Here are some of the most successful in-kind donations we have received in the past:
Telescope - donated by Richard and Joyce Rouse, the telescope propelled forward our star watch offerings with amateur astronomer Evan Worrell. Our first official program was held on top of Whitetop Mountain with 15 participants. We have two more programs scheduled for the summer and many more in the future!
Nature Center Supplies - donated as part of a Nature's Power Day Care by Mary Alice Hardin, this massive contribution included all sorts materials essential for youth education including: craft supplies, mapping projects, birdhouse making materials, children's books on nature, a rock and mineral collection, puppet making materials, natural history posters and butterfly nets among many many other items. This has inspired Blue Ridge Discovery Center to develop a Young Explorers Club for ages 3-7 with youth educator Michelle Stamper.
Book Collection - donated by Bill Hylander, his collection included a wide variety of subjects from anthropology to life sciences and field guides. This contribution established the foundation of a BRDC principle that at the root of natural history study is the dissemination of knowledge. This is the beginning of a Blue Ridge Discovery Center Library.
Tents and Sleeping Pads - donated by Charlotte Hanes with the inspiration to get youth outdoors. Some of the best tents on the market for transport, durability, ease of use and weather resistance, these tents will house many wide-eyed youth for years into the future. Having packable tents and sleeping pads will ensure first time visitors to the woods have a positive and complete nature experience.
Tenkara Fly Fishing Rods - donated by Tenkara Rod Co. in Colorado, these rods are ideal for teaching beginners the art of fly fishing. At any age, this minimalist setup can get you to fish with no learning curve and a take anywhere package. To date we have used these rods to teach students at Galax Elementary School and the Mount Rogers High School with many more workshops to come. The methods of Tenkara fly fishing fall right in line with our goals of exploring the Blue Ridge backcountry.
The National Fishing in the Schools Program Materials and Supplies - this include-all package was contributed by the Virginia Department of Inland Game and Fisheries as a partnership to bring NFSP to regional schools. To date we have taught over 100 youth the art of fly fishing in a week long intensive course. Included in the package were ten Orvis fly rods, reels and line along with "real fake fish" and casting targets.
Waders - One of our very first in-kind donations was a set of 6 youth waders that after 5 years of use, still live on today (although a bit leaky). These waders have protected countless feet as we searched for aquatic insects in ponds and creeks throughout the area. They have been worn by budding young fishers and bog investigators.
Projector and Screen - donated by Jerry Moles, this projector and screen has been used in many facets of Blue Ridge Discovery Center including program demonstrations, presentations and organizational meetings.