New, free Virginia State Parks app available

Virginia State Parks recently introduced the new VSP Pocket Ranger® app for smartphones, a free mobile tour guide developed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, ParksByNature, Virginia Association for Parks and Imperial Multimedia.

Virginia is the latest of 12 states to partner with ParksByNature in developing official state park mobile tour guides. In other states there is a basic guide and one with advanced GPS technology available at an additional charge. Thanks to the VAFP and Imperial Multimedia, there is no charge for the advanced Virginia app. The partnership is also finalizing details on a sponsorship plan so that users are supporting Virginia State Parks each time they use the app. The mobile guide is available for Apple and some Android devices.

The Official Virginia State Parks Pocket Ranger® app offers educational and interpretive information. With the help of the app, users may locate the nearest park and gain access to in-depth information such as trail-touring videos, activities and descriptions designed to enhance their overall visit. In addition, the app includes advanced GPS mapping technology allowing park visitors to mark, record and share trail blazes, explorations and discoveries.

Hikers can use the app to personalize routes while hunters and fishermen will benefit from ability to mark their favorite spots. A cache map feature, which allows users to navigate the state parks without mobile reception, is also available.

Park goers may use the photo waypoint feature to snap pictures and mark the coordinates of highlights from their visit—such as animals and natural features—and then share it with the click of a button. As a safety feature an in-app alert is included that allows users to quickly send their GPS coordinates along with a message to a designated list of contacts in the event of an emergency.

To download the Virginia State Parks Pocket Ranger® app go to http://www.stateparkapps.com/apps/va/apps.php. It can also be downloaded by visiting Apple iTunes or Android Market. For information on all Virginia State Park offerings, including the new app, go to http://www.virginiastateparks.gov.
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Community

Villa’s Flagler Housing wins national NAEH award


St. Joseph's Villa’s Flagler Housing & Homeless Services was one of three entities to earn the National Alliance to End Homelessness' Champion of Change Award. The awards were presented Nov. 17 during a ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

NAEH annually recognizes proven programs and significant achievements in ending child and family homelessness.

Flagler completed its transition from an on-campus shelter to the community-based model of rapid rehousing in 2013, and it was one of the nation's first rapid re-housing service providers to be certified by NAEH. > Read more.

RIR’s Christmas tree lighting rescheduled for Dec. 12


Richmond International Raceway's 13th annual Community Christmas tree lighting has been rescheduled from Dec. 6 to Monday, Dec. 12, at 6:30 p.m., due to inclement weather expected on the original date.

Entertainment Dec. 12 will be provided by the Laburnum Elementary School choir and the Henrico High School Mighty Marching Warriors band. Tree decorations crafted by students from Laburnum Elementary School and L. Douglas Wilder Middle School will be on display. Hot chocolate and cookies will be supplied by the Henrico High School football boosters. > Read more.
Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Given the warm weather lately, Saturday’s RVA Polar Plunge Winter Fest, benefiting Special Olympics Virginia, might actually be enjoyable! Other weekend events you’re sure to enjoy include the 14th annual Richmond Kids Expo at the Richmond Raceway Complex, the Richmond Symphony and The Taters in concert at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, and the Richmond Ballet Minds in Motion Team XXL performing at the Henrico Theatre. This is also the last weekend to check out HATTheatre’s production of “Bill W. and Dr. Bob.” For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

 

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Discover the many roles African-Americans played in the 150+ year history of Dabbs House, 3812 Nine Mile Rd., from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Meet an African-American Civil War soldier who will share his role in the Battle of New Market Heights. Hear about how the county used the property as an almshouse. Retired and active police will share stories about the time Dabbs House served as a police station. Admission is free. For details, call 652-1426. Full text

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