Virginia's gateway to environmental information and resources.
What is Virginia Naturally?
Virginia Naturally provides citizens and educators with a virtual library, where learning about Virginia’s environment is just a click away. This is your gateway to statewide environmental education resources including information about volunteer opportunities, educational classes, places to visit, community events, watershed maps, lesson plans, and recreational activities, to name a few.
Who supports Virginia Naturally?
Public and private organizations and agencies dedicated to linking people to Virginia’s natural and historic resources are the heart of this initiative. Using cutting-edge technology, this partnership provides a vast range of factual information and educational resources -- programs, publications, events, classes, and other services for adults and young people.
Become a Virginia Naturally partner
Public and private organizations that provide educational services to youth and adults can support the initiative by becoming Virginia Naturally partners. Partners are part of a statewide network working to build knowledge and skills in all Virginians and an appreciation for life-long learning and personal responsibility to conservation. There is a Virginia Naturally Calendar of Events that is available to advertise programs, activities, and events.
Sign up to be a Virginia Naturally partner. It's quick, easy and FREE!
Virginia Naturally established a partnership program for businesses and organizations that have environmental components or missions as part of their programs. At the end of 2010 the Virginia Office of Environmental Education reported that there are over 900 Virginia Naturally Partners.
Virginia Naturally Schools
As of 2010, 52 schools have been recognized as Virginia Naturally schools demonstrating exemplary practices in environmental education. Virginia Naturally schools make an effort to support environmental conservation and stewardship. A recognized school must continue to submit an annual plan and add an additional feature to its environmental and conservation plan each year.
- Virginia Naturally Grants Program
In 2002, in an effort to help teachers meet Bay Agreement's educational goals, the Virginia Resource Use Education Council (VRUEC) partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Virginia Environmental Endowment (VEE), and Smithfield Foods to establish and administer the Virginia Naturally Classroom program. Many classrooms around the state are conducting “Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences" thanks to the Virginia Naturally Classroom Grants and Partner Grants. Combined, 748 grants have been awarded for a total of $643,900 involving more than 200,000 students, 1,000 faculty and 800 community partners.
History of Virginia Naturally
In 2000, Virginia Naturally was designated as the official environmental education program of the Commonwealth. During his State of the Commonwealth address on January 12, 2000, former Governor Jim Gilmore launched a statewide initiative to promote lifelong learning about Virginia’s environment and stewardship of the Commonwealth's natural and historic resources. House Joint Resolution 301 and Senate Joint Resolution 175 in the 2000 Virginia General Assembly designate the program as the Commonwealth’s official environmental education initiative. Secretary of Natural Resources John Paul Woodley, Jr., announced Virginia Naturally 2000 in January. Virginia Resource Use Education Council (VRUEC) is the advisory board for the program.