02/05 Bird Brains

Bird Brains

Explore the world of birds with your school-aged child. During this four
week series of courses, students will learn about bird calls, life history
and bird adaptations. They’ll also spend time looking for birds in the
park and create their own bird-themed arts and crafts. For ages 5-9
Rockwood Nature Center, 3401 Courthouse Road
Thursdays, Feb. 5-26, noon-2 p.m.            $20           Course 29697
Details: Bob Smet, smetr@chesterfield.gov or 745-8360

02/05 Introduction to Digital Nature Photography

Introduction to Digital Nature Photography

Do you want to learn how to get the most out of your new camera
while capturing stunning images of nature? This eight-week
workshop will start simply and progress through a variety of topics
including, brief history of photography, parts of the camera, focal
length and depth of field, aperture and f-stops, shutter speed, studio
lighting, framing, perspective, silhouettes and cropping.
Students are required to bring their own cameras for the class and
will be able to print copies of their own work from home.
Rockwood Nature Center, 3410 Courthouse Road
Thursdays, Feb. 5-March 26, 3-5 p.m.       $60       Course 29702
Details: Bob Smet, smetr@chesterfield.gov or 745-8360

02/07 Nature Printmaking

Nature Printmaking

This four week long course will use a variety of print-making processes
to create nature-themed art prints. Students will have access to the
nature center’s animals for use as models as well as explore the forests
of Rockwood Park. For ages 5-9
Rockwood Nature Center, 3401 Courthouse Road
Saturdays, Feb. 7-28, 2-4 p.m.             $28                  Course 29699
Details: Bob Smet, smetr@chesterfield.gov or 745-8360

02/07 Trekking through Brown and Williamson Conservation Area

Trekking through the Brown and Williamson Conservation Area

Use a map and compass to navigate your way through the 500-acre
conservation area. Find the eagle nest, clues that reveal the story of
the land, skunk cabbage and vernal pools. Have lunch in the hollow,
then navigate to the bluff that overlooks the James River. This will be
an adventurous three-mile hike involving bushwhacking and stream crossings.
Henricus Park Visitor Center, 251 Henricus Park Road
Saturday, Feb. 7, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.          $3              Course 29403
Details: Mark Battista, battistam@chesterfield.gov or 804-318-8735

02/11 Exploring Mary B. Stratton

Exploring Mary B. Stratton Park
Hike and bushwhack to explore a park not yet open to the public. Hike along old trails and bushwhack through forested uplands, meadows, floodplains and along Failing Creek. Discover an old road bed, a beaver dam and Trampling Run.
Rockwood Nature Center, 3401 Courthouse Road
Thursday, Feb. 11,  10 a.m.-1 p.m.  $10  Course 30565
Details: Mark Battista, battistam@chesterfield.gov or 804-318-8735

02/19 Beginning Bow Maintenance, Tuning and Accessories

Beginning Bow Maintenance, Tuning and Accessories

Join our archery instructors for this new class aimed at helping you
become familiar with the equipment side of archery and how to keep
your set-up in good shooting shape. You will learn about the tools
and techniques of basic maintenance and small repairs, what to look
for in optimizing your bow and arrows for accuracy, and the types of
accessories you might need as your archery skills increase. Course
covers all types of bows – compound, recurve and traditional. Bring your
bow, arrows and accessories if you have them, or use our county bows
for hands-on learning. Class is held inside the classroom at Rockwood
Nature Center, no shooting will take place. Ages 14 and under must be
accompanied by a participating adult.
Rockwood Nature Center, 3401 Courthouse Road
Thursday, Feb. 19 , 6-8 p.m.              $15                 Course 29689
Details: Bob Smet, smetr@chesterfield.gov or 745-8360

03/05 Botany for the Very Young

Botany for the Very Young

Is your child interested in plants and flowers? Join one of our certified
master naturalists to learn about the world of plants through fun,
hands on activities. This eight-week series of classes will explore a
variety of botany topics. Examples of the types of activities the children
may take part in include painting with pine needles, printmaking, leaf
rubbings, leaf pressing, and planting seeds. For ages 5-8.
Rockwood Nature Center, 3401 Courthouse Road
Thursdays, March 5, 12, 19, 26 and April 2, 16, 23, 30;
noon-2 p.m.                        $40                       Course 29696
Details: Bob Smet, smetr@chesterfield.gov or 745-8360

03/12 After Work Adult Archery Club

After Work Adult Archery Club

We are excited to offer an after work archery club. Class
participants will learn techniques, from and rules for target
archery, as well as get to explore using different types of bows and
accessories with different types of targets. Bows and equipment
are provided, or you may use your own with instructor approval.
New students with no archery experience are welcome. Instructor
will be USA Archery and Archery Trade Association certified.

Rockwood Nature Center
Wednesdays, March 12-April 16, 5:30-7:30 p.m.      $60         Course 28053
Details: Bob Smet, smetr@chesterfield.gov or 745-8360

03/12 Walnut Creek Park

Walnut Creek Park 

Trek along a two-mile and a one-mile loop to explore the southeast
corner of Walnut Creek Park. The trail treads along the lake shoreline,
the South Fork of the Hardware River and along Walnut Creek. This
will be an easy to moderate three-mile hike.
Rockwood Nature Center, 3401 Courthouse Road
Thursday, March 12, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.              $20           Course 29558
Details: Mark Battista, battistam@chesterfield.gov or 804-318-8735

03/14 The Beginning Aquarist

The Beginning Aquarist

Are you interested in learning the ins and outs of freshwater aquarium/
pond care? Our experienced instructor will focus on providing basic
instruction on system set up, components, plant and fish selection,
maintenance and disease management.
Rockwood Nature Center, 3401 Courthouse Road
Saturday, March 14, 2-4 p.m.               $7              Course 29701
Details: Bob Smet, smetr@chesterfield.gov or 745-8360

03/19 Chubb Sandhill

Chubb Sandhill 

Stroll an easy three-mile hike to explore part of the Chubb Sandhill
State Natural Area Preserve. Head to the banks of the Nottoway
River to admire the bald cypress and tupelo swamp, then head
inland into a pine-scrub oak forest where rare plants grow. Also, see
reintroduced long leaf pines and the remnants of sand mining. This is
an easy three-mile hike.
Rockwood Nature Center, 3401 Courthouse Road
Thursday, March 19, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m.          $17          Course 29559
Details: Mark Battista, battistam@chesterfield.gov or 804-318-8735

03/28 Backpacking 101

Backpacking 101

Interested in backpacking and learning more about long distance
hikes? Join our instructors for hands-on activities related to segment
hiking the Appalachian Trail and other destinations. Topics to be
covered include equipment, proper attire, nourishment, packing light,
orienteering and navigation, wildlife, emergencies. For ages 13 and
older.
Rockwood Nature Center, 3401 Courthouse Road
Saturday, March 28, noon-4 p.m.                $15             Course 29700
Details: Bob Smet, smetr@chesterfield.gov or 745-8360

03/28 Cumberland Forest and Willis River Hike

Cumberland Forest and Willis River Hike

Start at Winston Lake and ramble on the Cumberland Multi-Use Trail,
forest roads and a section of the Willis River Trail to complete a fivemile
loop through the 16,222-acre forest. The trail carves through
mixed hardwood forest and riparian habitats. This is an easy hike.
Rockwood Nature Center, 3401 Courthouse Road
Saturday, March 28, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.              $30                   Course 29412
Details: Mark Battista, battistam@chesterfield.gov or 804-318-8735

04/02 Wild Watercolors

Wild Watercolors 

This four-week course will use a variety of watercolor mediums to paint
wild animals and nature related scenes. Students will have access to
the nature center’s animals for use as models as well as explore the
forests of Rockwood Park. Ages 5-9.
Rockwood Nature Center, 3401 Courthouse Road
Thursdays, April 2, 16, 23, 30; 3-5 p.m.        $28          Course 29698
Details: Bob Smet, smetr@chesterfield.gov or 745-8360

04/14 Homeschool Archery Club

Homeschool Archery Club

The same format as the After-School Archery Club, but scheduled
at a convenient time for home schoolers and alternative-school
children. See the After School Archery Club description for more
details. Taught by certified USA Archery instructors, the cost
includes equipment, patches, tournament medals and trophies.
Rockwood Nature Center, 3401 Courthouse Road
Tuesdays, April 14-June 2 (Tournament: Saturday, June 6)
11 a.m.-noon                   $95/person                      Course 29688
Details: Bob Smet, smetr@chesterfield.gov or 745-8360

04/18 Dragon Run

Dragon Run

Paddle and experience the wilderness-like and primordial waters of the Dragon Run Swamp. Observe towering cypress trees, royal fern, beaver dams and a bald eagle nest. This trip will be led by the Friends of the Dragon Run. Fee includes transportation, boats and paddling gear.
Parks Maintenance Center, 9201 Public Works Road
Saturday, TBD by Friends of Dragon Run-possible dates: April 18, 25 or May 2, 7 a.m.- 4 p.m.
$12                                                                                                                                        Course 29404
(plus $35, cash or check, for Friends of the Dragon Run on day of trip)
Details: Mark Battista, battistam@chesterfield.gov or 804-318-8735

04/18 Webelos Outdoorsman Workshop

Webelos Outdoorsman Workshop

This workshop for Webelos aged Cub Scouts will focus on the
many fun and useful requirements of the Outdoorsman badge.
Tie some knots, learn about the outdoor code, build and start a
fire, become an outdoor chef and discover what it takes to be safe
and successful in all your outdoor endeavors.
Rockwood Nature Center, 3401 Courthouse Road
Saturday, April 18, 3-6 p.m.               $15              Course 29691
Details: Bob Smet, smetr@chesterfield.gov or 745-8360

04/21 Reptiles and Amphibians Merit Badge Workshop

Reptiles and Amphibians Merit Badge Workshop

Join a naturalist and BSA merit badge counselor to learn all about
the scaly and slimy world of reptiles and amphibians. Handle
snakes, toads, turtles and lizards, learn about venomous reptiles,
and go on a walk to listen to frog calls. Some requirements will
need to be done on the scout’s own for full completion. Counselor is
available for card sign-offs when requirements are met.
Rockwood Nature Center
Tuesdays, April 21 & May 19, 6-8 p.m.           $25             Course 29690

04/23 Belle Isle State Park

Belle Isle State Park 

Head to Lancaster County to stroll the forests, fields and wetlands of
Belle Island State Park. Journey along multiple trails hemmed in by the
Rappahannock River, Mulberry Creek and Deep Creek. This will be an
easy four-mile hike.
Rockwood Nature Center, 3401 Courthouse Road
Thursday, April 23, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.           $30               Course 29400
Details: Mark Battista, battistam@chesterfield.gov or 804-318-8735

04/25 Riprap Hollow Hike

Riprap Hollow Hike

Hike the southern section of Shenandoah National Park for
sweeping vistas from Chimney Rock and Calvary Rocks. Descend
into Cold Spring and Riprap Hollows and past the swimming hole.
Return along Wildcat Ridge and the Appalachian Trail. This is a long,
moderate 9.5-mile hike with 2,225 feet of elevation gain.
Rockwood Nature Center, 3401 Courthouse Road
Saturday, April 25, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.             $35                 Course 29401
Details: Mark Battista, battistam@chesterfield.gov or 804-318-8735

05/02 Sit-on-Top Kayaking: River Trip

“Sit-on-Top” Kayaking, River Trip

No previous whitewater experience is needed for this trip which is designed for those wanting to explore the easier rapids stretch of the James River, from Pony Pasture to Reedy Creek in Richmond, on “user friendly” Sit-on-Top kayaks. The instructors will teach all the skills required to navigate this stretch safely and in control while showing you the best routes and play spots!  Swimming ability is required. All equipment is provided. Minimum age is 11. Youth ages 11-13 must be accompanied by an actively participating adult.  Max weight of 235 lbs. due to kayak limitations.   It is strongly suggested that you have some previous paddling experience.
James River Park System, Pony Pasture
Saturday, May 2,  9 a.m. – 3 p.m.     $60 ($70 w/rental)            Course 29472
Details: Greg Velzy, velzyg@chesterfield.gov or 748-1124

05/09 Hike, Pedal and Paddle the Dutch Gap Conservation Area

Hike, Pedal and Paddle the Dutch Gap Conservation Area

Explore the conservation area by foot, bike and kayak. Find the
enchanting cypress swamp, look for the golden warbler, see pawpaw
and paddle to the graveyard to find out how the Tidal Lagoon was
created. Have a light lunch on the Peninsula. This program involves
about 4.5 miles of easy biking, a short one-mile paddle and short
hikes. Participants must bring their own mountain/hybrid bike and
helmet, water, bathing suit and towel (for kayaking), and a light
lunch. Helmets are required.
Henricus Visitor Center, 251 Henricus Park Road
Saturday, May 9, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.          $5/person         Course 29411
Details: Mark Battista, battistam@chesterfield.gov or 804-318-8735

05/09 Twilight Paddle

Twilight Paddle

Embark on a paddle to explore the tidal lagoon from late evening into
the twilight. Find out how the lagoon was made, where the graveyard
is and what wildlife inhabits the barge islands. For ages 10 and older.
An adult must accompany children 10-14 years of age. Paddling time is
approximately two hours.
Henricus Park Visitor Center, 251 Henricus Park Road
Saturday, May 9, 5-8 p.m.           $16                Course 29406
Details: Mark Battista, battistam@chesterfield.gov or 804-318-8735

05/12 Geology ROCKS!

Geology ROCKS!

You’ve heard of the water cycle, but did you know there is a rock
cycle too? Learn about how rocks and minerals are formed, handle
specimens of the three types of rocks, investigate ancient fossils,
then become a rock hound and go on a hunt in the park to start your
own rock collection. Make your own piece of geology to take home.
For ages 6-12. Children age 8 and under must be accompanied by a
participating adult.

Rockwood Nature Center
Tuesday, May 12, 5-7 p.m.                  $7                    Course 29693
Details: Bob Smet, smetr@chesterfield.gov or 745-8360

05/19 Critters and Kids

Critters and Kids

Join our animal care team and get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into
what goes into caring for the nature center’s animals. Children under
age 12 must be accompanied by a participating adult.
Rockwood Nature Center
Tuesday, May 19, 6:30-8:30 p.m.                   $7                       Course 29695
Details: Bob Smet, smetr@chesterfield.gov or 745-8360

08/03 Nature Art Camp

Nature Art Camp

Join our art instructor and master naturalist to play nature games, create art inspired by plants and animals, hike out to sketch plein air, learn about and discover the plants and animals of central Virginia through hands-on art projects using a variety of mediums. For ages 7-10.
Monday-Friday, noon-4 p.m.         $85
Aug. 3-7                                              Course 29733
Aug. 10-14                                          Course 29734
Details: Bob Smet, smetr@chesterfield.gov or 745-8360

Garden Plots

Community Garden Plots

Rent a garden plot at Rockwood Park. A single 20 x 20-foot
plot costs $38; a second plot costs an additional $25. Plots
are tilled, located near a water source, and are open from
approximately early March to the end of November. To rent a
plot, or for additional information, call Mark Battista at
318-8735.