Kites & Critters: April 23, 2017

Catch “Kites & Critters” at Staunton Farm on April 23, 2017

Staunton – “Kites & Critters: a Day at the Farm” will offer something for everyone on Sunday, April 23 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Moore farm on 272 Bells Lane. Valley Conservation Council coordinates this free event to invite citizens, especially families, to enjoy the outdoors and see the conservation and farming that go on in one of the city’s agricultural districts.

Kids young and old can fly a kite, release a trout, go on a habitat walk, touch a fish, inspect a water insect, test water quality, and pet a lamb.  Huge professional kites will soar above the open hills. Visitors can also bring their own kites or get one onsite.  Activities and displays will be set up in and around the barn as well as along the creek.  Tour stations cover quail habitat, trout release, stream restoration, riparian buffers, fish tank, stream critters, and water testing.

Gloria’s Pupuseria food truck will be on hand.

Lambs and chickens will be on site, as well as bees (safe in a see-through hive) and bats.   VCC times the event to offer an on-farm complement to Earth Day in urban Staunton the previous day.

Staunton is fortunate to have beautiful and productive farmland in the city limits. Many of the farms in the city have installed conservation practices to protect water quality and provide natural habitat for species including bobwhite quail and Eastern brook trout.  Poague Run is fed by springs and this stretch of cold water is being restored to improve its ability to host trout.

“Kites & Critters” is organized by Valley Conservation Council and hosted by Carolyn Moore Ford on her farm.  Major partners include kite flyers Jeff May and Mac Sterrett,  Friends of the Middle River, Headwaters Soil and Water Conservation District, Pure Water Forum, Trout Unlimited, Lewis Creek Watershed Advisory Committee, Headwaters Master Naturalists, Augusta Bird Club, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and Virginia Department of Forestry. Many volunteers make the event possible.  Kites & Critters is funded by a grant from Pure Water Forum through the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and local sponsorships.

Contact Valley Conservation Council (540.886.3541, Find activities and details at   and updates at


Activities: Kite Flying, Trout Release, Fish Touch Tank, Stream Critters, Conservation Tours

Conservation Stations: Riparian Buffers, Quail Habitat, Tree Planting, Stream Restoration

Displays: Lambs, Chickens, Bee Hive, Lucy the Bat, Habitat Management, Maps, and more

Directions: From Woodrow Wilson Parkway (Rt. 262), turn south on Bells Lane. Bear right at the “T”, continue to the top of the hill, and turn right at the first driveway (at black fencing and pillars). The entrance will be clearly marked. For safety, vehicles are asked to enter and exit from Rt. 262 and biking is discouraged on Bells Lane.

Tips:  Rain or shine. Dress for the outdoors.  Water bottles, sensible shoes, and sunscreen suggested.   No pets, please.   

All photos are courtesy of Kites & Critters 2016.

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Contact Us:

Valley Conservation Council
P.O. Box 988
Staunton, VA 24402
Phone: 540-886-3541

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