Springtime fun comes to York River State Park

Staff writer

York River State Park has the antidote to cure your cabin fever: a wide variety of programs, including stargazing and fossil hunts, to get people of all ages outdoors in April.

“These programs are both educational and recreational to entice families to get outside and discover the natural world around them,” said John Gresham, education support specialist at the park.

Among the list of programs is Fossil Frenzy, which takes participants on a tour back in time with a fossil hunt, Gersham said.

Hikers start at the park’s amphitheater, where rangers set up a display of fossils commonly found at the park. Down at the fossil beach, participants can look for artifacts with park-provided tools. A ranger will identity fossils, and each participant is allowed to keep a fossil as a souvenir, Gersham said.

“Children enjoy the idea of finding relics of dinosaurs. But, I tell them that we will find the remains of sea creatures instead as eastern Virginia was once a part of a large subtropical sea,” he said.

But it isn’t all down in the dirt at the park, as an evening of stargazing gives participants a closer look at the stars above.

The Virginia Peninsula Astronomy Society leads the event, and the members bring a variety of telescopes for guests to use. People can also bring their own equipment, Gersham said.

“VPAS members will help point beginner and seasoned astronomers in the right direction, interpret what they are seeing and should expect to see,” he said.

April program highlights

When: Fossil Frenzy is held 10 a.m. April 1, April 15 and April 22. Stargazing is held at 7 p.m. April 6.

Where: York River State Park, 9801 York River Park Road.

Cost: Both programs are free.

For more information about these and others programs and registration, call 757-566-3036 or visit bit.ly/2xhssDy.

Jack Jacobs, 757-298-6007, jojacobs@vagazette.com, @jajacobs_

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