Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Episode 495 (10-21-19): Exploring the Virginia Outdoors Plan

Click to listen to episode (5:16)

Sections below are the following:
Transcript of Audio
Audio Notes and Acknowledgments
Extra Information
Related Water Radio Episodes
For Virginia Teachers (Relevant SOLs, etc.).

Unless otherwise noted, all Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 10-18-19.


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of October 21, 2019.

MUSIC (instrumental) – ~9 sec

This week, that excerpt of “Out the Window,” by No Strings Attached, sets the tone for an episode on Virginia’s comprehensive plan for outdoor recreation, land conservation, and open-space planning.  Have a listen for about 40 seconds to some more of the music, along with a series of outdoor mystery sounds, and see if you know the name of this plan.

MUSIC (instrumental) and SOUNDS - ~41 sec

If you guessed the Virginia Outdoors Plan, you’re right!  You heard sounds of hiking, a waterfall visit, boating, fishing, and a winter-time river swim for charity.  Those are a small sample of the many ways that Virginians visit, view, and experience the outdoors.  The Virginia Outdoors Plan is the Commonwealth’s guide to identifying and managing outdoor recreation resources, activities, needs, and challenges.  The plan is produced by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, or DCR, every five years.  The first plan was developed in 1965; the most recent update is the 2018 edition, published in February 2019.  Some of the topics covered in the 2018 plan are land and water outdoor resources, the economics of recreation, connections between recreation and health, and funding issues in recreation and land conservation.

In recent years the DCR has also had a Virginia Outdoors Demand Survey done by university partners, most recently in 2017.  That survey’s findings on citizens’ current outdoor activities and needs were used in developing the Outdoors Plan.  One highlight of the survey is its list of Virginians’ top outdoor activities by percent of households participating: the top five currently are visiting natural areas, driving for pleasure, walking for pleasure, visiting parks, and swimming in pools.

This fall, the DCR is gathering information on the Outdoors Plan through a series of public input sessions in each of the state’s 21 planning districts or regions.  Running from October 10 to December 5, the meetings are aimed to help the DCR learn what’s happening with the 2018 plan and to identify trends that may be relevant to developing the next plan in 2023.

The most recent Outdoors Demand Survey found that having access to outdoor recreation opportunities was “very important” to 70 percent of respondents, and protecting natural areas was “very important” to almost 82 percent.  The ongoing process of the Virginia Outdoors Plan helps guide efforts towards those two goals, and the public meetings this fall give you a chance to contribute your views.

Thanks to No Strings Attached for permission to use this week’s music, and we close with about 25 more seconds of “Out the Window.”

MUSIC (instrumental) – ~22 sec


Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.  For more Virginia water sounds, music, or information, visit us online at virginiawaterradio.org, or call the Water Center at (540) 231-5624.  Thanks to Ben Cosgrove for his version of “Shenandoah” to open and close the show.  In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.


Virginia Water Radio thanks Julie Buchanan, of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, for providing information for this episode.

“Out the Window,” part of “Waters of Babylon/Out the Window,” from the 1999 album “In the Vinyl Tradition Volume II, is copyright by No Strings Attached and Enessay Music, used with permission.  More information about No Strings Attached is available online at http://www.enessay.com/index.html.

The sounds heard in this episode were recorded by Virginia Water Radio, as follows:

Hiking footsteps on the New River Trail in Pulaski County, Va., August 31, 2013;
Falls Ridge waterfall in Montgomery County, Va., March 8, 2014;
Boat on Claytor Lake in Pulaski County, Va., August 31, 2013;
Fishing lure and line, June 23, 2016;
Special Olympics “Polar Plunge” into the New River at Radford, Va., January 29, 2011. (For more information about this annual event, please see http://polarplunge.com/.)

Click here if you’d like to hear the full version (2 min./22 sec.) of the “Shenandoah” arrangement/performance by Ben Cosgrove that opens and closes this episode.  More information about Mr. Cosgrove is available online at http://www.bencosgrove.com.


Cover of the 2018 “Virginia Outdoors Plan.”  Image accessed at Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation Web site for the Plan, https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/recreational-planning/vop, 10/22/19.

Charts of the top ten outdoor recreation activities in Virginia in the 2017 Virginia Outdoors Demand Survey (upper figure) and the top five activities in 2006, 2011, and 2017 surveys (lower figure).  Charts from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, “Virginia Outdoors Plan,” pages 2.2 and 2.4, accessed online at https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/recreational-planning/vop, 10/22/19.


In October, November, and December 2019, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is holding a series of public meetings on the Virginia Outdoors Plan.  The DCR is working with Virginia’s planning district commissions and regional councils to review outdoor recreation and land conservation initiatives related to the Outdoors Plan.  The DCR intends to hold public meetings in every Virginia planning district or region.   According to the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall notices for these meetings (hyperlinked below), “The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will review and discuss the Virginia Outdoors Plan (VOP) and will seek input regarding what is happening in each region with regard to outdoor recreation and land conservation.  DCR further seeks to discover trends that will help to shape the next VOP.”  The contact for regional meetings in 2019 is Michael Fletcher, Board and Constituent Services Liaison, 600 East Main Street, 24th Floor, Richmond, 23219; michael.fletcher@dcr.virginia.gov; (804)786-8445.

The 2019 meeting schedule is as follows:

10/10/19, 12 p.m., at the Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission, 400-E Kendrick Lane in Front Royal (Warren County).
10/14/19, 12 p.m., at the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission, 407 East Water Street in Charlottesville.
10/15/19, 10 a.m., at the Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commission, 224 Clydesway Drive, Lebanon (Russell County).
10/16/19, 10 a.m., at the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission, 125 Bowden Street in Saluda (Middlesex County).
10/21/19, 3 p.m., for the Commonwealth Regional Council, at Prince Edward Community Library, 1303 West 3rd Street in Farmville.
10/22/19, 10 a.m., at the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, 3040 Williams Drive in Fairfax.
10/29/19, 10 a.m., at the Northern Neck Planning District Commission, 457 Main Street in Warsaw (Richmond County).
10/30/19, 2 p.m., at the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission, 313 Luck Avenue, SW, in Roanoke.
10/31/19, 10 a.m., for the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, at 1 Franklin Street in Hampton.
11/4/19, 10 a.m., at the West Piedmont Planning District Commission, 1100 Madison Street in Martinsville.
11/5/19, 1 p.m., at the Lenowisco Planning District Commission, 372 Technology Trail Lane, Duffield (Scott County).
11/5/19, 2 p.m., at the Central Virginia Planning District Commission, 828 Main Street in Lynchburg.
11/6/19, 10 a.m., at New River Valley Regional Commission, 6580 Valley Center Drive in Fairlawn (Pulaski County).
11/7/19, 10 a.m., for the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission, at the BRITE Transit Facility, 51 Ivy Ridge Lane in Fishersville (Augusta County).
11/12/19, 11 a.m., at the Richmond Regional Planning District Commission, 9211 Forest Hill Avenue in Richmond.
11/13/19, 12 p.m., at the Crater Planning District Commission, 1964 Wakefield Street in Petersburg.
11/14/19, 10 a.m., for the Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission, at Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Seaside Hall, 39 Atlantic Avenue in Wachapreague.
11/14/19, 10 a.m., at the George Washington Regional Commission, 406 Princess Anne Street in Fredericksburg.
11/20/19, 10 a.m., at the Southside Planning District Commission, 200 South Mecklenburg Avenue in South Hill.
11/21/19, 2 p.m., at the Mount Rogers Planning District Commission, 1021 Terrace Drive in Marion (Smyth County).
12/5/19, 10 a.m., at the Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Commission, 420 Southridge Parkway, #106, in Culpeper.


James Ellis et al., “2017 Virginia Outdoors Demand Survey,” available online (as a PDF) at https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/recreational-planning/document/vop-app-02-outdoors-survey.pdf.  The survey was prepared for the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) by the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, Project 17.003, December 2017.  Survey highlights are available in the DCR’s 2-page “Virginia Outdoors Plan Summary 2018,” online (as a PDF) at https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/recreational-planning/document/vop-summary-infographix-2018.pdf.

Woodrow Grizzle III, Virginia Releases New Outdoor and Conservation Plan, Lee Daily Register [Lee County, Va.], 2/13/19.

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), “Virginia Outdoors Plan,” online at https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/recreational-planning/vop.   The 2018 plan is available at this site.  A copy of a slide show about the 2013 plan is available online (as a PDF) at https://www.deq.virginia.gov/Portals/0/DEQ/CoastalZoneManagement/Reports/2014cpw-Poole.pdf.  The February 13, 2019, letter by Va. Gov. Ralph Northam introducing the 2019 plan is available online (as a PDF) at https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/recreational-planning/document/vopnortham.pdf.

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), “Virginia Outdoors Plan Mapper,” online at http://consapps.dcr.virginia.gov/dnh/vop/vopmapper.htm.

Virginia Regulatory Town Hall, “Meetings,” online at https://townhall.virginia.gov/L/meetings.cfm?time=future.  Meetings are listed by date.  Public input meetings in 2019 by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) on the Virginia Outdoors Plan in run from October 10 to December 5.


All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html).  See particularly the “Community/Organizations” subject category.

Following is a link to another episode on a Virginia statewide plan, the Wildlife Action Plan:
Episode 153, 3-25-13.


The episode—the audio, extra information, or sources—may help with the following Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs).

2013 Music SOLs

SOLs at various grade levels that call for “examining the relationship of music to the other fine arts and other fields of knowledge.”

2010 Science SOLs

Grades K-6 Earth Resources Theme
4.9 – Va. natural resources, including watersheds, water resources, and organisms.
6.9 – public policy decisions related to the environment (including resource management and conservation, land use decisions, hazard mitigation, cost/benefit assessments).

Grades K-6 Living Systems Theme
6.7 – natural processes and human interactions that affect watershed systems; Va. watersheds, water bodies, and wetlands; health and safety issues; and water monitoring.

Life Science Course

LS.11 – relationships between ecosystem dynamics and human activity.

Earth Science Course
ES.6 – renewable vs. non-renewable resources.

Biology Course
BIO.8 – dynamic equilibria and interactions within populations, communities, and ecosystems; including nutrient cycling, succession, effects of natural events and human activities, and analysis of the flora, fauna, and microorganisms of Virginia ecosystems.

2015 Social Studies SOLs

Grades K-3 History Theme
1.2 – Virginia history and life in present-day Virginia.

Grades K-3 Geography Theme
1.6 – Virginia climate, seasons, and landforms.

Grades K-3 Economics Theme
2.8 – natural, human, and capital resources.

Virginia Studies Course
VS.1 – impact of geographic features on people, places, and events in Virginia history.
VS.10 – knowledge of government, geography, and economics in present-day Virginia.

Civics and Economics Course
CE.1 – skills for historical thinking, geographical analysis, economic decision-making, and responsible citizenship.
CE.7 – government at the state level.
CE.10 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.

World Geography Course
WG.1 – skills for historical thinking, geographical analysis, economic decision-making, and responsible citizenship.
WG.2 – how selected physical and ecological processes shape the Earth’s surface, including climate, weather, and how humans influence their environment and are influenced by it.
WG.3 – how regional landscapes reflect the physical environment and the cultural characteristics of their inhabitants.
WG.4 – types and significance of natural, human, and capital resources.
WG.18 – cooperation among political jurisdictions to solve problems and settle disputes.

Government Course
GOVT.1 – skills for historical thinking, geographical analysis, economic decision-making, and responsible citizenship.
GOVT.8 – state and local government organization and powers.
GOVT.9 – public policy process at local, state, and national levels.
GOVT.15 – role of government in Va. and U.S. economies, including examining environmental issues and property rights.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/.

Following are links to Water Radio episodes (various topics) designed especially for certain K-12 grade levels.

Episode 250, 1-26-15 – on boiling, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 255, 3-2-15 – on density, for 5th and 6th grade.
Episode 282, 9-21-15 – on living vs. non-living, for kindergarten.
Episode 309, 3-28-16 – on temperature regulation in animals, for kindergarten through 12th grade.
Episode 333, 9-12-16 – on dissolved gases, especially dissolved oxygen in aquatic habitats, for 5th grade.
Episode 403, 1-15-18 – on freezing and ice, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 404, 1-22-18 – on ice on ponds and lakes, for 4th through 8th grade.
Episode 406, 2-5-18 – on ice on rivers, for middle school.
Episode 407, 2-12-18 – on snow chemistry and physics, for high school
Episode 483, 7-29-19 – on buoyancy and drag, for middle school and high school.