Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Bat conservation is theme of Virginia Cave Week, April 19-25

Shellie & Dick working on a hands on project for Caves and Karst previous training
Date: April 08, 2015
Contact: Julie Buchanan, Public Relations Specialist, (804) 786-2292,
Bat conservation is theme of Virginia Cave Week, April 19-25
RICHMOND — Virginia’s rich cave heritage will be celebrated during Virginia Cave Week, April 19-25. Activities include tours of a wild cave in Giles County, an opportunity to see a bat up close in Front Royal and a trash cleanup at a one of Virginia’s many karst landscapes in Bath County.
Virginia Cave Week is coordinated by the governor-appointed Virginia Cave Board. The board was established in 1979 to conserve and protect the state’s caves and karst landscapes, and to advocate the wise use of cave-related resources. 
More than 4,000 caves have been documented in Virginia. They provide habitat for rare and threatened species, such as the Virginia big-eared bat (Virginia’s state bat) and the Madison Cave isopod. 
Karst landscapes are characterized by caves, springs, sinkholes and sinking streams. In Virginia, these landscapes occur in 27 counties west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Thousands of Virginians depend on karst aquifers for drinking water.

April 19
Cave Week Kickoff
1-4 p.m.
Warren County Community Center, 538 Villa Ave., Front Royal, Virginia

Learn about bat conservation with the Front Royal Grotto and theSave Lucy Campaign, a nonprofit that educates about the effect of white-nose syndrome on North American bats. This event will include educational displays, a bat craft and, between 1 and 2 p.m., the chance to see a live bat.
Trash Cleanup
10:30 a.m.
Aqua Campground, Bath County, Virginia
Free, but requires registration
The Butler Cave Conservation Society is sponsoring a trash cleanup at this karst site. Bags and disposable gloves will be provided. Sign up by contacting Nathaniel Farrar at or 540-315-2643. Driving directions will be provided upon registration.
April 22 and 23
Under the Earth Day Cave Tour

Giles County, Virginia
Free, but requires registration
Take a guided tour of New River Cave, one of Virginia’s largest wild caves. Owned by the National Speleological Society, New River Cave contains nearly 8 miles of mapped passages and many unusual cave formations. Staff with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and VPI Cave Club members will lead participants through the front section of the cave. Learn about bats and other cave inhabitants and the relationship between caves and water quality. 
Participants must wear long, durable pants, long-sleeved shirts and sturdy footwear. Gloves are recommended. Bring water and a snack. Helmets and lights will be provided. Trips will depart from and return to Newport, Virginia, and driving directions will be provided to those who register. It is a steep, half-mile hike to the cave entrance.
Space is limited, and registration is first-come, first-served. Register by calling Faye McKinney at 804-225-4856. Tours will run April 22, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., and 5-10 p.m., and April 23, 1-6 p.m.
For more information about Virginia Cave Week, including teacher lesson plans and virtual tours, visit
For more information about Virginia’s cave and karst resources and to see sites on the Virginia Cave and Karst Trail, visit

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