids outside

The James River Park System has become a main Richmond attraction, boasting some of the best urban trails in the country. However, many of the students served by Blue Sky Fund have never even seen the river despite living within a few miles.

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Blue Sky Fund will bring over 400 participants together to hike along the James River on October 26th for the ​Dominion Energy Hike For Kids​ event with a goal of raising $50,000 to directly support programs that provide transformational experiences in nature for over 3,000 Richmond students from low-income neighborhoods.

The James River Park System has become a main Richmond attraction, boasting some of the best urban trails in the country. However, many of the students served by Blue Sky Fund have never even seen the river despite living within a few miles. For the event, hikers will enjoy the James River with a 3-, 8- or 14-mile loop, departing from the Virginia War Memorial and returning to a family-friendly post-hike celebration with food, live music, and lawn games. Väsen Brewing Company is collaborating with Blue Sky Fund to create an exclusive beer for the month of October that will be featured at the event, with a portion of all sales benefitting the organization.

“We are privileged to support such a worthwhile cause,” said Hunter A. Applewhite, President of the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation. “Blue Sky Fund makes a meaningful impact in such a unique and important way for many kids across the Richmond community.”

Online registration​ is now live for the event. Event participants can hike up their support in getting Richmond’s youth outside by recruiting colleagues to participate as a corporate team or volunteering to individually raise funds and spread the word about Blue Sky Fund programs in their community, earning outdoor gear prizes along the way.

The hike is Blue Sky Fund’s biggest fundraising event of the year, with a goal of raising $50,000, a 42% growth over last year’s event. These funds are essential to the organization expanding its core program from eight to 14 Richmond City Public Schools during the 2019-2020 school year. Last year, Hike For Kids raised $35,000 to provide outdoor education programming to almost 2,000 students across Richmond during the 2018-2019 school year.

“We love Blue Sky because it gives our students opportunities to get out to places that they’ve never experienced before. I absolutely love going to Pony Pasture, because the kids get the chance to actually get on the river bank, do a little exploring in the water, take nature hikes – they get a feel for the James River and how mighty it is,” said Tracey Smith, a Chimborazo Elementary School Teacher.

Studies reveal that children are spending half as much time outside today as they did 20 years ago, with just four to seven minutes a day playing freely outside. The outdoors should be a part of every child’s life, as time spent in nature is proven to support positive youth development for urban at-risk children with enhanced cooperation and conflict resolution skills, and increases in self-esteem, problem-solving, and motivation to learn.

“My favorite outdoor activity is hiking by the river, I love going down to Belle Isle and rock hopping and such. I just like being outside and love the way the river sounds. Nature makes me feel so much more relaxed and I become the best version of myself,” said Hannah, a graduate of Blue Sky’s Outdoor Leadership Institute.

Participants can register online here.

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